“Toast to Thoughtlessness”

“Why are so many airline passengers unable to board a plane, quickly store their carry-ons and just sit the hell down? From San Francisco International to Heathrow to Narita, these people apparently believe that once they’re arrived in the general proximity of their seats, all the other passengers waiting behind them cease to exist.” — John Flinn, Travel editor, San Francisco Chronicle

Hell, John, where have you been? Passengeria stupida abound in every situation and walk of life. What about:

  • The SUV’s doing 55 mph in the fast lane, with hundreds of drivers piled up behind, and hundreds of yards of clear lane ahead, sporting their “I’ve got mine” bumper stickers?
  • The supermarket shoppers who park their cart in the middle of the aisle, carefully positioned next to another cart or pile of boxes on the left, while browsing vapidly on the right? No one can get around them, yet they are dead to the world outside and around them.
  • The deli customer who doesn’t study the menu on the wall for the ten minutes we are all waiting in line to order our sandwiches, who then proceeds to entertain the whole deli with pontifications about what they think they might like to choose from today, and, finally, announces that they forgot their purse or wallet.
  • Most historians consider the outbreak of World War I to have started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. What they won’t tell us: “the war to end all wars” was really precipitated by a thoughtless deli customer in Sarajevo.

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