Thanks, Hyena-Boy

I don't know how anyone can say airports are boring. Nineteenth-century rural Episcopalian church services? Boring. Airports? Not boring. I hung out at JFK for quite awhile yesterday, because that's what all the cool kids do these days. Hang out at the airport. Like in the 90s they'd hang out at the mall, but today we hang out at the airport. It's so awesome. Seriously. Awesome.

But then Airline X announced they'd overbooked my flight to London and wondered if anyone wanted to give up their seats in exchange for airline credit. I asked if, instead of airline credit, they could just have Aerosmith come play at my 31st birthday bash, which will consist of me sleeping until 2 p.m. and then eating vanilla yogurt until 7:00 p.m., at which point I'll check my email. Then maybe I thought Aerosmith could play a set in my backyard. Just for me and my kids. And it would be great if they didn't get mad when I sing along to the part in "Dream On" where Steven Tyler starts singing really high. I don't think Shannon likes Aerosmith, so maybe Airline X could also have Yanni come and be the opening act? Shannon knows the words to all the Yanni songs.

Airline X balked at my suggestion, so instead I got some food vouchers, a free room at a hotel, and a business class seat to London today.

I'm not going to lie -- the hotel was a little iffy. But, really, when something's free, can you justifiably complain about it? Like you don't see people on The Price Is Right, when the little door thingies slide open and Bob Barker says, "... a new car!!!" you don't see those contestants kind of groan and slump their shoulders and say, "Oh, man, I hate white cars. Do you have any champagne-colored ones back there?" No one does that. Or, if they do, the TV station edits it out or something.

So I didn't complain about the iffy hotel with the room that was like 46 inches from the freeway. And I didn't complain that my breakfast voucher was sufficient to pay for only 25% of my breakfast. Like the voucher would've covered it if I had just trimmed my fingernails onto the table and bought some ketchup in which to dip the clippings before I ate them. That would've been under 6 bucks. Maybe.

I didn't complain for two reasons. One, I already mentioned -- it was free. Two, things weren't as bad for me as they were for the guy who I think was about to kill an Airlinee X employee last night. This story bears repeating.

So I'm at the counter after having given up my seat. I'm waiting for them to throw some Franklins at me or whatever. And there are a lot of other people at various stages of distress hanging around the counter. The employee behind the counter asks this one guy, he says "Do you want to give up your seat in exchange for money?" The guy responds, "Absolutely not. I need to get to London by tomorrow morning." So the employee proceeds to silently and inexplicably give the guy's seat away. I don't know if the employee just wasn't paying attention or was preoccupied with other stuff, or just hated guys wearing loafers or what, but he did the precise thing the customer had said not to do. Of course, nobody realized it at the time because the employee had said nothing.

Twenty minutes later the guy's like, "Are you going to give me back my boarding pass so I can board?" And the employee's like, "No, you gave up your seat." And the rest of us standing around the counter kind of backed up a step, because we've all watched the Discovery Channel enough to know that when a wild animal gets mad it's liable to do crazy things like eat its own children or, I don't know, chase its tail in circles so quickly and so many times that it suddenly explodes into a shower of quarks and neutrinos. And this guy had a look on his face like a scrawny lion -- or perhaps a well-fed hyena -- so we all backed up because heads were gonna roll, and no one wanted it to be theirs. Except for the one guy who I think was from Eastern Europe and had a noticeably large head -- he probably wouldn't have minded if his head had rolled, because I bet he secretly wants a new, smaller one.

Anyhow, I suppose the end of the story is somewhat anti-climactic. There was a lot of loud swearing, but I didn't see any quarks, and Euro-Head left with his neck still groaning under the weight of the asteroid it was doomed to support for at least another day. And Hyena-Boy made it onto the flight. So, yeah, I didn't complain about the iffy hotel. Hyena-Boy put it all into perspective for me.