Now Boarding

The incoming flight had been delayed over three hours.

I’d already stuffed myself with every ounce of gluten and sugar I could find at O’Hare. Not a shred of self-discipline or pride remained as I chowed down the last piece of a honey and salt-coated pretzel, hugging it close to my body.

The voice over the loudspeaker was scratchy.

“Apologies for the delay, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Flight 658, Chicago to Los Angeles. Let’s get our process started by boarding passengers with a First Class or Business ticket.”

These rewards programs are out of control. I have a quarter of a million miles in my account but I never get upgraded. Too many people with too many miles. What’s the point of being loyal to an airline? 

“Now boarding our military men and women. A heartfelt thanks for service to our country.”

Nobody on that line is even wearing a uniform. This is screwy. I’m getting hungry again. 

“Out of respect, we’d now like to board anyone who has ever served in any one of our armed service groups.”

Great. Every other man in the terminal is on that line.  I can feel their disrespect. Back off! I have flat feet. Has even one of you lived through public school wearing metal arches? Have I not suffered enough? Who’s the real hero?  

“Now boarding parents with children or anyone needing special assistance.”

Huh? No kids or canes on that line. One woman is wearing a handicapped sign around her neck. This is random. Is no one paying attention?

“Boarding anyone who is multilingual.  Personas que hablan más de un idioma.”


“And yes. Of-way ourse-cay. Pig-Latin ounts-cay.”

SERIOUSLY? Pig Latin now counts as a language? Hmm, have I eaten that Snickers bar yet?

“Passengers with gym memberships.”

Get real! Nobody on that line has driven past a gym in a decade!

“People with trust funds.”

That’s what I thought. I’m the only one left in America without a trust fund. I gotta tell you, this one really hurts.

“People who regularly donate to charities.”

Wait. What does regularly mean? I contribute to charities once a year at Christmas. Is that regularly?

“And now boarding people who need people.”

What the hell? Isn’t that a Streisand song?  

“Men with prostate issues.”

What men? I’m the only man left standing here!  I’m the only person left standing here.

Now boarding 64 year olds at the apex of mediocre careers.

Geez. Finally.

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