In the Airport One Day
So he says, “Well, I have this 120G i-Pod!”. Then I say, “Size matters? Surely you jest! I have TWO HD video cameras in my bag there Mister – don’t play me.”. He ponders for a moment. Then says, “I have these noise canceling ear phones.”. I must admit after looking at them for a moment I was a little impressed because I want a pair but still, c’mon, is that really going to count as a gadget? I said, “Sir, I’ve got a Windows Mobile device, a laptop which I am [ahem] working thru a VPN connection and you want to keep tossing musical electronic gadgetry at me? Good Day Sir!!!”.
Then I get back to tippy-tapping an E-mail to a co-worker whilst IMing another co-worker that a freak is on the prowl and somehow I have become his next body in the freezer. (I quickly wonder if he’ll use duct tape and freezer paper? I hope Sasquatch is in there to keep me company.) He waits for a few moments–obviously hurt because I have called his game. Ah luv it! Then he says, “Well, I think I have something to beat you.”, and I think, I just bet you have Sir, I just bet you have…I consider the weight of a rubber mallet he probably has stashed…but instead I say (because I MUST know), “Okay, last effort–show me what you got.”. He reaches into his back-pack and pulls out a digital camera. I almost scoffed loudly enough to insult his character. “A digital camera?? I just told you I had TWO HD 1080p cameras in my bag!”, so he responds, “Oh, this isn’t your regular digital camera. It’s a video camera too and it has something no other camera has.”, he says as he demonstrates the coolness of his gadgetry by turning it on and showing me the front side display.
Oh my, I must admit the front display has sparked my interest! How many times have I had to take my own photo over and over just to get the right angle and look at this camera–no more guessing! Feigning boredom I hand the camera back and say, “Okay, that’s pretty nifty.” as he adds, “Only camera made like that.” but I don’t react, then he says, “And I have it.” He stares straight forward, coolly, as if he’s really got game. For a moment I almost think of offering him candy then have this crazy thought that wouldn’t it be funny if I had one of those Borat sized toys in my bag and suddenly whip it out and say, “OH! But can you top THIS!!!???”. Oh, my. That is funny! Never mind cell phones now offer the same ability.
Instead I say, without looking at him and continuing to clickety-click on the laptop, “I think I still have you beat.”. He stares straight forward but I can see the fear in the corner of his eye. Without looking at me he says, “Okay, what do you have?”. I reach in my bag and pull out my Kindle 2. I hold it up and the sunlight from the large airport windows sends a beam of light straight to my prize and I hear the angels singing, “I have the ultimate in e-books!” and I add in a quick burst of joy all the cool features my gadget has. He’s nonplussed. Absolutely nonplussed! He says, “I have hundreds of books.”. The quiet pause between our conversation was brittle–like an old book. Insulted I retort, “Your hundreds of books are a waste of precious space and you are a murderer of trees! Those hundreds plus many more would fit on this device here!”. I must admit my childishness retort was out of exasperation that Mr. I Have Cooler Toys Than You wasn’t sharing in my adoration.
So the final insult came with his adding, “Well, I don’t read much so it’s not that big of a deal to me.”. I think and ponder for a moment. He’s right. Most don’t read much–they rely on quick blurbs of information via twitter posts, facebook posts, CNN and Fox News. Why read when you’ve got information just waiting to be sucked up into that sponge of a brain? I keep tippy-tapping–quietly insulted that chariots of technology didn’t come bursting into the room and drag him off to the lion pit of digital-shame. Not impressed by my e-book–I should call the airport cop over to arrest him and send him purgatory by hanging ‘hundreds of books’ from his body and marching him through the streets! Minions of silver fish just oozing around waiting for their moment to bite into old crusty book pages!
My kindle is safe in the bag and all is quiet now that we’ve determined Mr. Airport likes to listen to music without being bothered, take videos of himself and doesn’t read. The crisp coolness of freezer paper makes its way into my imagination. He finds the quietness unsettling, “…well, I am going to Costa Rica…”. I say nothing. Tippy Tap. Tippy Tap. Clickety Click. “…yea, just going to hang out in Costa Rica…I have a long layover in Atlanta too…”. I don’t look up, “Yep. Me too.”, said with maximum sputum. Not deterred he asks, “Are you a writer?”. Not looking up I answer, “Nope.”.
After the announcement that Costa Rica’s plane was boarding, he insists that meeting was great and sharing technology was awesome as we part company. I must admit my southern manners belied the thoughts you now see here and I was the gracious nice person I always am to add that he should have a good trip and to be careful of swine, birds, bath salt imbibers and other such vagrants in airports. To be careful should his noise canceling earphones shut out the magical world around him with its buzz of irritated passengers, coughing children, and airport credit cards calling from the sidelines.
When I finally get on board I slip my magically delicious Kindle out of the bag and get back into the middle of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, which I highly recommend, and begin reading about body transplants. Body transplants!!! Ah luv it!! I tsk tsk quietly as I recall Mr. Costa Rica admit he doesn’t read much then the mature lady next to me asks, “What is that?”, as she looks directly at my Kindle. I turn slowly to her as an evil grin finds its way to my lips. She later tells me she is a retired librarian and that her husband is a GaTech alumni.
Oh, I love to travel.