Things Overheard at the Airport

For reasons I choose not to go into, we were not able to board our 8:10am flight to Vancouver this morning, and instead were re-booked on the 2:35pm flight. We should still make it to B.C. in time for me to shop for a stick before the first game of my hockey tournament, so that part's not so bad. The bad part is that I got up at 4:50am after 5 hours of sleep, and I am now royally cranky. I am desperately trying not to think of missed sightseeing, shopping, and eating opportunities, and to be as enthusiastic as Al is when he says, "we can have lunch at Max's!" Unfortunately, while I certainly agree that Max's makes good sandwiches, and it's nice that they make them available here in the airport "restaurants" (along with even-more-bitter-than-usual cups of Peet's coffee), I don't find the prospect of getting a sandwich for lunch very cheering.

I was hoping that by sitting at the airport waiting for our flight rather than going home to wait we'd be able to pretend that our mini-vacation had already started, but I see now how incredibly dumb an idea that was. I just found the notion of sitting at home depressing, and going out shopping for jeans or bras or books or magazines (all of which are on my list of current necessities) or otherwise killing time productively around the Peninsula wasn't possible, given that almost nothing except Starbucks and Rolling Pin Donuts (both of which we visited in an attempt to cheer ourselves) was open at 7:30am. So we came back here and checked in my hockey bag and stick at around 8:30, and we've been looking in the airport bookstore, napping on the uncomfortable (but thankfully devoid of armrests) rows of seats at the Alaska Airlines gates, and grumpily muttering "shut UP!" under our breath at the scads of people who insist on having personal conversations at top volume. (OK, I admit, it's only me doing the muttering; Al is merely rolling his eyes occasionally.) Things overheard so far:

From the row behind me, one side of a cell conversation: "Yes, hi, this is Dr. ______, returning your call. I just wanted to get a little background before we go any further. What is your current mood now? [pause for response] Have you ever been suicidal before? [pfr] Are you currently suicidal? [pfr] Have you ever been hospitalized? [pfr] And the current medications you're on were prescribed by your primary care physician? [pfr] Right, and now you're looking to see a psychiatrist?" All this and more, including scheduling of the appointment and a detailed explanation of the cancellation policy, delivered in that gentle, almost sing-song doctor voice that is designed to put you at ease while at the same time conveying supreme authority and competence.

While sleeping on a row of Alaska Airlines waiting area seats: "WELL, *THIS* ISN'T SO BAD!" Am I wrong to think this woman's comment was sarcastic, and designed to wake me up (which it did)?

While attempting to regain the level of blissful sleep so rudely interrupted by the woman above: Guy: "...middle and an aisle." Girl: [whines] Guy: "Well, I'm in A, so maybe you're in A too. Though maybe not.... I hate Wells Fargo! They always screw me." I couldn't figure out why this guy was blaming Wells Fargo for a shitty seat assignment, but I see now that I am sitting across from a Wells Fargo ATM machine. It's possible that they were having this discussion while extracting money from it.

From four seats down at Gate 22, one side of a cell conversation (the side with the incredibly loud Boston accent): "I think it's down to the Off-White and the Wheatberry. Picture a long room," and here he gestured with both arms out in front of him, so that he had to shout even louder into the phone that was now about 2 feet from his mouth, "that's like 20-25' with cathedral ceilings. See, I think you should use the Off-White on the walls and the Wheatberry on the flat part of the ceilings, because then the cohntrast isn't too much..." Amazingly, the volume of the conversation increased as he warmed to the subject of the slight yellowish tint of the Wheatberry... until an older gentleman from Gate 21 came over to ask him to lower his voice. Though he looked like a guy who would argue, he acceeded to the request. Sometimes people surprise me.

Posted by Lori in random at 12:32 PM on May 23, 2003

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