Tag Archive: airport


The most common risks when flying are delays or unplanned diversions.  That and unwittingly pissing off a surly TSA agent who orders you a full cavity search.  Not crashing in a ball of fire, thankfully.  But delays and having your flight diverted to another airport?  Sure, that shit happens several thousand times a day.

Like last week, when my flight from toasty Ft. Lauderdale back to stormfucked New York was first delayed by several hours, then diverted in mid-air to Washington, DC, thus making me scramble to book another flight out the next day.

This was when I finally understood the single-most vital piece of travel equipment with which one must be always armed when travelling – good headphones.

I’d sooner lose anything else I’m travelling with – books, clean underwear, rescue inhaler, you name it.  All that shit is worth losing if you manage to hold on your precious headphones.  Headphones that you stuff into our left-right head holes, plug into your iPod and drown out all voices around you.

You see, all the voices around you at airports from all the other travellers are all bat shit crazy aural diarrhea that will make you want to commit murder if you listen for more than 30 seconds.  You do not want to commit murder at the airport because that will probably fuck with your travel plans.

So yeah, headphones.  To drown out all the retarded yammering of these flying windowlickers around you.  This time ‘round, in my haste of running around airports to chase planes that were going to absolutely nowhere, here are some of the gems I had the misfortune of overhearing while my headphones were neatly stuffed away at the bottom of my bag, frustratingly out of reach.

  • I stood in line ahead of three well-tanned cougars from the Jersey shore who spent what seemed like an eternity debating just how long one can or should wear a pair of jeans without washing them.  When you shit your pants.  Or look like you shit your pants.  The answer is when you shit your pants, OK.  Now please shut up.
  • Intense business professional looking all Brooks Brothersy, and more importantly, flashing one of those look-at-me-look-at-me bluetooth earpieces, who kept angrily gesturing and barking into the air, “I could care less! I could care less!”  You show ‘em who’s boss, Joe Suit.  I honestly couldn’t care less if he got sucked into the plane’s engine.
  • “I think I’m gonna have a Five Guys cheeseburger with the works.”  “It’s 6:45 in the morning.”  You don’t even realize why you need universal healthcare, America, you fat fucks.
  • Election banter – SO CURRENT, PEOPLE! “They have us divided!  Short, tall, Israeli, Palestinian, Muslim, voodoo!” said one guy to another.

These are only a handful of awful things I unwittingly overheard at the airport.  Frankly, after a few minutes, I just lost count.  It’s bad enough that I gotta travel with all these fuckwits, now I gotta hear them, too?  And seriously, they’re all fuckwits.  Do not feel compelled to speak to anyone else when you travel.  You have absolutely nothing in common with any one of them other than a coincidental mutual objective to get the fuck from one place to another.  That’s it.  You have no idea who these people are.  They could all be imbeciles.  Attorneys, pornographers, vegans.  Fuck ‘em.  Much better to block them out and deflect any opportunity to interact with them, actively or passively.

Which is why you don’t set foot near an airport without a decent set of headphones.  Ever.

 

 

(source: Mark Armstrong Tumblr)

Unlike a lot of city dwellers who can’t wait to skip out of the town the minute the sweltering summer hits, I fucking love New York in the summer time.  Granted, I don’t live in the city, and if I was stuck in a smoldering shoebox in the city, I couldn’t be blamed for wanting to bail and glom on to my friends’ Hamptons rental at every available opportunity.

I live in the burbs of New York, and even though I spend every fucking day in the city at work, I love being in the city.  But with the onset of summer, I’m hastily reminded of the single-most grating aspect of city – the motherfucking tourists.

Motherfucking tourists are the fucking worst.

A couple of years ago, when I saw that picture above of the two-laned sidewalk, I thought my dreams had finally come true.  If I could vote, I would’ve re-elected Mayor Bloomberg as mayor for life.  Alas, it was a fucking stunt, and my dreams and hopes were crushed to smithereens.

What New Yorker wouldn’t relish some concerted initiative focused on making sure that tourists get and stay the fuck out of the way?

