I still owe a post about the kerfuffle. That one was going to take some thought and time to prepare and I wanted things to cool off a bit so that when I posted, I'd only be an asshole...not a complete asshole. I may have let things cool off too much because I'm no longer sure I want to resurrect the kerfuffle. We'll see. Note: I'm easily influenced, so if you were dying to know more about the kerfuffle, goading me might prove highly effective.
I have lots of pictures from Florida. People and places. Truthfully, I really need to go through them all and see which ones are good, which ones suck and which ones can be salvaged with a little bit of tweaking. There are quite a few shots that have beautifully exposed backgrounds and the people they're supposed to be pictures of are just dark silhouetted blobs. Heh. I suck.
Remember how not even a week ago, I told you all how silly it is to bitch about air travel? How it's still such a miracle you should just get over yourselves and deal with the inconvenient parts? Well I'm back and I'm bitching. Here goes.
I knew every flight I would be on was fully booked. Out of four legs, there were a grand total of 6 empty seats on all flights combined. I rarely try to take a large carry-on, but I always check my bag if I know the flight will be crowded. So, I paid $17.00 to check a bag and I only carried on my small backpack with my laptop and a book and a few other things I wanted to have with me.
When you get on the plane, they're announcing that the overhead bins should be for large carry-ons and anything small should go under the seat in front of you. Well, I wasn't having any of that. Hey, I'm the polite one who didn't try to bring my entire house with me; I deserve what little leg room my seat offers. So my little bag went in the overhead...yay me! Then, they start running out of room in the overheads and they start announcing that if your massive steamer trunk won't fit, the flight attendants will check it for you...and you won't be charged for checked baggage! Had I only known you get rewarded for being a dick! I want my $17.00 back.
Then I get to Charlotte where I have a lengthy layover. So, I go looking for where the hell I'm allowed to have a cigarette. Charlotte has what they call a Courtesy Smoking Area. Courtesy, my ass. It's certainly not courteous to me! I had to walk the length of the concourse where my flight came in and go all the way out to where people are being dropped off for departing flights. Not only that, the Courtesy Smoking Area is as far at the end of the drop-off area as you can get without walking out onto the highway.
Now, I know most of you have little or no sympathy for us poor smokers who can't last a couple of hours without having another cigarette, but if you only have your own self-interest in mind, consider this...every smoker who has to hike to Siberia for a cigarette has to leave the secured area of the airport. Then we have to go through security again to get to our connecting flight. Aren't the security lines long and slow enough already? Does it really make your flying experience more efficient to make a bunch of people go through security more than once?
If I had my way, every airport would be required to have smoking areas on both sides of the security kiosks. And I'm not talking about the poorly ventilated phone booth Atlanta used to stuff us all into either. (I haven't flown through Atlanta in a few years, so I don't know what's there now.) In a perfect world for all concerned, it could be some sort of outdoor deck or balcony that would still keep us smokers from running around willy-nilly on the runways. I mean, c'mon...how much of a security risk would that be? I'm hopeful that security is effective enough to garauntee that none of us smoking paraiahs managed to sneak any shoulder fired SAM's onto the first leg of our trip.
Then, returning to NY, I remembered that US Air serves diddly on their flights, so I went and bought a snack to bring on the plane. I completely forgot that if you want to bring a soda onto the plane, you have to buy it after you've cleared security. (It wouldn't have helped if I had remembered because the places to buy one on the concourse were all closed anyway.) So I go walking up to the security desk and show my boarding pass and driver's license and I see the massive tub full of illicit soda bottles and I said something like, "Oh crap. I have to toss out this little 12 oz. bottle of coke I just paid $3.00 for just two minutes ago, don't I?" And the TSA lady looked at me sympathetically and said, "If you haven't opened it yet, they'll probably let you return it", which was probably about as helpful of a suggestion as she had available, but I wasn't about to leave the line and start all over again so I just added my soda to the pile. As I was doing so, the woman behind me said, in her best annoying First-Grade-Teacher tone, "Well rules are rules and the rules are for everybody, aren't they." I punched her in the throat and left her with a crushed windpipe. (OK, not really, but a guy can dream.)