Pop Culture Gadabout
Friday, June 09, 2006
      ( 6/09/2006 06:52:00 PM ) Bill S.  

HANGIN' AT THE AIRPORT – Took the Missus to the Greater Peoria Regional Airport this afternoon: she's going (with an old college roommate) on a six-day scouting trip to Las Cruces, New Mexico, while yours truly stays at home, bachin' it with the menagerie. Been a long time since either of us have flown anywhere – our last flight predates 9/11 – so we were unsure how much time to allot before departure. Got there about an hour-and-a-half ahead of time: first thing we saw on the sliding door terminal entrance was a notice telling us that we're on yellow alert, but since neither Becky nor myself could remember how serious that's supposed to be, it didn't mean much.

Turned out we had plenty of time to spare, of course, so we headed for the airport restaurant to find a dessert to split. Only thing that appealed to both of us was a Mega-Sized oatmeal-raisin cookie, so we went for it. Then we returned to the waiting area and made fun of disembarking passengers ("Look! It's Jarred from Subway! And he got fat again!") and their families. When we (which is to say, I) grew tired of that Annie Hallish activity, we reviewed a document from the Transportation Security Administration telling us which items were permitted and prohibited to take on the plane. Turns out they make a distinction between items you can carry on yourself or have checked. You cannot carry on a meat cleaver or a cattle prod, but they can be checked in your luggage. (But wouldn't you want to be able to freely brandish your cattle prod in a particularly crowded O'Hare?) Gotta admit I wouldn't feel too relaxed if the passenger sitting next to me on the puddle-jumper up to Chicago had a cordless power drill on his lap, but, then, I've seen Driller Killer.

To help keep us all from feeling too agitated in these troubled times, the airport helpfully plays soft-rock (107-FM) over the intercom at a volume that is low enough to get you occasionally perking up your ears during the chorus ("Hey, that's Eric Carmen in his Barry Manilow Phase!") but is otherwise ignorable. This being Peoria, you're guaranteed to hear at least one Dan Fogelberg number, and "Lite 107" didn't disappoint. Yeah, that's what I wanna hear when I'm nervous about an impending flight: some lame-ass Fogelberg track. Maybe that's why they play this crap so low – any louder and someone like me is liable to go berserk with the chain saw they've been carrying on their lap . . .

Becky didn't mind, but, then, she went through the mandatory Midwestern young girl Fogelberg Infatuation Phase back when she was in college. She got on the plane without incident, and it's probably her status as a former fan that helped her pass without any hassle. ("You own a CD copy of Home Free? You must be harmless!") I stood and watched her pass through inspection, then headed back to the PT Cruiser, blasting the Foo Fighters' There Is Nothing Left to Lose as I drove back home. Have a great time in New Mexico, sweetie! I miss you already . . .
# |

Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

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