Friday, August 15, 2008

The Island of Atlanta...

So there I was sitting in the Atlanta Airport waiting for weather to clear so I could get to Dallas for a three-day business meeting. My plane was delayed for 4 hours and according to Delta it would be 2 more.

I'm a people-watcher so I don't mind delays and layovers. I actually quite enjoy myself as long as I get to watch the human animal in action - especially when it's unaware that it's being observed. Besides the nose-picking, wedgie-fixing, crotch-scratching members of the herd there are those that are truly worthy of being studied...

I like to play a game. I imagine I'm stranded on an island with 5 people in my immediate vicinity. Which 5? There's the exhausted mother with heathen children who won't obey for shit, torturing everyone around them while dad is wondering if the trip was worth it. The businessman who has been slowly growing out of his suit over the last three years and is traveling because he's been convinced that making his boss rich is in his best interest. The two teenage girls popping gum sitting 10 seats away from mom and dad trying to convince everyone they're traveling alone but fooling no one with the matching Mickey Mouse shirts mom and dad are wearing too. The late-20 something hottie with the nice body and no ring, flipping robotically through the latest issue of Cosmo, rolling her eyes every time the heathen brood trip over her bag and feet.

Then, there are the "in need of assistance". They include the elderly, the infirmed, the wheelchair-bound, the not wheelchair-bound but whose fat asses are shoehorned into one anyway, and the mothers with infants who breast feed with such reckless abandon you get nervous they might offer you some. None of these assistance-needers get to be on my island.

Right next to the jetway entrance is the jackass who honestly believes if he gets on the plane first he'll get there quicker even though he's in Zone 9 and won't board until after the rest of us. He's the human equivalent of a drain clog and needs to be removed to ensure a tidy flush onto the plane for the rest of us. There's the open-mouthed arrival/departure screen-gazer who stands in the middle of the concourse staring dopily upward right in the path of a golf cart carrying a gaggle of assistance-needers beeping like a dump truck backing into a quarry.

Off in the corner are two attendants, two pilots, and an undercover air marshal. Do these guys fool anybody? They really shouldn't hang with the brass. Know what I mean? Finally, there's the overweight couple that both pull Subway Subs out of their carry-ons... and you wonder... 'cause there is no Subway in the Atlanta Airport.

So which 5? What 5 would you choose if you could? Unless Cosmo-Cutie was interested, I'd probably wade 500 meters off the island and decide to forget how to swim anyway so it matters very little, right?

But play along. I have my 5, you?

With a half hour to go in Atlanta I give up the fantasy and forget my island. Besides, I was stranded with them – all of them – on the island of Atlanta. I began wondering which of them (if any) would pick me... I stood up, fixed my wedgie and started toward the jetway to observe the human clog from a better vantage...


  1. I have to say this is my favorite. It is so true. And I will definitely have to try that game next time I'm in any airport (especially Atlanta). Good stuff...KEEP GOING!!!

  2. I was just in Atlanta the other day. Saldy, I wasn't there long enough to play your little game. Perhaps I'll have a chance next week when I fly back to Dallas?

  3. OK, I'm sitting in Atlanta Airport, Concourse D, right now.

    I can only count two, m-a-y-b-e three, people in my immediate vicinity that I would be willing to be stranded on Atlanta Island with. Of course, my girlfriend would immediately assume they're ALL female...and I'm sorry to say, she's right. ;)

  4. As you know, I can totally relate to this post. I'm glad I'm not the only people watcher left in the world.

  5. Great post! And an interesting way to pass the time!