the lost man chronicles
the daily chronicle
Friday, August 11, 2006
Time Keeps on Slipping
Friday, August 11, 2006: The only things happy to be flying this morning were the pigeons that were obliviously bobbing their heads to and fro in the bright sunshine beaming down right outside my terminal.
I arrived at Newark airport at 6:15 AM and it was simply a fricken madhouse – lines a mile long, people waiting in those lines for more than two hours, just to get in one line after another, and lots of folks huffing and puffing, and yelling at each other. Tempers were running high and tolerance was low.
Thank goodness this latest terrorist threat didn’t occur during the heat wave last week because fuses would have blown all over the place.
Initially, I was planning to casually check my carryon because I had brought along hair gel and contact solution. If you haven’t heard, all liquids and gels in the US and UK can no longer be carried on board flights because the latest terrorist plot involved concealing nitroglycerine in bottles.
Alas, the check-in line was a lot longer than I could have imagined and so I simply discarded these items and headed straight to the e-ticket kiosk, where I slipped in my credit card and a few seconds later out popped my boarding pass.
From there I turned to go the gate and noticed that there were long lines at the escalators as well. Apparently, they were regulating traffic at every possible juncture.
Well, although this line curved back and forth like a boa constrictor, I conveniently happened to be a few feet away from the escalator entrance when there was this sudden surge of people as the official let people on and up.
Oh, boy..did that rankle the throng, rattle the snake, so that they hissed, hemmed and hawed about those that were inadvertently passing them by.
Disregarding the roar behind me, I just got on and never looked back. There was still another long line ahead of me at the security check and with the strong likelihood of flight delays I was eager to take every opportunity to expedite my six hours or more of travel.
Moreover, coincidentally the book I took off the shelf this morning to take with me on my trip was Time Tactics of Very Successful People by Dr. B. Eugene Griessman. I began reading it in the car on the way to the airport which picked me up an hour earlier than I had originally scheduled because of the anticipated delays. Hence, by the time we arrived at the terminal I was all revved up to begin taking advantage of the lessons I had learned, which was essentially:
1. Assess how much your time is worth,
2. And then immediately double its worth.
This tactic was meant to motivate you to make prudent decisions based on your priorities, and would effectively spur you to take action that ultimately helped you accomplish your goals. Thus, I immediately took the lesson to heart and “gave myself a raise” as Dr. Greissman advocates.
In addition, I also recently had had a very interesting experience the last time I was here at the security check a few weeks ago. Once again, there was a long line, but conveniently there was a fairly short one for first class and “elite” passengers.
However, the line for the economy, budget-conscious middle-class and other hoi-polloi was long because they were employing the newest security contraption that puffs random jets of air from head to toe in order to check you for traces of explosives. The masses were being subjected to both this and the traditional metal detector, bag checks, magic metal wands and “we suggest that you take all your clothes off.” Needless to say, it was slowing things down immeasurably because there was only one of these new million dollar machines. And by my calculations, the line was about half an hour long, which would give me less than15 minutes to get to my gate and get on the plane.
Two guys in front of who were dressed in white t-shirts, gold chains, Adidas sneakers and long baggy blue jean shorts were talking about “cars, girls and guns.” When we reached a curve in the line that was rubbing up against the elite line, these fellas decided that they were tired of waiting and conveniently slipped under the rope that separated us from them. I couldn’t help notice and yearn to do much the same, espeically since the elite line was moving as fluid as water down a drain.
However, since you could not see what lie ahead, I hesitated for a moment because I was afraid that either I’d get caught “Whoop! Whoop! Call the security police!” or they’d check my boarding pass, and than I’d just have to get back at the end of the poor man’s line again.
But then I noticed that they were terribly short staffed and that only one person was checking the passes, so that she was totally oblivious to what was happening behind her.
So, I said “Fuck it,” and followed the fellas.
What followed completely shocked me. For about a hundred feet in and down the corridor, out of sight from the huddled, disgruntled masses, were three separate short lines, each with its own metal detector, but without any puff-the-magic dragon “You’re a terrorist” lie-detecting time machine.
“Whoa,” I thought, “This is blatant class discrimination.” I was surprised to find that the authorities would believe terrorists would not figure out that all they had to do was purchase a first-class ticket to thwart the system.
Nonetheless and allthemore, both the thugs in front of me and myself passed without the slightest hitch.
This was a disturbing experience, because obviously the security system was not very secure, for all one apparently needs is either a suit and an AMEX card or a bit of working-class balls to slip right under the radar. The fact that terrorists obviously have the chutzpah already to do so, tells me that albeit many of us sheep may be kept at bay (“bahhhhh,hum bug!”), with its irreverent gall, terrorism has little to worry about.
Anyway, today the wait was a little longer, but I got on the plane on time and made it to Atlanta safely.
Moreover, I am very excited to be here because tonight I am going to this hip-hop, body painting event downtown somewhere. Its called BeNice SkinDeep with Live Painting, DJs, and a party with all you can drink Heineken, Miller-Lite, Wine and Hunch-Punch, all for $10 (You may be asking youself "What's Hunch-Punch?") Brooke Novak kindly informed me of the event yesterday. Thank you Brooke.
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