|Monday, July 23, 2007||ISSUE #465|
Contemplating travel woes in a rockin' airport
#465, July 23, 2007
COLUMBUS: After spending three days in California, and then another three days in Florida, I was not exactly prepared for an extra day in the Charlotte airport. But that's what happened last Thursday night and Friday as these airline woes you've read so much about kinda struck home.
Now, mind you, I ain't complaining. If an airplane is going to have engine problems, I prefer it happen while still on the ground. And if you're stuck in an airport, there's worse places to be than one populated with 103 old-fashioned rocking chairs. I was there long enough to check 'em out, every single one, but seldom found one vacant. The occupancy rate of those rockers must have been 99.9%, which also equaled the occupancy of all outbound flights, at least the ones headed to Ohio. The contentment on the faces of those folks pleasantly rocking the minutes away was in sharp contrast to the rushed look of those hurrying to catch their next flight. Of course I was returning from an engagement rather than heading to one, which tends to lower the pressure quite a bit.
One of our biggest and most profitable companies is raising the price of their product, by about a dollar a gallon. If it was Exxon you would say it's outrageous and demand a Congressional investigation. If it was Borden's or Meadow Gold Dairy you would have your children march in protest. But since it's Starbucks, there has been nary a peep. We'll wait in line tomorrow morning, pay $2 a cup ($15 to $20 a gallon), then pull into the next gas station and yell if there's even one car ahead of us or the price is anywhere near $3.
But if it takes your mind off an 18-hour layover, or lets you block out the day-to-day worries long enough to plan for a brighter future, then what's another dime a cup?
You know, both California and Florida would gain by installing more rocking chairs. So might Starbucks.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
(Here are a few highlights from a "debate" between Florida and California. In total it is 9 pages.)
"FLA: We have the longest seacoast of any state in the Union. We have 1145 miles, and that is 100 miles more than California has.
FLA: We have 3,000,000 acres of Everglades, and when they are drained they will support 3,000,000 people.
FLA: Lake Okeechobee has 1,000,000 acres in it. If drained, it would support 1,000,000 people. In one year it produced $1,000,000 worth of catfish.
FLA: Lots of people think that Florida is low, but we have a point which is some 310 feet high.
FLA: We are known for our oranges.
FLA: Our grapefruit sells for about $10,000,000 a year, and we think it is the best in the world.
FLA: Our oranges alone in 1924 brought us in $15,000,000.
(Published in the Saturday Evening Post, May 29, 1926)
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