Friday, August 28, 2009

An Ode to Stupid

Today, boys and girls, we are going to talk about stupid. Specifically, the monumental stupid of the general public, as exhibited in airports.

I have many examples of stupid from which to choose:
  • The gentleman who steps off the escalator and then STOPS while a dozen people try not to kill themselves tripping over him.
  • The elderly woman who thinks the entire plane needs to enjoy her fragrance of choice. Or the guy next to me who failed to take a bath. Whole different kind of fragrance.
  • The obnoxious twit with a remarkable grasp of the obvious who gets out his cell phone the second the plane touches the ground and proceeds to inform everyone aboard that "WE JUST LANDED." Thanks for pointing that out, asshat. Now SHUT UP.
I could go on -- the list of stupid is long.

Today's lesson, however, concerns one particular example of stupid I witnessed yesterday while traveling from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Dayton, Ohio.

As you may have gathered when I forgot to post on Wednesday, I was out of town this week. (Speaking of stupid -- I got out of my normal routine, and? TOTALLY forgot I had a blog. Duh.) I returned yesterday evening after three long days away from my baby and my own bed. By the time I boarded the plane for the return journey, I just wanted to get home and get away from PEOPLE. They tend to make me crazy after a short while.

So the plane is supposed to leave Charlotte at 2:10 p.m. At the next gate is a plane that is leaving for Indianapolis at 2:05. So the geniuses at Delta decide to load both planes at the same time. Through the same door. You can see where this is going, can't you?

Twenty-eight people walk through the door, headed for the Dayton flight. Another 28 people walk through the same door, headed for the Indianapolis flight. We go down some stairs and then go our separate ways -- Dayton to the right, Indianapolis to the left.

When we get seated on our flight, the flight attendant announces that we are on Flight something-or-other, with service to Dayton. She then goes through her safety song and dance, and in the process of this little performance, she says FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES that we are going to Dayton.

She closes the door and we prepare to take off. At this opportune moment, a gentleman in the back of the plane suddenly realizes that he meant to go to Indianapolis. Are you KIDDING me?

The flight attendant opens the door and lets the guy off, even though his plane has already left the gate. He goes back into the terminal to locate another flight, we presume.

Those of us on the plane who MEANT to go to Dayton are left to discuss his stupidity. How exactly does one end up on the wrong flight? We are baffled.

Now everything is hunky-dory, and yet we still sit at the gate. It is hot, and we are now late. It is unclear why we are not moving, and the flight attendant does not offer to explain.

The pilot exits the cockpit and converses with the ground crew. The flight attendant counts the passengers. We're not sure what they're looking for, but they're obviously not finding it.

After about ten more minutes, the flight attendant announces that, in addition to the man on our flight who meant to go to Indianapolis, there is also a man on the Indianapolis flight who meant to go to Dayton. Seriously? WHO is this dumb? Turns out the Indianapolis flight has not yet taken off -- they are sitting on the runway, awaiting their turn for takeoff, but have been persuaded to return to the gate so that these two losers can get their heads out of their asses and get on the right damn plane.

I am flabbergasted. Not one but TWO jets loaded with people are being held up because of some idiots who cannot read? I ask the flight attendant if this is common -- are they often forced to delay an entire flight because of one stupid person? She assures me that this happens every day.

So we sit there til the Indy flight returns to the gate, and eventually this moron gets on the plane and takes his seat near me. Not once does he apologize for the mess he's caused. He doesn't even think it's his fault. He says the ground crew member at the foot of the stairs steered him in the wrong direction. That's funny -- the rest of us managed to get on the right plane with no problem. Possibly because WE COULD READ THE SIGNS that told us where our plane was located. Not to mention that the flight attendant on his flight probably knocked herself out making sure people knew which flight they were on. This is not rocket science, people.

Our flight attendant is, of course, too nice to tell this idiot what she really thinks, or what we've all been saying about him in his absence.

So we finally made it home, and I got to see my baby and sleep in my own bed. No thanks to the stupid that is rampant in our country. Particularly in airports.

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