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Bullet Sunday 20

Posted on Sunday, March 4th, 2007

Dave!Unexpected travel plans have decided to invade my Sunday.

Ordinarily, this would be a good thing, because I could vent all my frustrations about air travel and have them neatly aligned in bullet points. But I don't feel like writing that, let along reading it, so perhaps it's time for Bullet Stories instead of Bullet Points? I dunno... maybe it's being stuck in a hotel room with nothing good on television that's making me all sentimental.

   

• The Brutality Reality.

Sometimes I like to pretend that I'm the kind of guy who likes to solve his problems with violence. The kind of brute-force, don't-bother-me-or-I'll-kill-you kind of man who simply refuses to put up with the stupidity of others.

When the people ahead of me in line for airport security don't bother to read the dozen signs telling them to remove any liquids and have their ID ready, I bitch-slap their stupid asses and push my way through. When the man sitting behind me on the plane won't shut up and keeps bumping my seat, I turn around and punch him in the face. When a bitch tries to cut in front of me as we disembark the aircraft, I kick her rude ass to the floor then walk over the top of her. When some sandwich-eating hippie keeps dropping sprouts onto the floor at baggage claim, I push his face to the floor and make him lick it up, then laugh as he runs off crying with a bloody nose. When my luggage doesn't show up for 30 minutes and then appears on the wrong carousel, I climb through the luggage corridor and start beating random people with my suitcase. As I strut out of the airport, I'm secure in the knowledge that I am a total bad-ass who doesn't take shit from anybody...

...at least until I put on some lip balm to protect myself from those chaffing Chicago winds and call my mommy to let her know that I have arrived safely. Suddenly reality comes crashing down as I'm crying about how I'm tired and my tummy aches and people are mean and I couldn't find my suitcase and I wish I were home in bed. But then mommy tells me everything is going to be okay now, at which time I can go back to pretending I'm one tough bastard again.

   

• Flexible for Money.

When you were a kid, do you remember when you dropped a coin that rolled under the table how you didn't even think about what to do... you simply threw yourself to the ground and went crawling after your money? It didn't matter if it was just a nickel or even a penny, you chased after that shit.

And now, as you grow older, do you notice how the value of the dropped coin you're willing to chase after keeps getting bigger and bigger? At one point you stopped crawling after pennies because, after all, it was just a penny. Soon after, nickels weren't worth bending over for. In no time at all, dimes are more trouble than they're worth. With age comes the realization that the time, effort, and energy required to retrieve dropped money requires careful calculation. Is the quarter that just fell out of your pocket worth the risk of straining your back while bending over to pick it up? What can you get with a quarter now-a-days anyway?

Today I dropped a dollar bill while pulling my iPod out of my pocket. As I stood there watching my money gently tumbling down the sidewalk in the breeze, it then occurred to me that I must be an old man now because I had no desire to go after it. Then suddenly, in a desperate bid to reclaim my childhood, I went chasing after my dollar. Just as I bent over to pick it up, my $180 Oakley sunglasses (one of those ridiculously expensive purchases you try not to regret) fell out of my jacket pocket and got a nice scratch on the lens. Standing there with a dollar in one hand and my ruined sunglasses in the other, I threw the dollar bill into the air and walked away having learned a valuable lesson.

Sometimes you've just got to tell your inner-child to go fuck themselves.

   

• The Mac Club.

It used to be that traveling with a Macintosh PowerBook put you into an elite club. You see another Mac user sitting across the aisle and would share a smirk of superiority that instantly bonded you with a total stranger. Your Mac made you special, and it was something only another Mac user could appreciate. These moments of brotherhood were a rare event to be treasured, and being a member of The Mac Club made you a better person (if only in your own mind).

Except now Macs are everywhere. As you sit in the airport looking around, nearly half of the computers have that familiar glowing Apple logo staring back at you. The Mac Club's power came from its exclusivity, and those days are fading fast. Despite your joy at the Mac's new-found popularity, you aren't feeling as special as you once did.

But then you turn on your PowerBook, see that a few people have left comments on your blog, and suddenly find yourself feeling more special than a silly old machine could ever make you feel.

   

• A Real Conversation.

