The incoming flight had been delayed over three hours.

I’d already stuffed myself with every ounce of gluten and sugar I could find at O’Hare. Not a shred of self-discipline or pride remaining, I chowed down on a piece of a lint-covered honey-pretzel left in my pocket from the last trip.

The voice over the loudspeaker was scratchy.

“Apologies for the delay, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Flight 658, Chicago to Los Angeles. Let’s get theprocess started by boarding passengers with a First Class or Business ticket.”

These rewards programs are out of control. I have a quarter of a million miles in my account and I never get upgraded. Too many people with too many miles. What’s the point of airline loyalty?

“Now boarding our military men and women. A heartfelt thanks to you all for service to the country.”

No one on that line is even wearing a uniform. This is screwy.

“Out of respect for past servicemen and women, now boarding anyone who has ever served in any one of our armed service groups.”

Every man in the terminal is on that line. I can feel their disrespect. Back off with the attitude! I have flat feet. I lived through public school wearing metal arches. Have I not suffered enough. Who’s the real hero?

“Now boarding parents with children or anyone needing special assistance.”

No kids or canes on that line. One woman is wearing a handicapped sign around her neck that some four year old scratched out with crayon this morning. This is random. Is no one paying attention?

“Boarding bright passengers who are multilingual. Personas que hablan más de un idioma.”


“And yes. Of-way ourse-cay. Pig-Latin ounts-cay.”

SERIOUSLY? Pig Latin now counts as a language?

“Passengers with gym memberships.”

Get real! Nobody on that line has driven past a gym in a decade!

“People with trust funds.”

That’s what I thought. I’m the only one left in America without a trust fund. I gotta tell you, this one really hurts.

“People who regularly donate to charities.”

Wait. What does regularly mean? I contribute to charities once a year at Christmas. Is that regularly?

“And now boarding people who need people.”

What the hell? Isn’t that a Streisand song?

“Men with prostate issues.”

What men? I’m the only man left standing here! I’m the only person left standing here.

Now boarding 64 year olds at the apex of mediocre careers.

Geez. Finally.