Brewer's Droop #199
HOW EARLY DO YOU GET TO THE AIRPORT?
She looked up at me with wide smiling eyes and said “my, my, are you sure you want to go through so soon?” It didn’t faze me one bit so I smiled back and said “sure”. I went through to the lounge, got comfortably settled in and did a lot of uninterrupted work.
For as long as I can remember, most of my friends have laughed at how early I leave for airports.
I’m talking about arriving early – I’m saying really EARLY. That means for domestic flights I’ve already passed through security at least two hours before the flight will be called.
For international flights I’m so early that I’m often there before the staff have opened the desk. Ultimately is means I’ll be sitting down in the lounge two to three hours before the flight is called.
Some people want to know why I do this or am I just OCD?
Well, I happen to LIKE airports (since this is sounding like a confession I might as well add that I also like airline food. I honestly have trouble finding anything wrong with it)
I think it was Stevenson who said “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake; the great affair is to move”.
For me, the excitement begins at the airport (although I will concede that a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg hardly counts very high on the scale of romantic jet-set travel so I’m really talking about long distances and new places here).
There are some big advantages to getting there early. Just a few random thoughts include;
I’ve never been bumped off a flight.
I’ve never missed one (except for once when I fell asleep watching cricket).
I’ve met hundreds of really interesting people.
I’ve met new clients there – often.
It’s a great place to catch up on emails and reports.
The drinks and snacks are free.
And there’s always the chance that a twenty-something super model is going to fancy me (on her way to being committed probably).
But there are really cool things happening at the airport. The vibe is what appeals to me mostly. There are usually good bars and lounges with interesting people – most of whom, in my experience, are extremely friendly. As I’ve already said, I’ve done a lot of business in airport lounges – and enjoyed myself at the same time.
I’ve travelled a lot and mainly the ONLY people who complain about the food on board are those who think (for some weird reason) that their last meal on a flight makes a good topic of conversation for (a) the person next to them and (b) their friends later on. So it just has to be inedible, otherwise it’s just another boring story.
Okay, to be fair, I’ve had the WORST hot dogs in my life on American Airlines. I’ve also had delicious fillet steak on SAA. But, on average, the food is pretty good.
Of course, from time to time, you’re going to get a lump of gelatinous stuff which is not nice, served by a surly stewardess who’s probably having period pains. Sometimes the entertainment centre doesn’t work and that bastard in front keeps pushing his seat back as hard and as far as it will go (why DO people do that?) And let’s not forget the screaming baby two rows behind.
But hey, shit happens every now and then.
Live with it. The next flight will be 100 times better.
But if you’re one of those people who literally run into the airport, barge into queues and demand that you be checked in quickly then here’s a list for you too:
There’s a strong possibility that the check-in clerk will tell you that the gate’s already closed.
You have a very high chance of being bumped off the flight anyway.
You run a high risk of the guy you pushed in front of in the queue knocking your teeth out.
Your stress levels will be sky high so your heart may not even make it to the plane.
You are not going to make any new friends – just enemies (the same goes for new clients too).
You’re going to be hot and sweaty and frankly not nice to stand next to.
You’ll miss one of the great joys in life – which is relaxing and just taking things easy.
I’m not suggesting that my plan is the best because clearly I have psychological issues about being on time – but for those who habitually arrive late why not try leaving just one hour earlier?
You’ll feel so much better.
IT’S WHAT’S INSIDE THAT REALLY MATTERS
We built a new house about four years ago. It was off-plan so we didn’t really have a lot of input. Anyway, we were assured of the finest top-of-the-range finishes, and to be honest everything looks very good. But when you examine the lavatories closely (as one is wont to do naturally) you discover that each of them are magnificent to behold. The finest Italian, or whatever, design.
My concern is though, when designers design such items, they obviously put a lot of thought into the sleek lines and the pneumatic seat recovery and so forth. Why then, do they put the cheapest rubbish into the mechanics of the thing?
It’s all very well to wonder at the glory of the gleaming and streamlined new lavatory they installed. It’s almost decadent pleasure to sit on one. But when the sodding flush gets stuck because it’s a cheap bit of plastic, what’s the bloody point?
It’s a bit like buying a Rolls Royce and finding there’s an electric motor using an elastic band under the bonnet.
And another thing…why, oh why, did the electricians install screw-in bulbs at one end of the passage and bayonet bulbs at the other? Did they do it just to freak me out?
In our previous house we had three outside taps. One took a quarter-inch fitting, another took a three-eighth and the other a five-eighth. That meant buying separate size hose attachments and keeping a stock of different sized washers.
A NEW STAND UP COMIC
I noticed that Julius is using some really good material these days. He’s now advising SRC students to “avoid a lavish lifestyle” while they’re in office.
This apparently includes telling them not to buy big TV sets or expensive clothes.
I’m guessing that he also means expensive homes, extravagant parties, luxurious cars and Johnny Walker Green Label.
If that’s the case then he’ll have absolutely no friends left in government at all.
He is a funny man though – you can’t help but laugh.
Last weekend I was sitting in our lounge nursing a gentle Merlot and I heard the wife busy in the kitchen. So I started thinking how lucky I was.
I was also thinking about financial plans and making a new will so, in a moment of great magnaminity, I called out to her “When I die I’m leaving everything to you, Sweetie!”
And she shouted back “You already do, you lazy bastard!”
It’s so much nicer at the airport.
By the way, we’ll shortly be accepting advertising on this site – contact me if you’re interested. (We reach the cream of the advertising and marketing communities, but you knew that already didn’t you.)
Lastly, Chris Moerdyk and I are giving a joint presentation to AMASA in Cape Town next week titled “How Old Advertising Farts Deal With New Technology” – should be fun. If you feel like coming along to poke two geriatrics then phone Anneke Stramrood at 021 685 3838 (Tuesday 23 October at Upper East Side Hotel – 17:30)