It occurred to me this afternoon as I was ordering my veggie burger at Johnny Rockets, that talking to my waiter was about the only conversation I've had all day. I checked in for my flight this morning at a self-service kiosk. I arrived at my hotel for check-in and got my room key from another kiosk. I got my cash from an ATM. I set up my appointments via a website. I bought my CTA train pass at yet another kiosk. I traveled 2/3 the distance of these continental United States and my only interaction with a human all day was to say "I'll have a Coke please" to the cabin steward on the plane. After dinner I went to see the movie Norbit, purchased my theater ticket from still another self-service kiosk, and proceeded to get more than a little depressed about it all. People simply don't interact with each other much anymore.

At the end of the night I decided to take an expensive taxi back to my airport hotel instead of a cheap (but long) ride on the Blue Line. Thinking I'd try to put a halt to the world's effort at insulating me from humanity, I struck up a conversation with my cab driver. As the discussion goes on, I am so thrilled to be talking to somebody... to really be talking to somebody... that I almost had him circle the airport a few times before dropping me at the hotel.

With more gratitude than he can know, I hand over my fare and a generous tip to the driver. I wish him a good night and, unlike so many times I've said it to strangers, this time I really mean it.


Categories: Apple Stuff 2007, Travel 2007Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. diane says:

    *hugs Dave*
    I know what you mean–I have many days when I bemoan the loss of good old fashioned human interaction.
    I gather you are in Chicago–quite busy I’m sure, but if you’re looking for a buddy to eat pizza with, drop me a note. :-) (I’m actually downtown for a change tomorrow afternoon)

  2. Dan says:

    Does this count as interaction? It’s about all I can get.

  3. Dave2 says:

    Diane… Yep, Chicago is da place! I’ll shoot you an email to see if mutual pizza-admiration can be arranged. Jenny introduced me to a butter-thin-crust pizza restaurant to die for.

    Dan… I certainly hope so… it seems as though it’s all I’m getting by way of human interaction lately too!

  4. It’s true about being a child. Not only would I scramble for my own dropped change, but I picked up every penny I saw (as long as they were lucky side up). Now I have at least $1.35 in change on the floor of the drivers side of my car and it’s staying there until I have to vacuum.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Maybe you’ll cross paths with RW while you’re in Chi-town and get some good personal interaction (I’m hoping I can live vicariously through you, since it’s anyone’s guess when I might make it back to Chicago…).

    At the very least, you know this Monday will be better than last Monday!

  6. Dave2 says:

    Frances… Though there are those days where I’m rummaging through couch cushions, tearing into pockets of unwashed jeans, and crawling along the floorboards of my car in the hopes of finding even a hint of misplaced cash!

    Suzanne… Hah! Did you hear what happened the last time I met up with RW? :-)

  7. Göran says:

    Mixed emotions about picking up coins. I feel that it´s a sign of bad luck not to pick them up but then again scatching your Oakleys while picking up money is bad luck right there. So what goes?

    I had my phone switched off all weekend due to overdosing on people interaction. Maybe we can trade places for a few days?

  8. Hilly says:

    Great post tonight. I am sending you lots of hugs and Hilly vibes.

    I’m the sick kind of fuck who tells myself that I leave pennies on the ground so that someone else can have good luck when they find it and pick it up.

    I’m still a MAC Virgin – maybe one day…..

  9. RW says:

    Yeah Suzanne – which is obviously why he hoped to sneak in and out of town this time before I caught wind of his arrival

    Dave hates when I catch him breaking wind.

  10. Miss Britt says:

    Jeez, Dave! When was the last time you had a HUG honey??

  11. Dave2 says:

    Göran… Nah! You DO want to keep your friends and contacts… don’t you? Best not to risk them talking to me. :-)

    Hilly… I feel it! I feel that vibe! Thanks for being my vibrator tonight. :-)

    RW… Hah! I end up in Chicago 4-6 times a year… so, especially on last-minute trips like this, I don’t want to bother anybody when I find out I’m coming to town. I don’t want people to feel obligated to drop what they’re doing and have to run out and entertain me… better to plan something once a year so people don’t dread my trips to Chicago!

    Miss Britt… A week and a half ago? I’m just not that huggable! :-)

  12. Stacey says:

    “Sometimes you’ve just got to tell your inner-child to go fuck themselves.”

    I think it’s obvious now that I need a daily dose of Dave to get my ass up and off to work in the morning. I appreciate the laughs.

    As for human interaction, I live alone. Other than reading my blog posts aloud, I don’t think I spoke at all this weekend.