This morning I had to refill my subway metrocard.  Wouldn’t you know it, I get stuck behind two tourists.  They did everything you expect tourists to do – fumble around the touchscreen, going back and forth.  Which is understandable if you’ve never used the machine before.  But they were buying a shit ton of single-ride tickets, and chose to pay for each fucking ticket with motherfucking coins.  Coins.  Half a dozen single-ride tickets with goddamn coins.  Where the fuck did they score that many coins anyway?  There are no slot machines in the city, far as I know.  Pair of shitheads.

We need set up one subway card dispenser in some dark corner at each station.  If you take more than 10 seconds to buy your subway card from the regular machines, boom, you get locked out of the regular machines and you have to the shitty machine in the corner.  That’s fucking teach you.  Especially if you’re a New Yorker – stop buying your subway card like a goddamn tourist.  Subway card machines should be like the Soup Nazi.  You walk up, you punch the buttons precisely, you take your card and you walk away.  Quickly.  If you take more than 10 seconds, you gotta go to the dreaded tourist card machine in the corner where the wino using as a makeshift urinal.

You know what, let’s make it a whole checkout thing altogether.  In stores – I don’t care if it’s a small drugstore or a massive department store – we need to have dedicated checkout lanes for anyone with bulky backpacks, athletic sandals, fanny packs, soccer jerseys, and/or Hollister shopping bags.  That shit’s a dead giveaway you’re goddamn tourist ready fuck things up for the rest of us.  Special lanes for you so that you can fumble for loose change in that fanny pack while the rest of us can get our shit, get out, and get on with our goddamn day.

And why limit those tourist and local paths to sidewalks?  Put that shit on crosswalks as well.  I’m not sure what it’s like in other cities, here in New York, most of us will fucking jaywalk a Don’t Walk sign if we feel we’ve got anything more a 50% chance we’ll make it the other side of the street before getting splattered by that mad yellow cab careering towards us.  I got shit to do, I can’t be standing around waiting for some light.  But what good is that when you’ve got a wall of German tourists standing like they’re trying to defend a free kick at the World Cup in front of you?  I say we make ‘em stand in a tourist-only crosswalk lane while the rest of us are free to put our lives in our own hands and dodge traffic all day.  Like I said, I’ve got place to go and shit to do.

And how the fuck do we get around the whole tipping thing when it comes to tourists?  I get that tipping isn’t a big thing outside the U.S. – some more argue that plenty of assholes don’t tip within the U.S. either, but that’s another story.  Anyway, I was in dark, dank bar in the West Village a few weeks ago – one of those bullshit “secret” bars that EVERYONE knows about.  Well, I sat down for a few brews and this Swedish girl walks up to order some drinks for her friends seated at a nearby booth.  “Can I have a beer?” she says.  First of all, that’s completely retarded question to ask at a bar.  In any case, the kind barkeep offered a beer suggestion, she took it, got three pints, paid for the beers, LEFT NO TIP, and walked away.  The barkeep didn’t seem too bothered by it – probably not the first nor last bunch of clueless tourists who wandered into his bar that night.  But holy fuck, can these assholes please get some crib sheet when they arrive at the airport on what proper etiquette is expected of them when they come to NY?  Shit, if I’m obligated to try and converse in a bit of French when I’m in Paris, you sure as fuck are expected to tip the people serving you in NY bars and restaurants, bitch.

Here’s what a cheat sheet might look like (and of course it’d have to be written in goddamn Comic Sans – if it wasn’t written in Comic Sans, how you would know it’s completely stupid?):

All of which is to say that Big Gulps aren’t ruining New York.  Not bath salts.  Not douchey hipsters.  Not Tim Tebow (OK, maybe a bit).  It’s fucking tourists.  Goddamnit.

No free wi-fi at airports and hotels.  What’s this shit with making pay $20 a day for wi-fi in your bullshit pretentious hotel?  And I think it’s fucking criminal that neither JFK nor LaGuardia airports consistently provide free wi-fi (not you, JetBlue, we all know your terminal fucking rocks).  Airports and hotels are proper fucking ports of business.  Not just where parents who have lost the will to live are dragging their little shitbags Timmy and Tammy for a week at Disneyworld.  Timmy and Tammy are ingrates and don’t deserve wi-fi.  The rest of us, who are at airports under duress, travelling for work?  The least you bastards could do is blunt the hurt with a bit of free wi-fi.

