So I’m stuck in O’Hare Airport today, which sucks for multiple reasons:
A. My wife, home with two kids, 800 feet of snow and a $12.99 CVS shovel.
B. Overpriced airport food.
C. According to weather reports, I may well celebrate my 90th birthday here at the O’Hare Chilis Too, doomed to die over a soggy plate of scrambled eggs and potatoes (To my waitress’ credit, she seems willing to give me extra eggs, since I don’t eat bacon or sausage).
Anyhow, the one good thing about airports is people watching. I love people watching. Fat people, skinny people, tall people, short people, beautiful people, funny-looking people. I like bad sweaters and obscure sports jerseys; ’80s-styled Members Only jackets and crotch-line skirts. There’s something very zoo-like about an airport. You stop, stare, then move on to the next exhibit.
While waiting on the security line a few minutes ago, I started talking to the couple in front of me. She was a short, dyed-blonde woman in her early 50s; he a squatty little man with a handlebar mustache and khaki shorts. They told me they’re flying to Miami to catch a five-day cruise.
“Wow,” I said. “How fun. Where does it go?”
“Well,” said the man, “it goes to a bunch of different islands. The first stop is Haiti.”
“Haiti,” he said. “But they told us we’ll just be on the beach, so we won’t be able to see anything bad.”
I nodded, continued the conversation, blah, blah, blah. But inside my skull one thought ruled the landscape: On Feb. 26, 2010, who the f%$# travels to Haiti for a vacation? I know … I knowâ€”it’ll help the economy, and tourism, and all that blather. But, really, could anyone reading this happily sit on a Haitian beach, drinking a Corona, knowing that, not far away, the rubble continues to entomb hundreds of bodies?
“Have a good trip,” I said.