No Sulking is Allowed in the Airport

3 11 2008

Hugh Grant once said (in Love Actually, 2003), “Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport.” He sees the true love of the world when people greet each other at the airport.

While the thought is pleasant, and mildly true (I’ve never seen someone who isn’t happy to be greeted before), there are those who aren’t greeted. Those are random busybodies who meander through the groups with side glances and offhand checks of their cell-phone (that might or might not be off airplane mode).

It was this sight I was witness too when the god-like announcer voice of my state’s airport announced “No sulking is allowed in the airport, except in designated areas.” One quick glance to my father and a surprisingly loud voice of a little girl not five feet away from me confirmed I had heard that correctly. No sulking was allowed.

Nudging my father, who promptly rolled his eyes and said it was obviously a mistake, I couldn’t help but smiling. No sulking was allowed – it might’ve been a mistake or even a peculiar slur, but what’s said was said.

And a good rule it was. Airports aren’t generally happy places, except when you meet up with family or friends. They’re tedious, trying, and liable to bring on mental breakdowns. Especially when you watch the luggage trolley go around four times and your luggage is nowhere to be seen. So, to ban sulking is bound to enhance airport joy.

Well, no, not really. But its bound to be so utterly ridiculous sounding that it’ll spur tired and cranky passengers into their second winds.

Southwest Airlines used to do something similar by giving comical ‘Safety Instructions’ like, “Welcome aboard Southwest Flight XXX to YYY. To operate your seat-belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat-belt, and if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”

And, “”As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.

Last one off the plane must clean it.”

Airports are surprisingly dreary places and could use a lot more humor. They might be frustrating, and they might be tedious, but so are lines are Christmas or that randomly schedule family reunion. Those things end and so does traveling through the Airport.

So, liven up people and take the Airport with a grain of salt. And remember, no sulking!

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