Same shit at hotels.  Oh, you want me to pay $400 for some shitty room you painted white and hung a framed painting on the ceiling, but I’ve got to cough up another $20 so that I can send emails and post stupid Facebook updates from my room?  Dicks.

 

Paying more for gas with credit.  Why the fuck are gas stations the only establishment left on earth that can get away with charging you extra if you pay with a credit card?  No one else would fucking dare.  I buy a pack of gum at the drug store and I wanna charge it?  Same fucking price.  Even the little shitty Chinese takeout joint in my town won’t tack on superfluous charges if I wanted to charge my wonton soup.  Stop being dicks about it, gas stations.

 

“So…”  What is this verbal tic I’ve started noticing so glaringly over the past coupe of months or so?  Maybe folks have been saying it for much longer, but I’ve only just recently noticed it.  There is no fucking reason to start every sentence with that word.  “So I was watching Mad Men last night…”  “So how did you like that concert?”  “Soooo… where’re we going for dinner?”   What the fuck is that?  No, no “so”.  No fucking “so” anything.  At this point, this completely gratuitous prefix is all the signal I need to completely ignore everything that comes out of your mouth after that stupid word.  A friend recently raised it as a particularly irritating issue, and I thought I was the only one to notice this particularly grating behavior.  He lives in Vancouver.  This is a pan-continental epidemic that’s just gotta stop.  Right fucking now.

 

Bottled water.  What.  The fuck.  When the fuck did water cost more than beer?

Diaper Genies.  You can never ever get that smell outta your head.  Ever.  I’m a couple of years out from needing one in the house (for my kids, not me, you assholes), but just say “diaper genie” and that pong immediately fills my olfactory sense.  They’re a pretty awesome invention – making your own shit-filled sausages – but if they could fix the smell factor, the Diaper Genie would be greater than the iPhone 5.

 

3 Series drivers.  Why do 3 Series drivers consistently refer to their stupid little cars as “sportscars”?  Have these assholes never seen a sportscar?  How the fuck is your overpriced rear-wheeled drive Honda-equivalent a sportscar by any motherfucking stretch of the imagination.  An M3? Fine, I get that.  But none of these shitheads are driving M3s.  They’re driving little shitty 3 Series cars… and quite poorly, I might add.  Looking at the way you shitheads drive and park, you might want to chill with your delusions of grandeur there.  Your shitcart is not a sportscar.

 

Pointless rental upgrades.  I recently scored what I thought was a tasty upgrade when I rented a car in Boston.  I had booked some shitty little Chevy or what not, and when I got to the rental office, they didn’t have my car ready for me.  A bit of a Seinfeld “you-know-how-to-take-the-reservation-you-just-don’t-know-how-to-hold-the-reservation” moment.  But after a few minutes, I was told I’d been upgraded to a Mercedes.  Sweet.  Thinking it’d be some small C-class, I walk up to the lot to see a beastly, stark white GL SUV.  It’s the biggest fucking thing they made short of a tour bus.  This thing was ridiculous.  It was as big as a house, so full of driving aids I felt dumber by the minute sitting in it.  The thing had blind spot warning lights, rear camera, sensors of every sort – it was as if it was coaxing you to be as careless as you fucking want on the roads because “the car will take care of it for you.”  And it came with paddleshifts on the steering wheel.  Cool.  Except when you tug on one of the flappy paddles, it’d take about a week for the gear to engage.  What a thoroughly stupid, pointless car.

Flying bullshit

I spend entirely too much time in airports and on airplanes since I took on my new job in February.  I honestly don’t know how George Clooney’s character did it in that movie.  I’m at the point where if I actually earned one of those cards that Clooney’s character coveted and was presented the card by a pilot, I’d probably quote Comic Book Guy: “Ohh, I’ve wasted my life.”

Week in, week out, it’s the same fucking routine.  Some black car shows up to take me to the airport (side bar: it used to always be a driver of Middle Eastern descent, now it’s almost exclusively a driver of Oriental descent, what’s up with that?  I think the Chinese population are trying to muscle out the car service operation the way they’ve muscled out the Italians out of Little Italy).

