BY Michael “Ace” Baker

Long drags on the “medical” as I prepare for the airport. 

The Rastafarians use marijuana to speak with God. The Native Americans did as well. I use marijuana to survive the airport.

The insanity. The lines. The people … man, the PEOPLE!

Vacationers. Families “Does anyone need to go potty before we get on the plane?” The amateurs of the travel industry. Big, dumb, slow, and delicious- which is a horrible combination for any of god’s creatures—just ask the cows.

I watch them from the safety of the airport bars. Always getting into the wrong lines while they are on their cellphones, pushing baby strollers into the shins of fellow travelers, and window shopping the magazine stores just trying to figure out what useless item they can spend their money on next. Head pillow? Travel glasses? Comical t-shirt?. 

I used to get frustrated by them but time has taught me that you can’t get mad at an Idiot. It’s in their DNA. Most of them come from a long line of Idiots and here they are teaching their children how to be Idiots—smack dab right front of you in Row 16, seats A-E.

Their weakest trait is that they don’t know that you can’t fight the Airline Gods.

It’s an imperfect universe. The biggest brains on the planet work at NASA and send all kinds of crap up into the air. Some of it bursts in flames, some of it falls back down. The success lies in the averages. Does more crap stay up there or does more fall back on people’s heads?

So, too, is it for the Airline Gods.

As a rule, the Airline Gods do not care how tired you are. They don’t care about the wedding that you are going to, they don’t care about your brother Peter’s surprise birthday party, and they don’t care about your parents 45th Wedding Anniversary. However, I believe that in their natural state, the gods are on our side. They try to get you where you need to be But sometimes it snows, sometimes it rains, there are tornados, there is ice and then sometimes your bags get lost for absolutely no reason at all.

When this happens, it is important to keep a cool head. The men and women who serve as airline personnel are the Priests of the Airline Gods. They prepare the Sacraments. They control the Ceremony. Stay friends with them. Your only weapons are the words “please” and “thank you”. Smiles help too.

You CANNOT shout your bags back. You CANNOT tantrum your flight back on schedule. The Idiots don’t get this. Screaming at the American Airlines Lost Baggage Representative will not move your bags even 1 inch closer to you.

Stay cool.

You will have a natural impulse to lash out at the unfairness of it all. Suppress the impulse.

How did we reach this state? I blame car radios. 

No one gets their car radio stolen anymore. When I was a young man, somebody was ALWAYS getting their car radio stolen. It was good for you. It helped remind you that you lived in a dangerous place with no guarantee of safety or happiness. If you really wanted to keep your car radio safe, you had to pull it out and carry it into the bar with you and you usually lost at least one a year when you got drunk and left it resting against your barstool.

Nowadays, the car radio is built straight into the car. You can’t pick the car door locks with a wire hanger. People feel free to park their cars anywhere feeling smug and resting assured that both the car and the radio will be there upon their return.

Is it any wonder that the Idiots lose their minds when their flight is delayed??? They have no history of tragedy. No daily dose of sadness. No patience for imperfection. Just a genetic disposition of Entitlement. “This flight can’t possibly be delayed! I have to be SOMEWHERE!”

The pot kicks in and I grab my luggage. I pet my dog, kiss the wife, and head off.