O’Hare Airport and Sanctification
“Ladies and Gentleman we’d like to welcome you to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The time locally is 8:22 am, Central Standard Time. Please remain in your seats with your seatbelts fastened until we have reached the gate and the captain has turned off the “fasten your seat-belt sign….”
Thar she blows. I thought it was crummy yesterday in Charlotte. What’s a lil rain/snow/sleet/wintery mix – this is not a ‘bread and milk’ event– when you can have snow? Blowing snow. Blowing, slushy, stick to your bones stuff that everyone who lives in the south thinks they want for Christmas. Here it is folks…enjoy.
It’s only fun in pictures. Pictures like ‘White Christmas,’ or ‘Holiday Inn,’ or best of all, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’; oh wait, that’s on a set in a Hollywood Studio lot.
My point exactly.
So I’ve just barely finished writing 105 pages, 28397 words, and I can’t wait to sit back down at my computer and WRITE! It’s an illness. It just seems every time I get on a plane I am inspired to record the gazillion strange thoughts that go through my head. I must be inspired by the extraordinary experience that accompanies spending time with fellow sheep as we gather together to fly through the wide blue yonder in a stock car. Okay, a stock car with carpet.
Yep, sheep. You caught the comparison. Sheep are dumb. Now, I consider myself one as well, so that gives me permission to rail (no pun intended– unless taken) on the obvious stupidity of those who maneuver the labyrinth called ‘airport.’
There are 6 types of travelers who walk the halls of a terminal; each deserves their own lane. I propose O’Hare consider the following lanes to accommodate these specific species of traveling sheep….
There’s the cell phone user. He or she is typically making a VERY IMPORTANT CALL (‘like…omagod….you shoulda seen what she had on!!!’) Businessmen are NOT immune to this behavior—have you ever listened (or should I say can you HELP but listen) when a suit is speaking into their blackberry? This traveling cell phone user is oblivious to those around him or her; they walk with their head down. They talk with their hands; they talk with their arms. They whack fellow passengers with their gesturing limbs. The cell phone user deserves their own lane.
Then there’s the kid/parent/businessperson/senior citizen text messaging. Closely related to the cell phone user, this passenger is actually just a bit more dangerous. They too are looking down as they walk, madly typing away important messages (‘like…omagod….you shoulda seen what she had on!!!’) on a 2” x 2.5” box while pulling at least one travel bag AND balancing a 5lb computer with a slippery leather strap on their shoulder. The text-messaging patrons NEED their own lane.
Next we have the, ‘we are not in a hurry and we need to walk together’ crowd; yes, crowd. These folks have time between flights, are traveling en masse, and insist on walking 5 across the aisle. Hopefully you aren’t late for your flight (or need to go to the restroom) when you encounter these sheep. Baaaahhhh. Make ‘um walk single file in a lane, I say.
There’s the traveling family. Since I completely understand the dynamics of air travel with children and how difficult it is to lasso them as soon as they learn how to walk, the only thing I have to say is; what kind of person invents Barbie and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles microfiber travel bags on wheels? Is it feasible to continue the ‘family lane’ throughout the entire airport? (make the inventor walk in it with them)
Let’s not forget the, ‘I’m going to stop dead in my tracks and turn around without notice’ traveler. Perhaps someone will invent ‘people signals.’ Hmmm. That thought may inspire a different blog.
Finally there’s the ‘darting passenger.’ Watch your toes with this one, boy. You can be merrily walking down the aisle at a moderate-to-quick pace and all of sudden…WHOOSH! They spot the bathroom. Or the flight status board. Or their gate. Kind of reminds me of the movie, ‘UP.’
Anyway, these people need to be steered.
So all of this goes through my head as I precariously traverse from gate B40 (yes, the LAST gate in the terminal) to baggage claim and I mention to Bob I have these ‘suggestions’ for United and he says, ‘then we wouldn’t have the opportunity for sanctification.’
I hate when he’s so smart.
Anyway, while ‘researching’ for this post I stumbled across a pdf online that gave specific transporting instructions for sheep. I can’t help but find irony in the similarities we travelers share. I include it for your entertainment…(make sure to note the last paragraph!)
“Of all the species of livestock, sheep are considered the most tolerant of transportation. Many of the requirements for transporting sheep are common sense but they are still very important to ensure good quality meat.
One of the first things to consider is the feed and water before and during the trip. Lambs should be kept off feed and water for at least 12 hours prior to trucking – except in hot conditions. Water should be available for longer trips.
Another major consideration is space requirements. Sheep should have enough space to be able to lie down. Most sheep do not begin to lay down until 5 – 10 hours into the trip. Therefore, the length of the trip should be known before loading sheep. Also, when loading sheep and inside the trucks, there should be non-slip flooring and proper ventilation. The effort needed by animals to keep their balance while the vehicle moves may be demanding in terms of energy requirements and increase the incidence of dark, firm, dry meat.
Weather is another factor when transporting animals. During hot weather, transport at night or early in the morning is recommended. This minimizes heat stress. Also shipment of wet animals in cold weather should be avoided. Finally, sick animals should not be transported with healthy animals.
Unfamiliar sheep should also not be transported together. This should prevent most behavioral stresses and injuries.”