I spent the day traveling yesterday.

After a loud night in a Ramada with noisy college kids, it meant shuttles, going through security, waiting at gates, loading on to an airplane, waiting to get off after taxing, getting the rental car shuttle and then dealing with the rental car people.

I hate people.

Wearing headphones (often playing my white noise tracks) wasn’t enough. I bought a headphone amplifier because I anticipated my hate for people and the desire to drown them out even more than the normal iPod’s capacity.

It didn’t work.

“Hell is other people.” I’m not smart enough to know which cool philosopher said that. He or she was right.

I hate people who snap gum. I hate people who slurp. I hate people who walk around with their mouth open. I hate people who have no awareness of anyone else and bump into you, cut you off or fail to tell you where Row A is at the rental car place and let you go the wrong way. I hate people who tell you to pull the rental care into a spot so narrow that Tony Stewart would balk.

I don’t find children all that cute traveling either.

Join the Club over at Face!book

I don’t like how when they say “We will begin boarding for parents traveling with small children.” and parents get in line with their kids going back to college.

I hate pilots and their ultra smug way of saying, “We’re just waiting for a turn to park.” Look Chuck Yeager, do you know how much I paid for this fun little excursion that takes me from Milwaukee to Albany via Tampa, Cincinnati, Sacramento and El Paso?

Waiting to park? What is this, the mall on black Friday?

How about those cheerful TSA folks? I made the mistake of forgetting to remove my scissors from my carry on. After a twenty minutes of furrowed brows, raised eyebrows, dirty looks and supervisor discussions I was told to wait.

As they huddled together  strategizing whether to waterboard me before or after they made me take off my shoes, someone measured the scissors and determined that they were of legal length.

I was let go with the level of cheerfulness  that Tiger Woods would receive at a NOW convention.

And how about people’s interpretation of what constitutes a carry on? Look, Mr. Budget Traveler, here’s a tip–Strapping a handle on that discarded box that Home Depot delivered your new oven in doesn’t qualify. Trying to stuff it in the overhead compartment and defy the laws of time space continuum just isn’t gonna get it.

It was so nice to walk the dogs this morning at 6 am when no other beings are around. No crying babies, no mouth breathers, no travel professionals.

Ah….

‘Course, I had a wonderful time with my friends in Milwaukee.

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Comments
  1. Christine says:

    Morning, sunshine! *grin**

    This all has a ring of familiarity to it. Add something rather descriptive about having a 6’3″ frame crammed into seating best suited for those 5’3″ or less, and I’d say it was my husband who’d written this post. 😉

    Just keep taking deep cleansing breaths and hug the wife and the dogs! Welcome home!

  2. Jen Forbus says:

    Awww, I wish your trip back would have been better. Hope your week is extra fantastic so the bad vanishes from your mind quickly.

  3. Amy says:

    I didn’t appreciate air travel until I had to take a 7-hour Amtrak train ride in coach class. Had to sit next to a stranger who apparently just found out that her boyfriend had someone on the side. She was talking to the “other woman” on her cell phone for the entire ride, and I swear they were plotting his murder. Immediately behind me was a woman who somehow managed to sleep while her three year-old screamed for about 6 of the 7 hours of the ride. To the left of me was a man who apparently didn’t believe in deodorant. And some of the train conductors were pissy and rude… you could tell that they weren’t in that line of work for the love of the job.

    However, I never hated humans quite so much as when I had to go to the bathroom on the train. Hard to walk in and out of there without gagging and tearing up at the eyes. I realized then just why the train conductors hated their jobs. It took every thing I had to not scream at everyone else on the train to please clean up after themselves. I don’t understand what was so hard about pushing a button to flush the toilet, or wiping the seat clean. Some people took the on-board bathroom as an invitation to create what I’m sure they thought was a work of art. It was utterly disgusting and thanks to that experience, I’ll gladly suffer through the flying experience, to include layovers, lost luggage, incompetent TSA screeners, fending off weirdos talking to me at the airport bar, and to boot, I’ll pay ten times a train fare to fly. Bring it on, and I’ll take it all in with a smile as long as I don’t have to ride the train ever again.

    I have to admit that fellow humans on the train did make me laugh whenever we hit the smoking stops. The smokers would practically push others down to get off of the train, where they would light two cigarettes, hold one in each hand, and with alternating puffs (or sometimes two in the mouth at once), they’d smoke them down as quickly as they could. It was just so beautiful and desperate. Loved it.

    Homo sapiens – hateful, yet amusing. But I’m with you, Tom… given the choice, I’m much happier in the company of my dogs.

  4. marycunningham says:

    Thanks for my first laugh of the day. At your expense, of course. LOL! Glad you, at least had a good time in Milwaukee.

    Mary

    http://marycunninghambooks.com

  5. Please don’t use Chuck Yeager’s name in vain :-). General Yeager is harassed by TSA all the time. They mumble when they want him to step thru the metal detector. He’s 87, still flies F-16s and 15s as well as light stuff, and has a little hearing loss from no ear protection during World War II.

    He says What? They feel their authority (never commanded any respect) is being questioned and get nasty.

    He calmly says: Did you say please?

    AFter he’s through security, the same TSA want his autograph.

    No kidding.

  6. tjs9261 says:

    Chuck Yeager is a hero…no disrespect intended, ever!

    I take it you’re related?

  7. D. B. Dean says:

    Funny – i feel the same form of irritation at Costco.

