Bowling for Passengers


How the mob coming toward me at the airport looks from my perspective
(My thanks to Picasso)

I’m in the process of making plans to visit my daughter in September, reminding me of the various reasons why I despise going to airports.  Since I’m now about 4 braincells away from comatose (as opposed to only 2), I’ll reblog this post from June 2013 to explain it.

That will save all of us a pain in the brain.


Imagine you’re walking through the Atlanta airport.  There are no fewer than 40 people headed down the concourse toward you.  Some lady in a white shirt and black blazer is weaving between a kid in a red t-shirt and a guy in a blue suit.  Then a hefty lady in a bright colored orange/white/green/yellow floor-length robe comes dashing past the man in the blue suit just as the woman in the white shirt rolls her suitcase forward past the mass.

Now I’ll describe that scene the way it looks to me.

Imagine you’re looking through chiffon mesh with black dots painted on it in erratic places.  Most of the black dots are in the  upper right hand corner.  Slow down your ability to see fast action so that you miss half of what is happening around you.  What you get is a swirling sea of red and yellow and blue and green, orange and black and white.

When YOU have to run through a scene like that, you whiz through the space left between red t-shirt guy and Mr. blue-suit.  That’s called “running like a madman to get to your next plane.”

When I have to run through a scene like that it’s called “bowling for passengers.”

The flight home yesterday consisted of finding my own way to the gate in Salt Lake City.  Fortunately, I didn’t run into a crowd until I tried to turn from the walkway to the concourse.   Most of the time, people run into my giant purse or my giant laptop instead of me.  But…once in a while, I smack into someone. 

Why does the person I smack into have to look like Quasimodo?  Why can’t I run into Brad Pitt?

In his or her defense, the person I’m bouncing off of is probably asking, “If I have to smack into someone, why does she have to look like Spiderman’s Aunt May?  Why can’t I run into Angelina Jolie?”


Look out for a woman wearing dark glasses with darker hair than this and short fingernails, and not such a square chin and…

Then again, how would I know who the hell I’m running into—they all feel like a brick wall to me.

I rely on color to provide clues to what is coming at me.  When I run into someone, that person is generally wearing clothing matching the walls or carpet.  Yes, bright colors in an airport can prevent people like me from running into people who insist on wearing gray, off-white, and other popular airport colors.

The mass of people in Atlanta were fortunate.  There was a Delta flight attendant who offered to walk me to my next gate—after 4 porters said they were too busy.  She did so after making sure several unattended minors were at their gates and had supervision—a quality I find admirable as would most parents.   The sea of people came toward me, I followed her and was able to avoid a strike.  Otherwise, there would have been carnage.

So the next time you’re going to the airport, remember these 2 things:

  1. Wear bright colors
  2. If you see a skinny woman wearing dark glasses with a giant black bag on both sides, move as far out of her way as possible.  You’ll be doing both of us a favor.