  13. Avitable says:

    I think the way you feel definitely explains why many frequent travelers become those types of people who can strike up conversations with just about anyone. And why they start hiring escorts in every town they visit. And then kill them and bury them in the trainyard.

  14. Karl says:

    I should think the truly depressing thing would be watching “Norbit.”

  15. Jeff says:

    I’m with you on the no human interaction thing. Eventually it’s going to get so bad that we’ll have to pay to socialize with people. Oh, wait a minute – they already have that and I think that’s illegal.

  16. ms. sizzle says:

    i’ve been thinking about the lack of human interaction one can have nowadays too. it’s pretty frightening in many ways. i’m glad you made that decision to take the cab. :)

  17. Bre says:

    Yesterday I was cleaning out my car and discovered a handfull of pennies. Instead of walking the 20 feet into my apartment to put them in my wallet I just threw them in the garbage. It’s the ultimate laziness, but really… 20 feet for 16 cents?

  18. Funny when you said that about the only real converstaion that you’ve had today…it reminded me of that line in “Fight Club” where Ed Norton’s character talked about single serving friends…

    Fight Club rocked. But, I digress.

    You’re in Chicago!? Jealous, I am. Any chance you’re going to be in LA in a few weeks? I just found out that I have to go out that way for work. Never been.

  19. Lela says:

    You made me laugh out loud at work again! You’re wonderful!!

  20. nancy says:

    I’m home sick and reading that you’re about as tough as I am. I’ve already called my mommy twice. Since she hasn’t answered, I’ve succumbed to picking up my own crying inner child and doing a feel good thing, like reading blogs cuz it’s really cold and blowing snow outside you know…boo hoo. I always appreciate your ability to self analyze Dave.

  21. ChillyWilly says:

    I know what you are saying about Macs being more prevalent, but even still, it’s better than being the Windows user that keeps hitting his keyboard when he can’t connect to the WiFi signal (which is so seamless on a Mac).

  22. Suzy says:

    I live in LA. Sometimes I have bent down to retrieve the errant dime, dropped maybe by a person such as yourself, who had no interest in looking retarded as he bent down and fumbled with it for 12 seconds before he scooped it into his greedy paw.

    Then I’ll look up and invariably there’s a homeless guy staring at me like I’m the crazy one picking up a dime, which he surely walked by and dismissed as unworthy.

  23. Suzanne says:

    As a long-time fellow member of the Mac Club, I know exactly what you mean.

    As far as diving after small change, my inner-child has nothing to do with it; it’s more my inner-starving-artist.

    Who also, in turn, fuels the inner-bitch-goddess-who-kicks-serious-ass lurking inside my placid pacificist exterior, I suspect. Violence is never the answer… except for when stupid people get in my way or piss me off. They suffer the same imaginary consequences of which you speak.

    My Inner Bitch Goddess seems to be making more and more frequent appearances recently. Woe to the people who incur her wrath and fury.

    And if RW isn’t good for a Real Conversation, I don’t know who is. Perhaps the two of you can unlock the secrets of the time-space continuum this time around. Or set off a small riot. Or debate the meaning and value of money in today’s society. That’s usually a great way to get him all fired up!

    I won’t be able to make it to Tequila Con, so maybe we’ll get a chance to meet some other time when you’re swing through Seattle on you way to or from.

  24. Diesel says:

    Have you ever calculated how much you’re making per hour by picking up coins? I figure I can make the bend over/pick up/stand up/put money in pocket motion about 10 times a minute (I’m still a spry youth). That’s $6/hr for a penny (definitely not worth it), but $30/hr for a nickel and $600/hr for a dollar! And don’t get me started on M&Ms.

  25. Bogup says:

    Wasn’t there a Rolling Stones song, “I can’t get no inter-action”? :-)

    Dave,
    thin pizza in Chicago is an oxymoron, but any pizza in Chicago is the best. Hope you get a hug and enjoyment w/o any geese honking.

  26. Liana says:

    Dang, I think I’ve become a groupie for the first time! I’ve seriously gotten addicted to this blog. And if you take too long to post, I’ve been reading the archives. `sigh` I dont even feel guilty.
    Oh, p.s., You have to have pizza whilst in Chicago lest you offend the gods.

  27. Tracy Lynn says:

    That last bit made me want to hug you. Then I drank a 7UP and simmered down. I’m ok, now.

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