‘Cos I’m A Travelin’ Man…

One of the things I do like to do is travel and I’ve been able to do my share of it in my life. From the military to radio to the world of poker, I’ve been able to set foot in almost every one of the contiguous U. S. states, much of the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico. I’ve yet to have the pleasure (or the nightmare?) of actually traveling in the United Kingdom or Europe and I would love to take a trip to Egypt to see the Pyramids. I’d also like to visit Australia, Japan and some of the other pearls of the Orient. With this said, there’s several things that bug the hell out of me whenever I take a trip.

If it is one of the simple driving variety, then the general things that irritate me beyond end when traversing around my home base become prevalent. For one, if you tailgate me, that’s not going to make me speed up at all. In fact, if it’s possible, I’ll probably slow down gradually as you sit behind me. Don’t get me wrong, I do not do this in the “fast lane” (of which there isn’t supposed to be, according to the law), but I’ll pull it out in a heartbeat if we’re in city traffic and I’m right on the limit. There’s no reason for people to get right on someone’s bumper unless they’re just a certifiable asshole or having trouble reading the bumper sticker.

Secondly, if you’re on the phone and not paying any attention to what’s going on around you, the horn is going to sound until you wonder “why is that horn beeping?” It seems more often than not these are the imbeciles that cause most of the problems on the highways because they miss when the light turns green, are trying to fumble with a text to whichever meaningless person is requesting them to speak (let’s be honest, is a fucking text worth your life? I seriously doubt it) or are trying to find someone to call on their cellphone. If it’s that important, pull the fuck over and take care of business, ESPECIALLY if you’re texting.

Finally, can you try to put a car together that looks like it might actually be one model and not a composite from several different cars? I’ve driven my share of crappy rides (including one orange Dodge that was a former cab, but we won’t go any further than that), but folks that have put vehicles together with baling wire and sawdust, while honorable in their ingenuity, need to have said vehicle taken off the road. This surprisingly seems more prevalent in states that have inspections – which you would think would catch such things as this – but it’s not true.

There are other things that perturb me about driving but, if the trip involves an airplane, then the list gets even longer.

Getting on an airplane asks something that is seemingly impossible for its passengers to comprehend: can we all get on a long metal tube as quickly as possible and without major drama? This step from the start is fraught with difficulty as the airlines haven’t quite figured out how to do this yet themselves. On the television show Mythbusters, they determined that the best way to handle the boarding process was to have the passengers sit wherever they pleased as the passengers immediately plopped down in the first available seat rather than one designated by choice (buying a particular seat) or by choice and randomization (the Zone process). I’d love to see airlines try this at least to see if it would work in the “real world.”

Then there’s the process of actually putting your ass in the seat rather than standing in the middle of the aisle holding up traffic. I’ve actually been trying to make it to my seat and had people coming back TO THE FRONT OF THE PLANE while people are boarding. If you didn’t take a piss prior to boarding or find a place for your bag around your seat, you should sit down in the back of the plane after you complete your business and wait until the traffic settles.

Secondly, let’s talk about those carry-ons. A carry-on bag is like a computer bag, book bag, maybe even a duffel bag with soft sides that has a nice convenient handle to carry it on the plane. This doesn’t cover anything with wheels and certainly doesn’t cover the steamer trunk that came over with the Titanic that you’re trying to ram in the overhead. I’d personally love to see the airlines start to take this one seriously but, for some reason, I’m not holding my breath.

Finally, when it comes to disembarking the plane, the entire cabin doesn’t need to fucking stand up immediately when the plane hits the gate. If you’re in the back of the plane, it’s going to be a good 10-15 minutes before there’s even anyone moving forward around you. Even if you’re within the first ten rows of the door, you’re STILL not going anywhere for about five minutes or so. Park your ass in the seat and wait until you see a glimmer of sunlight (or artificial light) making its way through the crowd leaving the plane or entering the cabin.

Although I may grouse, I still love to travel, especially with my beautiful wife (who actually has a couple notches on her belt, Japan and Germany, that I lack) and our son, who brings another world of wonder to traveling. If we could only make it a bit less hectic…

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