By now, I am sure most of you know how much I love to travel. Sometimes with travel, especially by air, there are unavoidable delays – missed flights, mechanical issues, etc. I never dread sitting around at the airport, because nowhere, and I do mean nowhere, will you ever find more interesting entertainment.
If the new fall TV shows fail to hit their marks, just haul it over to your nearest airport where at every gate and in every security line is an opportunity to experience high drama and comedy.
I was once re-routed on a flight to Newark where for five hours I sat and watched people get their shoes shined. I am pretty sure if I had a video camera then, right now, I would have my own Oscar, or an Emmy at the very least.
Picture this scenario: People passing by the shoe-shine booth on their way through the airport. First, they see the booth, then they stop and look down at their shoes. A light goes off in their head. Those expressions were just priceless.
I then started to try to guess which passersby would stop and get a shine (Right there you’ve the premise for a game show!).
My favorites were the ones who couldn’t decide. They would just stand there and look at their shoes, check their boarding passes for their flight time and check their shoes again.
Then there is the airport fashion show. The Project Runway bizarre design assignments (like creating an entire outfit out of aluminum foil or recycling material) have nothing on some of the garb I’ve seen there. For every tastefully dressed traveler there are at least two dozen who appear to be wearing their sleepwear. And these are not toddlers.
One of my all-time favorite airport stories came from my sister, whose friend, Evelyn, had a daughter, Margaret, who was quite the free spirit. After spending her junior year abroad, she left her newly adopted country wearing native apparel and no shoes.
When her foreign flight connected with a U.S. airline, she was not allowed to board without shoes. This was not a problem for Margaret. She went to an airport restaurant, got two paper plates and two rubber bands and attached them to her feet and boarded the plane.
This is the same Margaret who flew home for the Christmas holidays from law school and arrived in Birmingham with no luggage, although she was wearing shoes. Evelyn could not understand how her daughter planned to spend her vacation in Birmingham with no luggage. When Margaret claimed her dog, Tofu, in baggage, the puzzle was solved. There sat Tofu in his carrier on Margaret’s wardrobe. And you were concerned how your children would turn out.