This was my first full week at home in a while. In the last month or so, I’ve spent 15 days in airports, some 20 airports in all, counting connections. You might say I’ve been going at terminal velocity.
Or you might say I’ve been on an extended hub crawl. (Okay, I stole that pun from a recent issue of the US Airways in-flight magazine; being that they graciously plugged my blog last year, I owe them attribution.)
This last wave didn’t yield epic tales, as previous trips almost always have. Thankfully, this time I’m left with just a few bits of footage, which remain stored in my mental DVR:
- There was a medical emergency mid-flight. The crew called for a doctor to tend to an ailing passenger. The woman beside me—who had noticed the clinical trial data I was reviewing in preparation for moderating a medical program—tried to volunteer me. “Aren’t you a doctor? Can’t you do something?” I wanted to tell her that if a doctor emerged, I’d be happy to introduce him, but that’s all I was qualified to do. Instead, I said nothing.
- Before an early flight, I watched as a woman poured Starbucks coffee into a child’s sippy cup. I was horrified, but didn’t say anything.
- One morning I stopped for breakfast at an airport restaurant called Real Food. I ordered a pancake and bacon. When I went to cut into the pancake with a knife and fork, it was so hard that it snapped my fork in two. I couldn’t even get my teeth through the bacon. I was tempted to accuse the manager of serving Pretend Food but instead I threw my breakfast Frisbee in the trash without saying a word.
- At what I assume was a pet-friendly hotel, I watched a dog drop his business in a carpeted corridor and walk away nonchalantly with its owner. Not a peep out of me.
No, I’m just a frequent flyer who sits quietly in the gate area listening to the Bluetoothed blowhard (there’s one at every gate) loudly putting together the big corporate deal. And I shake my head at the Smartphone Sallies who fight over the last available outlet, scrounging for electricity as if it were crack cocaine.
My personal addiction? Airport jewelry kiosks. This credit card bill’s going to be a doozy. I already know these impulse buys are irresponsible, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t say anything.