Thursday, May 22, 2014

Airport Soap Operas

Airport soap operas are unbeatable free entertainment. They're like flash fiction.  

There was this comedy...

Dad was led straggling line of children schlepping their princess and action figure backpacks. Mom pushed the baby in a stroller and tried to lead a toddler who wanted to explore the unfamiliar territory. Third in line, a boy dragged a rubber-tipped toe on the carpeting and weakly bleated "I'm tired. This backpack is too heavy."

Dad whipped his head around, and fussed.  "If you don't stop whining I'm going to leave you right here." 

My inner judge gave him 1 point on a scale of 4 for ineffective parenting. Who was he going to leave Junior with? Even the kid knew Dad was bluffing. 

Oftentimes you only get one side of a conversation and you freely invent the hidden scenes. 

Waiting for my flight I recently overheard a young female voice earnestly plead into the  phone. "I know, but I would really have appreciated it if you had followed my instructions and not forwarded the message to my mother. She's really upset with me. She did not appreciate learning our news in this way."

"I wanted everyone to get the announcement at the same time, and specifically asked you all not to share it. It's still early on and we're only letting a few close friends and family know about it." 

Then she listened for a long time and I got to imagine the other person's excuses. "Oh, I didn't notice that part of your text/email." "Well, I just assumed you called your mother first." 

I'm not cell phone savvy. Couldn't the caller send a text to multiple people at the same time? Or did the first recipient treat it like a chain letter and forward it along to Mom? I finally pretended to stretch so I could take a peek. Her cute young husband just grinned at her and bobbed his head in support. 

 Do you think third party told the Mom the speaker was pregnant?  I didn't get to eavesdrop on that call and confirm my prediction.

Another micro-drama played out upon arrival. 

A tall trim woman quickly stalked up the concourse, no small feat considering the sexy stiletto heels she wore. She pulled a small wheeled suitcase, and carried a large leather purse over her left shoulder while she fussed into a tiny phone. She tossed her long blond hair back. "WHAT?!" she shrieked. Well, come get me!"

Her voice got louder and slightly higher with each word. She didn't listen very long before she repeated herself, like the Queen of Hearts giving orders to a dull-witted servant. 

 "Come. Get. Me." (Or off with your head!)  She snapped the phone shut and tossed it into the bag. 

I wouldn't want to be her chauffeur. What do you think--boyfriend? younger sister? I missed the pick-up so I'll never know. 

People will continue to subject me to their phone calls and their travel stress.  Cheaper than head phone rentals or a Netflix download on my iPad, the airport micro theater will continue to entertain me.   

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