    They have these HUGE carts filled with stuff they dont need.
    They stop the carts in the middle of the aisle and stand their contemplatingif they should by the case of 1000 meatballs or not…and NO you dont need the case of hersey bars EITHER…

    Also – driving in san francisco…cars just stop and park…in the street. I am known to yelling “this is not a freaking parking lot” at people.

    Or how about people who stop their car, put on their turn signal and block the lane in a parking lot so they can park really close…when there are 20 slots just a row back…and they are in their 30s and COULD walk if they were so lazy. I just want to get by and freaking park…

    Also i have three sons….We make sure they are quiet and well behaved in restaurants. My husband often says “people come to this reatuarant to enjoy their dinner not here some kid loudly talking and crying – people dont want to hear what your saying”…People who just let their kids cry…or worse …. run around a restaurant while they chat with their girl friends tick me off. I am not some single girl who doesnt understand what its like to have kids… I have three..and on the weekends I have my sisters two. I can go out to a restaurant – by myself – with five kids (two are 5 and one is 2) and have them behave. CONTROL YOUR CHILDREN people.

    Lastly – spandex is not a right. just because it comes in your size doesnt mean you should wear it…I am a larger women…I do not wear anything shorter than it is WIDE…shorts, skirts, what ever…if their is less length then their is width…dont wear it.

    And this site has already documented my feelings about bleach blondes who wear large sunglasses, talk on bejeweled cell phones while driving Beemers with licenseplate frames that say “Daddys Princess”…

    I truelly believe it was easier for us to be good neighbors when our homes werent so close we could hear everything. When we lived further apart people were closer, came together more often. Cities result in people living to close together and so to establish privacy they avert eyes, and dont interact.

    I would be the nicest women in the world if I lived in a home in the mountains where my close neighbor was .5 miles down the road. I could wake up in the morning and hear…nature…not cars. I could make coffee and sip it on my porch. Take a walk in the early morning fog as it wraps around trees. That is my dream. A big shaggy dog at my side. the smell of pine in the air (not the smell of homeless people on SF streets as I walk from my companys parking lot, stepping over their errr…bodily excrement to my office). I want to live where the buildings are not taller than the trees. I want to love somewhere people are not pressed together like cattle. I hate the city. I love nature…but the jobs are in the city and until I actually sell a few books and make writing actually work for me…I am STUCK STUCK STUCK in this pit.

    I dont hate people naturally – but city life brings it out in me…i can close my eyes and see a perfectly placed forearm to someone (anyones) face…it would be wonderful…

  8. somedays I wish I had my sisters job (cop) but then I think I would find myself HOPING someone resisted arrest…please oh please give me a reason. Sigh as an executive assistant I must smile and be polite even when I want to REALLY tell a person they are an IDIOT and to READ THE FREAKING EMAIL…seriously…

    Que Music – oh give me land lots of land neath the stary skies above – DONT FENCE ME IN
    because this place causes rage only fixed with boxing gloves – DONT FENCE ME IN
    I;ve had enough of living in the dirty city
    it makes me very cranky and not at all witty
    Please some body publish me so I can quit this nitty gritty
    DONT FENCE ME IN

  9. Jon Jordan says:

    I just booked two trips, New York and St. Louis and the only thing I’m not looking forward to is the traveling, for the express reason that there will be other people involved in the process. I wish more people would buy our magazine so I could get my own jet.

  10. tjs9261 says:

    Crimespree should be on the street newstands in NY and every where else…especially when I’m on the cover.

  11. Maria says:

    People….the more I meet the more I hate. They never fail to disappoint. That’s why God created dogs.

    That said, you did take to the skies on the February break weekend. And Ramada? Brave move to say the least. Upgrade to a Marriot Courtyard. Join their points club & they have special offers making the rates nearly the same. It’s a lot more hospitable…unless there’s a Squirt hockey tourney in town. In that case, you’re on your own. 😉

    • Bill says:

      Maria- yessssssssssssssss.
      I’d just add a caveat: “That’s why God created dogs…and Yukon Jack.” 🙂

      Fantastic one, Tom. Chock full of win. (As the hip kids say.)

  12. Menzie says:

    as someone who has lived in the country, then the city, then the suburbs, and now the country again….. let me just say that living in the country does NOT make you feel any better about People in general. Instead, you hate them even more EVERY time you go into town, and have to fight them through traffic and through the grocery store, stand behind them in line at the bank (YES! It’s true, you have no money in your account! Dont’ argue with the poor teller, it’s not HER fault you can’t balance your d**n checkbook!), and at Starbucks (my god, woman, is this the first time you’ve EVER been to a coffee shop? YES, they have a lot of options! YES, it’s “expensive”! Order or move out of my way!).

    You hate them even more when you travel. Hello, is this the first time you’ve been through security, like, EVER? Yes, you have to show them your laptop. Yes, you have to remove your shoes. Yes, you have to show your ID to her, And to him, and to her again! And arguing about it only holds up the rest of us, who have a freakin’ flight to catch! Somebody drag this stupid b***h off and torture her already, it would be faster!

    And on your way home to your peaceful country home, you hate them because all the other people who live in the country, think that means it’s OK to chain their dog to a tree on an 8-foot chain, or abandon cats and dogs to the tender mercies of foraging for themselves along the highway, or fill their yard up with trash, junk cars, and old tires; not to mention they can mow the lawn in their underpants.

    So eventually, the only time you feel any peace of mind is at home, on your own porch. Which is how I became a hermit. 😉

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