I walk into the same fucking terminals; the same fucking line; the same fucking blue-shirted TSA robot who scribbles on my ticket after I show him my driver’s license; the same line with the same retards who walk through the metal detector with pockets full of keys, machetes, toaster ovens, flux capacitors, you fucking name it; the same fucking seats at the gate filled with the same flying imbeciles.

Shit, I have wasted my life.

Well, maybe not all is lost.  Because if nothing else, my life spent flying has taught me the following:

The single-most pointless argument on God’s green earth is that between people in line at the airport arguing and complaining about how long the fucking lines are at the airport.  It’s an airport, it’s got lines – lots of ‘em – and it’s filled with assholes just like you trying to get to the other side of those x-ray machines.  This is not a new phenomenon.  Whinging about it will not make the line move one second faster or one inch forward.  Each of you fuckwits trying to one-up each other with “waiting-in-line” horror stories (“You only waited for 2 hours?  I once waited three weeks to get on a flight!”) will not hasten your meeting with the blue-shirted robot with the ultraviolet flash light demanding to see your ID.  Rush hour rules apply: you get a gajillion people first thing in the morning and in the evening.  This is a given fact, it’s a known fact, it’s nothing new.  So please, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE shut the fuck up.

The knife must be made of plastic, otherwise the terrorists win.  What was the fucking executive debate that took place in which these fuckwits decided that forks and spoons were OK if they were made of metal, but the knife – the fucking, fearsome, murderous knife!! – had to be made of plastic?  Now that the knife is made of plastic, I feel so much safer.  Because there’s just no way the metal fork can do any damage to me whatsoever.  Nope, not at all.  I’m impervious to metal forks.  I think the most aggravating thing is the fact that some shithead got paid a decent chunk of money to make that decision.  Whomever that person is, I want to shake his/her hand for landing such a gig.  Then I want to stab the shithead in the groin with a plastic knife.

Water is the most valuable commodity between the x-ray machine and your gate.  Before the x-ray machine, it’s security poison.  It must be disposed off, destroyed, every last drop wiped from existence.  “Holy fuck, it’s WATER!!!”  Then you pass through those magic x-ray gates, walk 10 feet, there are bottles and bottles and bottles of water.  For 5 bucks an ounce or something.  “Bottle of water, please.”  “That’s $8.12, thank you.”  Suddenly, it’s no longer poison.  It’s no longer the vilest substance on earth.  Between the gates, this water is magically becomes more precious than oil.  I once traded a bottle of Evian for a slightly used iPad.

Departure times are merely flimsy suggestions that the airlines use to fill up the lists on the LCD screens at the airport.  They’re meaningless.  They’re just random numbers typed in by some bored monkey in the basement that’s probably being fed the same $15 shitdog you paid for in the food court near your gate.  So far, this year, I’ve probably taken about 50 flights – of the lot, I think approximately 3 have left sometime in the vicinitiy of “on time”.  Everything else has had a minimum – minimum! – 1 hour delay.  On one flight, I was looking at the departure screen like the retard that I am, and watched the departure time for my flight change 3 times in 20 seconds.  These fucking assholes have no idea when your flight leaves. They just throw a time out there, hope some people show up, and when they see that everyone’s just on the verge of becoming violent, they hurry you onto the plane.  And then you sit there and wait.  And wait some more.  Fuck you, airlines, fuck you so much.

My wardrobe is now dictated by the airport.  It’s fucking ridiculous, but I realized this the other day while going through the security check in Boston.  I use my workbag because it has a velcro flap that allows me to retrieve my laptop easily.  It has a side pocket that’s just large enough for fitting my cash, wallet, and cell phone, which I have to remove before going through the metal detector.  I only wear Chelsea boots because they’re the easiest things to slip on and off when I go through security.  The other day, I ordered some new shirts, and they came with brass collar stays, which are a rather nice touch.  But my immediate thought was, “Fuck, I’ll bet these are going to set off the metal detector at the airport.”  What.  The fuck.