For your people watching tendencies, inspired from a conversation over dinner surrounded by magnolia trees, great food and southern hospitality in a venue with an atmosphere that topped my long standing favorites in Chicago and Philly, a list of observations from a life of gate to gate and tarmac.
Please note, no airport guests were harmed during the creation of this post or #2, and not once did I disrupt anyone in #8.
1. Patterns: Watch as people file into the gate area to find a seat, every other seat will be filled. Is there something wrong with sitting next to a stranger? You can also observe this during boarding on airlines with open seating policies. The plane will fill, front to back window and aisle seats first with the middle left open.
2. Armrest Game: Some planes have movable arm rests. If you are the first to sit down in your row, put all of the arm rests up. Observe the behavior of passengers as they fill your row. My results may differ from yours, but generally 90% put the arm rest down without saying a word. Another 6% ask if they can put the armrest down, leaving 4% that leave the armrest up. Only once did I put it down myself after 10 minutes of flight, the passenger next to me put it back up after asking. I could not tell you how many times I have done this experiment, but it's probably at least twice a month over the last 2 years. This is my side, that's your side.
3. Triple Black: You can always find one gentleman dressed in this most sought after color combination in convertible sport cars. Black slacks, black shirt, black coat; you get bonus points if he is also sporting black shoes and a black hat!
4. Running Late: It is inevitable that with enough travel, you will be late which leads to sprints through the terminal slalom course. What is interesting is when the dash comes straight out of the security gates and leads to #5.
5. Balancing Acts: Belt, shoes (one on, one off), laptop, phone, jacket, roller bag, ticket, coffee, child, pillow, hat, guitar, and the list goes on. I have news for anyone attempting the balancing act. Gravity is real!
6. Fashion: Need to know what's in style? Need to know what went out of style? Need to know what's about to come back in style? On a busy day, you should have enough subjects to get a pretty good idea.
7. Bobbing: Sit in the back of the plane and watch as everyone's head bops up and down, side to side in unison through turbulence, always makes me smile.
8. Sleepers: It has always amazed me the strange and sometimes awkward positions you can find people in while they are sawing logs waiting for a presumably delayed or canceled flight. I have yet had the need to sleep in an airport, knock on wood.
9. Pluggers: Cell phone balanced between ear and shoulder still talking to someone on the other end as the battery is nearing dead, charger cord dragging on the floor, luggage in tow, dodging in and out of corridors, around poles, up and down the walls in search of power receptacles; reminds me of squirrels searching for where they buried their stash of nuts.
Because seeing them reminds me of what they do to protect our country, and to ensure we continue to have the freedom to spend time at the airport, and to get on a plane safely, and because every once in awhile, you get so see their loved ones running up to them for a hug as they return home after a tour.
- My Light by Sully Erna
- Old School by Chuck Wicks
- Purple Sky by Kid Rock
" I just wanna drink 'til I'm not thirsty
I just wanna sleep 'til I'm not tired
I just wanna drive 'til I run out of highway "