God, I hate people. There’s nothing like a couple of weeks on the road to solidify my raging dislike of a hefty portion of the human race. People are beyond annoying and I eagerly lump my family into this category. (The annoying part, of course, not the hate.) Brace yourself, because I’m going to share my vacation travelogue with you. This is a true and brutally accurate account of my recent journey. If you want the pretty and polite version you’ll need to go to my husband’s Facebook page where he has posted pictures of happy, smiling children cuddled up to gorgeous vistas that scream, “This is in the running for my 2011 Christmas card.” What I’m about to tell you wouldn’t make the FB cut. It’s too honest and we all know that Facebook has no room for factual data about your family.
Step 1: Getting to Our Destination.
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to wear flannel pajama pants.
The wretched rejects of Jersey Shore.
Send these, the tasteless, house-shoe wearing losers to me,
I lift my Southwest boarding pass to thee!” (apologies to Emma Lazarus)
Is this inscribed at the entrance to every airport in America? Because there seems to be a call, nay, a battle cry for people to treat air travel like they’re going to a slumber party at a Chuck E Cheese in foreclosure. Yes, yes, I know I’ve expressed my concern before about adults wearing their p.j.’s out in public and many of you scolded me for not giving in to the exquisite comfort of traveling in Homer Simpson themed pajamas. I know I embrace the fashion statement of Target track pants (aka day pajama’s) but I would not venture beyond the city limits in my 100% polyester with dry weave technology athletic wear. Furthermore I would not wear house-shoes, slippers or whatever you want to call them beyond the perimeter of my yard. Lastly, I would not accessorize this tragic ensemble by clutching a king size pillow like it was a life-preserver on the Titanic post iceberg.
What’s up with these pillow folk? They drag their pillows everywhere with them and worst of all they lay them down on airport terminal chairs, on their luggage, in the public restroom stalls and on the TSA conveyor belt where their pillow can get a rolling massage by the bacteria of travelers past. Do these deranged and obviously non-antibacterial hand gel people not realize that these pillows they tote with them are in scientific terms mobile feces collectors? Their beloved pillow is the airport Swiffer. The fiberfilled lumps they lug and hug are filled with every filth known to man because there is not much out there that is more hygienically foul than airport terminals and planes. Every time they fondle their pillow they’re releasing a disease cloud into the atmosphere. Really, they might as well french kiss the bottom of their house-shoe and then lick the underside of their airline seat tray table.
Okay, I need to stop here because this is where it’s important to note that I started my journey to Fibville, Liarsburg, Dishonesty Lane, whatever you want to call it, I just started being untruthful and this campaign of earnest storytelling and exaggeration lasted my entire vacation. In the “It’s never my fault” defense my plane was delayed and I had to resort to entertaining myself by observing the travel rituals of my fellow passengers who were milling around Gate 26. I was notably distressed by a family of pillow lovers who were decked out at 2:30 in the afternoon in p.j’s, t-shirts and slippers for a two-hour flight. They were a family of three kids – all over the age of 9 and a mother who could put on a liberal amount of makeup (think smokey eye with extra eyeliner) and jewelry, but apparently couldn’t extend the extra effort to get out of her pajama’s before heading to the airport. Yes, once again I know the nurturing qualities of an elastic waistband, how it snuggles into your stomach’s fat roll and gently embraces it. If it could talk it would be saying, “Go ahead and eat some more honey there’s still room.” I also understand that jeans can be uncomfortable, but wasn’t there a Chico’s, the women’s elastic waistband superstore, in her neighborhood or how about some yoga pants?
I had no choice but to engage the mother of this pillow brethren in a conversation. I started off by asking her if they were about to embark on a lengthy day of travel. I would cut her some slack if her family were on the first leg of a what would be a 24 hour flight to, I don’t know, Cambodia, or something. Maybe, just maybe I could excuse their sleep-wear attire and bedding accessories. But no, they were simply traveling 2 hours to Grandma’s house. I then inquired about their p.j.’s and pillows. “So cute,” I exclaimed, “How your family is all ready for bed.” P.J. mom laughed and said, “Oh my gosh, we just live in our pajamas! I have more pajama bottoms than regular pants, I think.” We both chuckle and then I begin my crusade of lying when I ask about the pillows. “So,” I say, “Pardon my curiosity but why does your family travel with their bed pillows?” She pauses for a moment like I’ve really asked her a Double Jeopardy brain teaser and then replies, “I don’t know exactly. We just like our pillows, I guess.”
Wait for it, wait for it, here it comes the big fat lie. “Well,” I say, “I don’t mean to scare you or involve myself in your lifestyle, but I am a microbiologist specializing in 21st century bacteria at the Center for Disease Control and I’d like to ask you a few questions, if you don’t mind, about those pillows.” “Um, sure I guess it’s okay,” she says. “That’s great, thank you for your time,” I say in the most intellectual voice I could muster. I was going for a sexy doctor voice, but I don’t know if I really pulled it off. “Now, do you find that you or your children become sick during or after you travel?” This question gets her all excited, “Why yes, yes we do. Usually, at least one of us comes down with something”, she eagerly replies. “Now, during your travels how many times will you wash each pillow case?” Once again, I’ve stumped her. “Um, wow, I guess not until we get home.” After hearing this response I slide as far away from her and the pillow she is holding in her lap as I can and still remain in my chair and say in now a stern, sexy doctor voice, “That’s a problem madame.” (I thought the madame was a nice touch.) “Why?” she asks while stroking her pillow. “Well, that pillow you are petting is currently carrying at least 156 diseases. You are caressing the equivalent of a port-a-potty toilet bowl at day 3 of a 4 day outdoor rock concert and I’m not talking about the lid. I mean the seat and all it has to offer.” I was on a roll and for the life of me I couldn’t shut up. I swear I tried, but on I went. “Also, the flannel in the pajama’s pants you and your children are wearing are proven germ collectors. It’s very complicated to explain to someone not in my field of research, but it’s something about the flannel and it’s fiber connectivity. Your family is the equivalent of a germ strip. Everywhere you go the flannel seeks out and absorbs bacteria. Flannel is the toilet paper that wipes the backside of humanity.” I don’t mean to brag, but Lord I thought that sounded not just “sciencey”, but also somehow very poetic. P.J. mom shrieks, and asks, “My God, what should I do?” “Now, calm down. There is no need for panic. Let’s get rid of those nasty pillows first. Just stack them up and leave them by a waste receptacle. (Once again I was trying to sound all smarty pants.) It’s too bad, there’s nothing you can do about the pajamas. But, I strongly suggest the next time you walk into an airport you wear something besides attire meant for the privacy of your home.” She thanks me and jumps up to collect up her kids pillows. I get up to stretch my legs and bask in the knowledge that I have saved a family from not just the dreaded pillow disease, but from the egregious fate of wearing pajamas in public. Yeah, I lied and schemed and misrepresented myself, but I did all for you – the traveling public. No worries, your gratitude and continuing good health are all the thanks I need as I continue to sacrifice the truth in the name of science.
Snark Week continues – Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of I Hate People – A Travelogue of a Snarky Vacation. Also stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link - http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.