Archive - November, 2011

Grab Your Bags, It’s On.


We are entering the busiest stretch of the entire year; the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas where an epic amount of activity will be attempted by over-stressed humans on behalf of… someone else.

Thanksgiving is over.

The Christmas season is starting to feel real now isn’t it?  Pretty soon you’ll be traveling to visit family. Those of you with long distances to travel will of course be flying.  I recently flew Southwest Airlines for the first time because I heard that bags fly free.

What is it about flying Southwest Airlines that turns people into complete animals?

I’m pretty sure that it’s that open seating policy.  Having just flown, I would suggest to you that that’s not a policy- it’s a guarantee.  A guarantee that you are going to get pushed and shoved all of the way down an aisle as you look for a seat.

It all starts with the anxiety laden line-up by those odd metal poles. Everybody there is waiting for their chance to break from the gate like greyhounds after a mechanical rabbit.

Sometimes you can get into a really bad situation while boarding a Southwest flight.  This happens when they board from the front AND the back door of the plane at the same time.  Now the people sprinting onto the tarmac have a choice between two flights of stairs that they’ll run up.

I wasn’t aware that I would needed to stretch before the boarding process began.

Once you choose a door and get inside the plane you are now running at full speed towards a wall of people while the guy behind you is yelling and shoving you to move faster. It’s like a scene from Braveheart, but nobody told you to bring a broadsword instead of a boarding pass.

I guess I should expect this from an airline whose slogan is “Grab your bag, it’s on!”

The prize that everyone is racing for is an aisle seat.  The aisle seat is that coveted spot on the plane where you get some extra space, on one side of you, to get away from the sweaty, filthy, disgusting animal that just shoved you down the aisle, and will now plop down next to you.  You know, the guy who, even though bags fly free, decided to check nothing.

The ironic twist is that you fought and pushed and struggled to get comfortable space to put your arm and leg into, only to have them both ripped of by a flight attendant traveling 60 mph down the aisle with a beverage cart.

It could be worse; you could be that poor sap who has to sit in the middle seat because his wife chose a window seat!  That guy had his whole pick of seats all over the plane, but now he gets to sit right next to a person in what could have been “his” aisle seat. (more…)

Gotta Get Down On Friday, Friday…

This weekend people will lose their minds, then behave poorly, over the opportunity to purchase inexpensively priced electronics, clothing, jewelry, and toys. As a result, you’re probably expecting to hear a pastor or a church leader say something abrasive about a “consumer mindset” or human greed.

I’m not going to.

It’s not that people aren’t selfishly motivated to try to purchase their own satisfaction or that their ugly displays of entitlement don’t rankle my middle class sensibilities.

They really do.

I haven’t participated in the Black Friday feeding frenzy for nearly 9 years, but it isn’t because I’m taking a stand against something, or trying to make a point. I just don’t buy people televisions sets, digital cameras, or video game systems for Christmas.

I don’t have that kind of money to spend…

Which is interesting because if you look at the numbers in regards to consumer debt and bank card financing, neither do most of the other people who hit the stores early on Thanksgiving weekend in search of great deals.

While they may not have the money, they are willing to risk their future by buying on credit because Christmas is coming.

Christmas is the reason that they blow their budget. Christmas is the reason that they won’t be able to send their kid to college. Christmas is the resason that they decide to show their love for someone by purchasing them a… wait for it… Blu-Ray player or cell phone.


A Pain In The Butt

Sometimes you read something so bizarre that you have to stop and wonder whether you are awake or having a having a ridiculously embellished lucid dream. You know what I’m talking about right? The dreams where the specificity of detail is so unsettling that you don’t forget them for years.

One time I so vividly dreamed that the closet door of my 4th-grade classroom actually led to my great-grandmother’s attic that I not only announced it to everyone when I woke up, but went to school fully expecting to access her place in Pennsylvania from a door in California.

You can understand the shock when, upon opening the closet, I discovered that the closet contained a partially assembled “Visible Woman” and a dilapidated, “wheel-around” medical skeleton.

I was disturbed, but didn’t flinch or scream because my great-grandma’s attic was much more frightening.

If you’ve never had the type of experience I’m talking about, try reading this portion of an Associated Press article I stumbled upon… and by “stumbled upon” I mean “eagerly clicked on when it popped up on the Yahoo sidebar”:

“Several possible victims have come forward alleging a woman posing as a Florida doctor and promising buttocks enhancement pumped their behinds with a toxic concoction of cement, superglue and flat-tire sealant”

It gets worse…


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