Traveler Part 4

I may be wrong. I have been before. There was that one time in 1970… Maybe we will talk about that some other time.

Do you reckon there are more homeless adults in the United States than there is cell phone-less adults? I have seen some of our presumed “homeless” using cell phones. Of course it could be similar to the lady wearing her tin foil hat and talking to her grocery cart. Frankly, I believe it is only a matter of time before humans quit having person to person conversations without assistance from an electronic gizmo middle man. At least the grocery cart lady, unless she had a friend tied up in one of those Hefty two-ply trash bags, talked directly to her grocery cart. I am sure that is because there are no Bluetooth enabled grocery carts or smart phones that also double as grocery carts – yet. However, hands free Bluetooth enabled grocery carts may make it easier to navigate grocery aisles.

Let’s see, we were traveling. Right, I remember now. Sitting at the gate and waiting for a boarding announcement, except for a woman pecking away on her laptop, practically every person present was either yakking away on a cell phone or performing smart phone tricks. The gentleman sitting right beside of me was making call after call, each of which he initiated by speaker phone. I had to listen to the ring on the other end and sometimes the voice mail prompt. As annoying at this guy was, I would have preferred that he talk to my voice mail too. I do not know how we survived all of those years before cell phones. We were clearly out of touch. Now, everyone has one and apparently the need to talk on it or text on it incessantly.

A young woman sitting behind me, in her early 20’s if I had to guess, was having a jubilant conversation with someone clearly of equal exuberance. We were being forced fed CNN and there was a spot announcing that President Obama was running again in 2012. This shocking revelation was the source of her glee. She proclaimed to whoever it was with whom she was conversing that there was no one out there that could possibly defeat him. She wished aloud, for the benefit of all present I presume, that Trump would actually run because there was just no way he could ever win or that it be Palin because she was just like so stupid. Try to hear that in your minds ear spoken in valley girl dialect.

The nannies who want to regulate every aspect of our lives should investigate all of the people wandering around like zombies with their eyes not on their direction of travel, but firmly affixed to their smart phones.

Near boarding time, an announcement informed us that our flight was delayed. There was a ground stop at our destination because of severe weather. This is another annoyance of air travel. A delay anywhere down the line affects travel across the country. This announcement caused a surge in cell phone activity. We departed only one hour late and arrived in plenty of time to make our connecting flight.

When we arrived at one of our nation’s major airports, we were surprised to find that we were inside the TSA security and walked several concourses to arrive at our gate with not even a glimpse of security. Not a single one. In days past, before TSA, I have memories of armed airport security police and occasionally local police walking the air terminals like beat cops. Our only security screening before we boarded a 777 with enough fuel in it for a very long flight, was at a small regional airport.

TSA must look to change it methods, or at least keep potential killers guessing. As long as they are focused on my shoes or the size of the bottle of hand sanitizer I have, it tells me they are waiting for the killers to show them something different.

What if a half-dozen people in cohort all carried a 4 ounce bottle of liquid onto an airplane? And, how many components could they squirrel away in those smart phones? Just thinking out loud.

© 2011