I endlessly amuse myself. While waiting in the security line at John Wayne Airport on Wednesday I came upon this sign. I have seen it before at other airports, but that day it struck me a tad different. While I understand the reason for the sign – I mentally mused that a pat-down might get some folks’ hearts (mechanical or otherwise) going a bit faster (I guess it would be partially dependent on the vigor with which the pat-down was conducted and perhaps the attractiveness of the patter-downer). Like I said, I endlessly amuse myself.
John Wayne Airport is a nice airport – only 14 gates, clean, mellow – a pleasant experience. The security process was easy and the TSA folks there were friendly, laid-back, nice folks. They are in Orange County, California…I imagine that has to improve one’s attitude.
Beyond security I encountered my next point of amusement in a woman who was jogging in place, texting and reading a magazine all at the same time. Even better than the woman’s activities was the fact that no one around her was giving her a second look or thought – welcome to Southern California…where nothing is out of the usual. If that gal was at Fargo’s Hector Airport she would definitely get a look or two (or ten).
My first flight on Wednesday out of John Wayne Airport was to take to me Salt Lake City and the flight was set to depart from Gate 14B. After an examination of the terminal I concluded that the gates inside the main terminal ended at 14. I was finding this confusing until I heard over the loudspeaker (as if someone had seen my confusion and felt obliged to clue me in):
If you are departing from Gate 14B today…go over the ramp…out the door…down the stairs…and to the right.
I was immediately reminded of the ditty…over the hills and through the hills to grandmother’s house we go. The excursion to Gate 14B wasn’t much different either. You literally left the terminal and went outside to an area that looked like it was for airport personnel only and walked for awhile in disbelief (all the while singing the tune in your head – go over the ramp…out the door…down the stairs…and to the right). I know that when I finally arrived at Gate 14B – which was a small gate area at ground level – I still had the confused look on my face. Shortly after my arrival, the singular Delta agent in charge (Beatrice) of Gate 14B warned those in the gate area that they should only go out the door they came in if they were to leave the gate area as should they use the other two doors in the gate area the sheriff’s office would respond and that would not be good.
I found Gate 14B very entertaining. For 45 minutes I watched one after another confused customer enter the terminal and they all – and I mean all – had that same look on their faces that I had when I entered Gate 14B – a look that clearly stated, "Are you kidding me?" I also watched a few folks mistakenly try and exit the forbidden doors and Beatrice’s frantic interference each time to save us all from the dreaded sheriff’s office visit. When it came time to board the plane it occurred to me that we were at ground level so there would be no ramp for boarding. So we had to do something I personally do not enjoy one bit – board the plane outside using those itsy-bitsy steep plane stairs on the darn plane door. I consider those little steps on the door instead of having a boarding ramp to be synonymous with camping instead of going to a hotel – and I don’t camp. Frankly, I considered the whole Gate 14B experience a tad ghetto (albeit amusing); but then again, what was there to complain about really? I had just spent an entire week in Southern California after all.
Not to be out-done, in Salt Lake City’s Airport my gate had something I have never seen at a gate in all my travels. Typically at the gates there are electronic signs that state the flight number, destination and departure time (often in addition to other information as well). Not at the gate for the Fargo flight – nope – not in Salt Lake City. Apparently, we Fargo folks don’t warrant such fancy stuff. Instead, someone had taken a small piece of white paper and handwritten the flight number, destination and departure time and taped it where the electronic sign should have been. When I saw it I immediately went up to it and snapped a photo with my phone (I am all about the photographic evidence). I imagine the other folks flying to Fargo thought me a tad nuts for taking a photo of the sign, but that didn’t deter me one bit. See it for yourself below and say it with me: G-H-E-T-T-O!
Like I said, I endlessly amuse myself – and airports, well they are filled with entertainment. In a handful of days I am headed to Philly for a mini-conference. No doubt, I will find many more things to amuse me on that trip. If you run across me at the airport and see me smiling for no apparent reason, you’ll know that I am the chick who endlessly amuses herself – and I hope in the moment you will be amused at how easily amused I am.
Day three hundred and eighty-nine of the new forty -obla di obla da