June 20, 2014
Flying in an airplane is, as Louis C.K. reminds us, a miracle of not-so-small proportions. As such, it was, once upon a time, the province of well-dressed, sophisticated, presumably sane people, as depicted in the totally real photo above.
Today, though, it’s a completely different world. Air travel today is filled almost exclusively with savages. It’s as if, with each flight, dozens of people instantly forget their status as humans and resort to behaving like wild monkeys fighting over the last banana.
You know what I’m talking about:
From the moment you exit the highway and pull into the “departures” lane, every aspect of modern air travel is filled with partially (or formerly) human creatures hell-bent on nothing more than selfish satisfaction. Like toddlers, but less cute. Or cats, but a little less terrible.
So how does a fine, upstanding gentleman like me survive this grotesque rat race? Use it as inspiration. (Allow me to mount my high horse for a moment.) When I see this sort of savagery, I use it as a reminder to be extra charming and considerate to all who cross my path.
Look ’em in the eye. Say “hi.” Smile while saying “hi.” Ask them how they’re doing, and actually listen to the answer. Walk slowly; hell, stroll, even. Hold the door for the next guy. Let the other row go first. You know, be a human for a few hours. It truly lightens my mood and gives me a smug feeling of satisfaction, which is nice.
Of course, I’m not the only knight in shining armor out there, but lord knows our ranks could use some reinforcements. And if you’re wondering, there’s one thing I just can’t bring myself to do, no matter how good a mood I’m in: I ain’t making chit-chat with the cab driver. That cab ride from JFK to midtown is my shot at 45 minutes of sacred peace and quiet, and that’s priceless.