Mentally Digesting Our "Third World" Travel Infrastructure

My wife talks about “airplane tummy”, but the far more devastating medical condition of “airplane brain” is a much bigger problem this fine Albuquerque morning. It’s morning, right? And Tuesday, isn’t it? I’ll keep referring to this day/time of day information Sharpied on my palm as a reminder today.

I won’t bore you with traveling details, and delays, etc. Actually I was prepared to bore you with those details, but find that typing and verb agreement are two things strongly affected by “airplane brain”. So I’ll just shorten the whole eloquent prose thing to the following:

Seoul’s airport is great, and LAX is just flat-out embarrassing.

I am embarrassed to be a member of a polity in which LAX is allowed to exist. Hanoi’s airport is far, far better than LAX, as are most truck-stop bathrooms along I-40.

I know each of us have thought about all the things “America” could be spending money on instead of “our” invasion of Iraq, but maybe somewhere between true health care reform and bridge infrastructure we could sneak a billion or so into a new airport or two. I know I would personally chip in a hundred or so dollars in explosives to use on the “Tom Bradley International Terminal” at LAX.

Oops…I used the term “explosive” when referring to an airport. I’m sure to be on some list now. And yes, “Homeland Security” is a big reason why LAX sucks. Meanwhile, Seoul’s airport, located just a few miles from a North Korea which provocatively shot some missiles into the sea nearby recently, is as smooth with “homeland security” as LAX is bumpy. No screaming, condescending TSA agents. No understaffed Customs situation. And, get this, a supply of slippers to wear while you go shoeless through screening. Slippers.

But the story has a happy ending, and I’m sure you can guess what it is. Our little Albuquerque airport (stupid “Sunport” name aside) is a little ray of Incheon International sunshine right here in the dilapidated USA.

Insanely large US flags hang down from the ceiling in the “Customs Border and Protection” bowels of LAX, 25’x40′ symbols that bellow: “Yeah we know this airport, US Customs and “Homeland Security” all suck but it’s gotta be worth it, right, because we’re the U.S.A. and we don’t actually have to do anything well or right or competently because we’re the U.S. Freaking A. man!”

Well, instead of those flags, LAX should just put huge photos of the Albuquerque airport around its bowels with captions in an ridiculously large font saying:

“SOMEDAY THIS AIRPORT WILL LOOK AND FEEL AS GOOD AS THE ONE PICTURED, ESPECIALLY AFTER SCOT AND THE REST OF YOU PUT SOME MONEY INTO IMPLODING THIS DUMP”.

Then, just as the Hanoi airport has a large clear container to collect donations for orphans and disabled kids, LAX will have a “HELP IMPLODE LAX” donation center to take in all stray money from around the world toward the purpose of demolition.

Hmmm…I’m seeing to be waking up this fine Albuquerque morning, and “airplane brain” has morphed into “airplane ranting brain”. It’s morning, right?

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