Sunday, August 23, 2015

Day 8.145 Out of Jokes

I am stuck in transition. Between a rock and hard-rock. Locked-down by the knowing and the doing. I have told all my good jokes. It is ad-lib from here on out. Curtains part, lights illuminate the small stage, a snare drum rolls. Life is a farce and comedy is hard.

Cognizant of the importance of the decision I play the angles, trying to game the system. Usually that means finding a way to lessen the financial impact. NOT because it is the only way it will happen, but because I am sick and tired of paying for mediocrity.

Let us agree that this is truth. We are paying more for less. No joke.

Customer Service is a lost art in company with rotary telephones, chivalry and politeness. I wish it was otherwise. I long for the good old days of air travel.  Man we had it good. It was easy. Now it is hard as a rock, painfully humiliating, demeaning, stale as a joke you've heard a hundred times. Remember the days when we used to actually applaud upon touchdown?

I payed $17 for a veggie burger and $6.75 for a beer the other day. I was trapped in the only lounge at a tiny (by comparison) airport in Southern Oregon. Moments earlier I managed the ignominy (not my strong suite) of having eleven TSA agents fight over what item in my carry-on back pack represented the greatest potential for terrorist activity, my camera, suction mount, GPS devices or USB extension cable.

What is this?

That is an external media storage device sir.

What is it used for?

To store media sir, I reply trying to sound like anything but a smart-ass.

Please turn it on.

It must be connected to my computer to function sir, it has no power on its own.

OK. What about that thing?

Additional power supply sir.

What does IT do?

It connects to my camera to ensure power for seamless filming.

Can you turn it on?

Yes. Here. (Blue LED indicator lights show battery at 75% of capacity).

OK. This?

Adjustable camera mount extension. Gets the height, angle, X and Y axis where i want them.

Can you turn it on?

It is not a powered device sir, completely manual.

By this time there are four other agents watching the routine. There are no other passengers in the screening area. No wonder fares are astronomical with airlines making bottom line off the chart profits. The deck is stacked against us. I see a sign announcing that this is not a joking matter and to do so aloud is a criminal offense. I stifle a response to this absurdity, accepting the hypocrisy of our advanced civilization by chomping down on my lower lip.

OK, step through here please. With no Miranda Rights?, I chuckle in mute hilarity, choking a chortle.

I would like to but I have a small issue that needs addressing, Agent Williams.

AN ISSUE OF WHAT TYPE? Time stops, frozen with tension. Every agent gawks to see what the 'issue' is, cell phones, radios, walkie-talkies at the ready.

I have a pacemaker.

Not a problem. Over here.

Two agents snap to attention preparing the non-invasive Xray booth.

Not a problem?


Easy for you to say, I say, jokingly.

Right, sorry.

I have danced through the mine-field. Laughing at the irony that prohibits it.

Suddenly I feel like a comedian who must pay a cover charge to watch himself preform. 

And I am out of jokes.

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