Earlier in this business travel season I had the opportunity to spend 11 hours in the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport.
When I posted on Facebook the news of my prolonged delay, four out of five Friends recommend I head for the bar. My inner shopper begged for retail therapy. Instead, I went gate hopping. Every hour or two I got up and sat at a different gate.
I observed travelers and imagined their back stories. I spotted trends and differences. Surprisingly, there were more commonalities than differences among travelers at a given gate, from certain mannerisms to the ways in which adults related to their children. I wondered how these might be linked to their destinations.
I was seated at one gate when an arriving flight came in. I watched as passengers entered the airport. Each one was extraordinarily obese. Oddly, nearly all passengers wore thin, frayed tee shirts, yet they did not seem to know each other. One by one, each man who came off the plane sported an enormous, pendulous belly. It was surreal. And the women, also terribly overweight. I was ashamed of myself for noticing, yet I couldn’t look away. Each woman’s huge breasts dangled freely, inadequately supported by proper garments. It’s like the flight originated in a city without modern lingerie.
I desperately wanted to know where they had flown in from. It must have been somewhere warm, as it was still winter and no coats or jackets were worn. Was it a charter flight to a taping of The Biggest Loser? Was it a city on Men’s Health magazine’s list of 10 Fattest Cities? I thought about asking a passenger innocently, “From what city did this plane depart?” But then, I just couldn’t come up with an honest but polite response to, “[insert city], why do you ask?”