Saturday, May 12, 2007


Airport brain

The way I deal with the aggravations of airports these days is to zone out. By an act of quasi-meditative self-zombification I can dull the feelings of anger and indignation at the security screening point and take in stride the barking of contradictory orders from boneheaded TSA employees.

This "airport brain" that allows me to cope emotionally comes at a price. It makes me more stupid, and therefore increases the challenge of multitasking -- for example, removing my jacket, shoes and laptop and placing same into 2-3 cat litterboxes while simultaneously presenting my boarding pass, keeping moving at a brisk pace all the while.

On this last trip to New York, I discovered a pleasant upside to airport brain, however. You can self induce a sort of tipsy buzz that distorts your perception in amusing ways. The ubiquitous pre-recorded announcement
"Most luggage looks the same. Be sure to pick up only your own luggage from the luggage carrousel"
sounded to me like
"Most children look the same. Be sure to pick up only your own children..."
Also, I could have sworn that the airline employee making announcements at the gate used the word "pre-reminder." As in, "This is a pre-reminder to passengers on flight 276 to Newark. All carry-on luggage must be stowed in the overhead compartments or under your seat..."

I probably didn't hear that word, but I love it. It's even better than "have your boarding pass out and available." It is so... so airport.

"Airport brain" is not just me. It's an entire dumbed-down subculture.

"quasi-meditative self-zombification" is my new favorite phrase, and possibly my new favorite pastime.
Yeah, I think I had "quasi-meditative self-zombification" as my word verifiction a few weeks ago.

"Most children look the same. Be sure to pick up only your own children..."

Well, all children are beautiful, as they say. Maybe "they" just looked at one child to draw that conclusion?
I used to check on your daily then, after a while, your postings, whimpered off to long stretches of days between times, which cause me to fall out of the habit of checking on you often.
Today I checked and see that you are in full swing again. Your postings are excellent.
Keep up the good work!
Eddie Hunter
Is it better, or worse to know to be aware of the 'airport brain', I wonder? Depends on the better, I suppose; to go for easier, or more 'moral'/ intelligable?
Nice blog name, btw.
and here I was thinking the Airport Brain was the bodiless cranium in a tank, running the air traffic control system. Or was that an Anne McCaffery novel I read a while back?
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