2017-03-17 / Commentary

Turning the World Upside Down

It’s not a criticism; It’s an observation
Mike Cox

We were waiting patiently for the plane to load after a refreshing weekend of culture appropriation, selfless charitable donations, and educational expansion in the Big Easy. Boarding was halted to organize the process; never a good sign.

All the Special People; those with children, balky hips and knees, and paid up priority passes had made the plane. The only stragglers left were the unwashed masses, zones two and three, of which we were included.

Several impatient zone three millennials had crowded around the gate entrance, making it difficult to properly assess how many twos remained in line. Delta employees strive to “Always make today better than yesterday,” but I quickly realized this would be a difficult flight.

We finally got on the plane, stuffed our carry on bags under the seat because the overheads were filled to capacity, and hoped everything would be fine. Except for one couple taking advantage of an empty seat so they wouldn’t have to spend more quality time together, which upset the crew’s paperwork, things went well until landing.

Anyone who has flown from anywhere in the south knows the Atlanta airport is as close to Hell as most of us will ever see. Gigantic in a sadistic sort of way, with lots of confusing signs, and people hired just to stand in harried travelers’ way.

I’m convinced the travel agents have a special app on their system that finds a way to make connecting flights as far away from each other as is possible. The modern equivalent of Murphy’s Law also applies: the further away the connecting gate is, the shorter the time between flights.

As the plane stopped and the seat belt sign disappeared, a blonde lady built like Larry Csonka began pushing through the crowd standing in the aisle, followed by another, older woman. A septuagenarian man followed behind them.

My partner, who dislikes any perceived traveling faux pas, asked them why they were rudely pushing through the crowd. The second lady said they had a connecting flight in 20 minutes. So do we, was my lil’ darlin’s reply.

The man gallantly offered Suzy the spot in front of him. She asked how he planned to bull through the entire plane and let him pass. But the damage had been done. Not sure of the scientific phenomenon, but we’re all aware of the tendency of people to break the law or custom after someone else initially does it.

One guy places a grocery cart in the grass near his car and immediately four more appear there even though everyone knows it is a despicable practice. Someone parks illegally at a crowded event and permission to be a jerk is granted.

In our plane’s case, the floodgates were opened. People immediately began to race past emptying seats and shoved little girls reaching for their overhead possessions out of the way. One guy even raced blindly into the crowd, leaving behind his wife, struggling to gain access to the plane’s aisle with a Hurry Cane. The trouble was initiated by some old people getting pushy, people who once practiced patience and civility above all other qualities.

The world is truly going crazy.

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