Murphy's Law

[Journey into the unknown, Part II]

As I left off last week, my friend Sean Hoade (who I simply call Hoade) and I had just arrived in Charlette, NC after just making the plane at the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood Internationally Known Insanely Designed (and overly crowed) Airport. The flight wasn't too exciting (except when Hoade threw a sprig of parsley into the drink of the passenger next to us), but the experience at Charlotte Airport is one I will never forget.

One of the first things Hoade and I did was go to the restroom there. The restrooms there show case the latest bathroom technology. I'm not kidding. This place had self-flushing toilets! You may say, “Big Deal!” but I'v never seen self-flushing toilets in my life!

And then came the self-activating faucets! All you had to do was hold your hand under the fauset, and whoosh, out poured a stream of hot water. No more fighting with water saving fausets that cut off in five seconds, no sir! These stayed on until you removed your hands. Then the self-activating hand driers were on the wall, and next to those were small slots where a tray would slide out, and a computerized voice would say “Tip, please.”

Boy, the wonders of bathroom technology. What will they think of next!

Now, if you think that college text books are over priced, order food at the next airport you're at, then complain about getting ripped off.

Hoade and I ate at the airport cafeteria, called the Wetakeallayourmoney Cafe. I ordered a cheeseburger, fries and a large tea. Hoade ordered a small (and I do mean small) plate of cottage cheese and a large tea. We then took the food to the cashier to pay for it.

“That will be seven dollars and fifty cents, and please pick your chin off the floor, as we just mopped it,” said the cashier, reaching into my back pocket for my wallet. Hoade tried to make a break for it, but was caught, and charged double for trying to avoid payment on foods served. So, be warned the next time you eat at an airport.

After we had eaten, Hoade had the good sence to get himself nearly arrested. You see, it happended this way:

I had just gone through the airport security X-ray machine (for only $19.95, I could have gone home with ten 8x10 glossy photos of my insides, but I thought it was a bit too much to pay for) when Hoade made a joke about where to put his gun as he went through the X-ray machine.

“Freeze! Put your hands in the air, slowly, or I have the right to shoot you,” said a business-suit clad man wearing black sunglasses from behind a .44 magnum. With him were fifty others just like him, business suits, black sunglasses, and .44 magnums all pointed at Hoade. Hoade, who senced he was in great danger, did as he was told.

“You, turn around, and read that sign over there,” said the obvious goverment agent. Hoade turned and faced the sign. “Now, read it aload.”

“Airport security,” Hoade began, “is no laughing matter. Any threat that is made in jest MUST be taken seriously by ALL airport personel, whereby, if someone does make a jest about where to put his/her gun, 51 armed and obviously goverment agents will jump out from nowhere and force said jester to read THIS sign out load at gun point.”

“Any questions?” asked the goverment agent, holding the .44 magnum about three inches from Hoade's face.

“No, not really.”

“Then, go through the X-ray machine without jokes, pay $19.95 for the ten 8x10 gloosy photos of your insides, and have a nice day,” said the goverment agent, holstering his .44 and then disapeared as mysteriously as he (as well as the other 50 agents) appeared. For the rest of the day, Hoade was strangely quiet around those X-ray machines.

Unfortunately, our roller coaster flight to Hickery must be postponed until next week, when I have more room to tell the full story. So, until part III of my vacation next week, good bye.


Looking back at this past September 11th, what was once obviously hyperbole has nearly reversed itself; back then the thought that 51 armed government agents would spring out for a remark that was made in jest made for a remarkable situation; today, 51 armed government agents letting someone go for making such a remark is remarkable (and I think in this age, my friend Hoade would have been arrested on the spot and never heard from again).

Such is progress.