or “what the fuck is wrong with people today?”
So here is today’s story:
I am at the airport in Dortmund, waiting at the gate to board the plane that will eventually take me back to Barcelona. After a couple of minutes the gate opens and I am one of the first people to go through the gate, as I have paid a little extra to the low-cost airline, in order to have this ‘privilege’. Queuing is not one of my favorite pastimes.. So I go upfront with a sea of people waiting on a separate queue and walk up to the chubby airline employee that checks people through the gate.
All i have with me is a tiny suitcase, the executive-weekend trolley type one which fits only a laptop and a change of clothes, and the helmet for my motorbike, waiting for me in Barcelona, inside a protective flannel bag.So, as I walk up to show my boarding pass and my passport, all happy to be going in first and choosing a nice window seat at the front of the plane, and happy that the flight is on time (which interestingly seems to happen quite often recently - that’s a nice change) the woman takes my ticket and starts eyeballing my helmet bag: “Sorry sir, but you can have only one hand bag with you.” I reply that I do only have one handbag and that the bag she is looking at, has my helmet in it. She insists that it consists of an extra handbag and instructs me to maybe fit it inside my little suitcase. I show her that this is physically impossible by pointing at my suitcase and the helmet. The other attendant which is next to her informs me that if i don’t manage to fit it inside my bag I will have to check one bag in and pay an extra 35 euros (to the 45 that my whole ticket cost).
At that moment I start figuring out that common sense is not one of the virtues of these two women. So I decide to play along. In the meanwhile, people waiting in line have started to gain interest to this delay in the non-advancing of their queue and looking up to the guy in the front of the line arguing with the two attendants.
So the chubby attendant, in order to avoid having to deal with me tells me to please step aside and sort this out, meaning to try and fit my helmet in my Sport-Billy bag, in order for the rest of the passengers to go through. Without losing my calm, I start playing a new game. I inform her again that there is no possible way for this to happen, and tell her that i have a problem with my head and need to wear my helmet onboard. Something to do with cabin pressure. She starts smiling at the prospect of making me wear my helmet and I tell her that it is like my hat.
Looking over her shoulder to her colleague which has put on an even more professional-looking serious face, she consults her on how to deal with this. Both of them just want to get on with this and follow protocol. She finally tells me that if I don’t want to pay for this I have to wear the helmet, with a smirk on her face and sort of challenging me.
At that moment, the people in the back waiting have started laughing with the absurdity and surreality of the scene developing in front of them, and at that moment I am actually happy that the extra money that I paid for getting first in line, are being used even further by providing entertainment to the people having to wait in the queue.
So I happily take out the helmet from the bag, put it on, take my passport and walk through the gate as the champion of stupidity. People in the back are now laughing, cheering and applauding..
Of course as soon as i cross the gate, i take the helmet off. It’s difficult having to explain this to more security-craze people in airports. I walked into the plane, got my seat and as people started pouring in, I realized I had gained a couple of fans.
It was a good day. A day with a fight against absurdity and stupidity with a twist is always good.
What always strikes me though, is the number of non-thinking people in the world, and especially in security positions. Anyway, I think the only way to fight stupidity and absurdity is with the same weapons. And today I won. This is rarely the case though.