Sunday, August 20, 2000

Personal Space



Greetings from sunny Santa Barbara, California, where I am until Thursday for a conference. Despite United's recent woes, today wasn't all that bad in terms of what the airline provided. They didn't cancel either of my flights! OK, sure, they delayed the second one without telling us what's going on. (Uh, there are people getting off our plane which is supposed to leave in 10 minutes, and it's going to be on time? Right.) But only 30-45 minutes, and I wasn't in a hurry.

The main annoyances today came, not surprisingly, from my fellow passengers. On the leg from BWI to Denver, I was seated next to a large (not fat, just up-sized) gentleman, who for some reason chose the middle seat while letting his wife have the window. Awfully gallant, fellow, but have a little consideration for the fact that you're spilling into a large portion of my seat. I eventually stuck my newspaper between myself and the armrest just so he'd stop bumping me. It cut the size of the seat down even more, but it seemed worth it.

But the worst part was the kids sitting behind me. Kicking the seat, banging on the trays, even once in a while reaching around to grab me. I heard the parents talking to them, and there seemed to be only token efforts at control. Look, I accept that in this country you can name your kids whatever you want, but if you name them "Madison" and "Sidney," they're probably going to turn out like that. Sigh.

The next leg was the opposite: two seats to stretch out in. Luxury.

Footnote about BWI. I watched Goldfinger last night. They referred to it as "Friendship" airport. A much better name; pity they changed it. I'm sure at the time, "BWI" seemed more modern. But now, "Friendship" seems nice and retro, and retro is, of course, now modern.
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