In-line Entertainment

There are two types of line entertainment in the world today, on-line and in-line. On-line entertainment would be like reading this blog or happily scrolling through the pages of In-line entertainment would the type found waiting in-line at banks and other line oriented institutions. From my experience I would say that there is always one intensely extroverted character in every human line of a certain length, and whose sole purpose in life is to prevent the other linees from dying of boredom or old age. Today there was one such character in the line at the bank. In less than ten minutes I learnt about his whole life story, his sister’s bad luck with men, his parents dislike for each other from marriage till death, how to live a virtuous life, why women wear makeup, and finally why banks place people inside ATMs instead of computers. I can’t complain and I have to say I got my money’s worth of in-line entertainment.

After the extrovert left us I entertained myself by wondering where the word teller came from. I went into amusing mode and thought it came from the fact these are the people you tell what transaction you wanted to do. They would in turn tell you the transaction you choose cannot be done. This would then lead to some serious telling form both sides; hence the name teller. The dictionary cannot prove or disprove this theory so for now I take it that it’s true.

An L.A Story

I am thankful for small blessings and eternally grateful for the larger ones. In the five hours I spent in L.A I was able to see the enormously famous Hollywood sign, Huge Hefner’s mansion and Tom Cruise’s home. I didn’t photograph the dwellings because some things are best left to the imagination and also they might be very disappointing in reality. Hey, that’s probably a good definition of a playboy. However, what I did find most interesting is the numerous would-be actresses everywhere you looked, and I looked everywhere. I didn’t do a survey but these young girls looked seriously would-be to me.

In Hollywood and Beverly Hills looks and impression are everything. Nobody could be trusted and nobody is. The place is big, bright and full of life. True, it’s probably not meaningful life but still full of it. There are parts of Beverly Hills which has a strong resemblance to the upscale suburbs of Trinidad such as Goodwood Park (or is it Good Wood Park), Fairways and even parts of St Augustine. The other amazing feature of L.A and Beverly Hills is the numerous amounts of exotic sports cars driven by equally exotic girls talking on trendy cell phones to outdated lovers. Both the cars and the girls looked well maintained and slick. I could probably write a story about every one of these girls but it might be the same story for all.

Nearly missing your connecting flight triggers a type of excitement which can only be savored days after the fact. I was grateful that my bags were lightly packed and my stamina was in good standing. The boarding of the plane, which wasn’t full, made my muscles relax and my eyelids heavy. It was about 9:00pm when the pilot announced that we have been cleared for takeoff. It was 9:15pm, when the pilot then announced that there was a mechanical problem and we had to return to the hanger. It was 30 minutes later the pilot finally announced the problem was fixed but some cargo had to be left behind. All the standby passengers and their luggage had to be removed. What? The problem was fixed but cargo had to be removed? Obviously the problem was not fixed completely and I didn’t feel too encouraged by this hidden admission that all was not well on this flight. Also, since when are people considered cargo? Granted, there were a few people who did look like cargo but the pilot shouldn’t have announced this publicly. As the pieces of cargo made their way down the narrow aisle, I pretended not to bother but still noticing the embarrassment on the cargos’ faces. That’s called adding insult to injury. It was another two hours later when the plane finally shuddered into the air.

I like flying but it takes five long hours from L.A to Miami. To pass the boredom, the in-flight entertainment that night was the movie Herbie: Fully Loaded and a snoring old woman in the seat in front of me. I couldn’t sleep because who could sleep knowing something mechanically was amiss at 36,000 feet above solid dirt.

I also observed that flight attendants are so well trained I can imagine them making that dreaded announcement that the aircraft was about to crash. “Ladies and gentlemen the pilot has announced that all engines are now hopelessly on fire and we should be hitting the ground much sooner than expected. A life-vest is located under your seat but it won’t be of much use to you on land. We sincearly hope that you listened to the safety instructions given before takeoff because we are not going to repeat them. Please fasten your seat belts, have your chairs in the uright position, and your tables cleaned and locked away. You can assume the crash position or scream like a mad man, it won’t make a bit of difference on arrival. On behalf of Captain Nearly Sober and the rest of the sobbing flight crew, we hoped you had pleasant flight and thank you for choosing Crash Test Air as your number-one carrier. All cell phones should be switched off at this point and do have a nice day.”

to be continued? …….maybe……maybe not…..?


The closest thing to a perfect one-stop-shop for an alien on a modern human-collecting expedition would be an international airport. In fact, if an alien landed at an international airport probably no one would even notice. The rumor mill has it that this has happened a few times before but the aliens were denied entry because of some mix up with their visas. That’s why I love airports; they are the best human zoos and causes of confusion on the planet.

An airport is a place where people of all nationalities, languages, races, colors, ages, waist sizes, genetic defects, gender disorders, and incomplete immigration forms, converge on the lost-luggage counter and take turns strangling the attendants. For just the cost of parking you can be senselessly entertained at any airport on any lazy Sunday afternoon. It is what I like, and what I do, that’s why I am called an airportee.

To be honest, the airport has more of the appearance of a circus than a zoo but I prefer to use zoo to describe the airport, and circus to describe the government. On that Sunday afternoon, with the temperature high enough to melt the coldest stares a woman could produce, I smiled to myself as insane people always do. There were the South American girls who turned faded blue jeans into a work of sculptured art, and the couple who walked into the immigration lounge with no less than 36 boxes of KFC. There was the French-looking girl with the see-through top and the drooling guys loudly thinking in silence “look at me.” The see-through girl probably had this thought running through her head “Ils sont gentils. Vous les aimez?” and I probably had this one “Oui, oui je les aime beaucoup!”

I have also been observing airhostesses over the years and noticed they are becoming more functional and less attractive. I suppose airlines have discovered that pretty girls are very useful but a girl who can push a food cart up and down a narrow aisle for five hours, and row a life raft full of people from the middle of the ocean to the nearest land mass is a rare find. I think it was George Carlin who first pointed out airhostesses are a much maligned bunch because of the fact they continuously walk in and out of cockpits. I think that gave the public the wrong impression as to their job function and it begged an answer to the question “What is really a cockpit?” Since there is an increase in the amount of female commercial pilots the name “cockpit” is to be changed but I have no idea as to what, or even why.

As a trained airport observer I have to say that the finest samples of female human life congregate there and not at Club Zen as previously thought. At the airport the skirts are as short, the jeans are as tight and the tops as transparent as those of Zen. The only difference is at the airport the people are more varied, the drinks are cheaper and there is no music, but at those prices you can’t complain.

The airport could be my home away from home but security had my cot towed away, and burnt.

Violent Clouds

This scene is frighteningly beautiful. I have always been fascinated, intimidated, overwhelmed, terrified and painfully attracted by beauty. There is a hidden power in beauty which chips away at the protective layer of the soul, and leaves its nerve exposed and vulnerable. This appreciation and vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but a sign of being truly alive and I am glad to be alive.