Hidden Motives of Self-Flushing Toilets and Other Air Travel Musing

“Family Friendly.” One of the airport security lines was labeled this in large cheerful letters. Which got me wondering what that said about the other lines.

Like the one I was in.

I know it probably was supposed to mean that they’re required by law to yell at you 50% less when it takes you 20 minutes to remove small-person shoes, extract sticky items, and transform giant robot baby strollers into three-inch-tall Matchbox cars so you can put it all back again six feet on the other side.

But as I stood in what I could only assume was the Family Abrasive Line, I kept waiting for Denis Leary to show up in a security guard uniform, to motion me forward:

“Get your @$ over here, lady. Take your f*#&ing shoes off, fer cryin’ out loud, and put ‘em on the f*#&ing conveyor belt… What’s this—Liquids? Not in a quart size bag?

"Lady, can you f*#&ing read the f*#&ing sign there? What’s it say? Read it back to me. ‘NO f*#&ing liquids more than three ounces and they gotta be in a quart size Ziploc bag.‘

"And you, you got, like, more fluids than Niagara f*#&ing Falls here. Jesus Christ, you people piss me off!”

I think the metal detector operator would be Gordon Ramsay. You just know that guy would enjoy wanding the uncooperative.

Of course, every time I travel, there are some aspects of the journey I enjoy a lot, and I wish I could incorporate them into my daily life. My favorite is the airport moving walkways. There’s absolutely nothing like flying past normal Non-Walkway Mortals, without even breaking a sweat.

It’s as close as I’ll ever get to being the Bionic Woman, and it’s all I can do to keep from going into a slow motion jog and making “Ehh-ehh-ehh-ehh-ehh, chh-chh-chh-chh-chh” noises.

I would like to have this capability in the supermarket. I believe I could do some good “ehh-ehh, chh-chh” there and be in-and-out in half the time.

Or a little “ehh-ehh chh-chh” at the mall and I wouldn’t be trapped behind large, slow-moving ladies with off-road baby carriages.

Some “ehh” and “chh” at lunch hour, and I could burn off all my calories before I ate them.

Maybe just “chh” at the flea markets. Wouldn’t want to miss anything because of my blinding speed.

What I don’t care for are those airport toilets with minds of their own. Ever since they’ve gained independence and a self-determined lifestyle, I have been prematurely flushed upon—the sanitary ramifications of which I do not want to contemplate.

I don’t know what their problem is... Do the toilets suffer from job performance anxiety and get a little overanxious about missing their cues?

Are the sensor manufacturers compensated per flush?

Or do the companies that make them also manufacture novelty items like joy-buzzers and trick birthday candles? Is there some Integrated Practical Joker motherboard you need to dismantle first for non-comedy club use?…

Because they’re always just a little more impatient than my nether-regions and I appreciate.

Just sayin’.

Well, I'm sorry to cut this short today, but I'd better go. My mavericky hotel maid and I are playing a game of Magic Towels...

Signs all over the room tell us how to help conserve water by reusing towels. I try. I hang them back on the rack with the best of intentions of saving the planet through two fewer daily squares of terry cloth.

I mean, I figure, maids probably see the whole product line of bodily fluids and bad manners (also the occasional in-room murder), so I try to make their lives a little easier by being a helpful guest.

But the maid-- she's having none of that. Not only were my used towels gone, there are now even more fresh towels in my room than before.

By tomorrow I'll be able to start my own linens store. I'm excited.

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Jaffer said...

If it was me, I would go: "I don't even understand quarts and ounces Mr. Leary ! What would that be in milla-leeters eh ?"

Wonder how he'd react ?

JD at I Do Things said...

I would happily stand in the Family Abrasive Line (especially if Gordon Ramsay were there with his WAND!) if that were a viable alternative to a Family Friendly Line, which I've never seen at our city's airport -- ONLY THE LARGEST AIRPORT IN THE WORLD (maybe).

jay said...

You have the airport stuff down to a 't'! LOL!

Love this line, too -

"Well, I'm sorry to cut this short today, but I'd better go. My mavericky hotel maid and I are playing a game of Magic Towels..."

We played that game in Denver! Good, isn't it?

ReformingGeek said...

I sometimes wonder why they bother with the conversation signs if they are not going to bother conserving anything. One thought I had was that in humid environments, maybe the towels just won't dry so they mildew.


Michael said...

The housekeeping at Motel 6 does not take as much pride in their jobs, Unfortunately for me...

...And Another Thing!

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- Well, he likes hockey a lot, so he might just go easy on you.

JD- If you don't believe me, I could try taking a picture of the "Family Friendly" line, only given it's airport security, they might think I'm casing the joint-- and then you guys'll never see me again. I'll be off in some dark cell somewhere being waterboarded.

Jay- It really is. Up there with guessing how long it will be before your toilet paper ends up folded in a point again. :)

Reforming Geek- Actually, they have my air conditioning on-- it's lovely. So I really don't know. I just know I came back tonight and... yup, more towels!

Michael- Well, at least it's not the Motel 3.

Mr. Knucklehead said...

Judging from my airport experiences, all lines should be labeled as follows:

Line 1: Rude and Abrasive
Line 2: Utterly Clueless
Line 3: Completely Unhelpful
Line 4: I Don' Speak English

That way you could pick your own level of frustration.

Jenn Thorson said...

Knucklehead- Love the new SouthPark version of yourself there in your avatar-- the resemblance is pretty funny.

And you know very well at the airport you don't get to "pick your own level" of anything-- self-determinization goes completely against FCC regulations.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Eh, I can just hear Gordon now: "You call that chicken cordon bleu. Damn it woman! Are you bloody, F*#@ing mad?!" Only at the airport he would say, "What's in your pocket? No. No. I said 'What's in your pocket' Are you crying. What the f@*#? You are a twit. Stop sniveling. Suck it up and take out the damn keys from your pocket."

Jenn Thorson said...

Lisa- You really channeled your inner Gordon Ramsay there. Who knew that inside a small blonde American woman blogger lurked a giant blonde angry British male chef? :)