Balancing the universe, one airport employee at a time

Every so often the universe sees fit to remind me of a lesson I may have neglected.

Because that's how I got my lessons as a child, not from those crazy fairy tales and their "happily ever after" or their "good triumphs over evil" or their "It's OK to use dwarves as slave labor."

No, my life lessons come from observing the human condition. They tend to repeat themselves when I get lazy and don't follow them.

Like when I was slacking on the whole "wear underwear everyday" lesson and then one 90-degree day it came back to bite me " and the rest of my classmates on the bus.

The other day, the universe saw fit to remind me of another lesson.

So there I was, it was 6:15 in the morning at the airport and I had already been up for two hours. Because Kate had left the day before, I mistakenly stayed up late watching a marathon of Frien ... uh, Rambo movies and didn't get much sleep.

So because of that I was running late, which makes me paranoid when combined with a lack of A) coffee or B) sleep.

All I wanted to do was check in, get through the cavity search and get on the plane to Kentucky.

Apparently, to the universe, this is an excellent teaching opportunity.

So I am doing one of those self check-in things and next to me is this foursome of two couples.

So the leader of this group, who I affectionately named Mrs. Angry Mcharboringlesbiantendencies beat me to the baggage counter and so I was forced to wait for them to weigh and check eight bags.

So, with the slowness of guy on crutches running a marathon, they get each bag on the scale and fitted with a label while I watch " and think of ways to kill them.

Then on the last bag " which by the way was the exact same size and style as mine " the ticket lady told Mrs. Tendencies that it was overweight by seven pounds and there was a $50 charge.

Oh no.

For the next five minutes, Mrs. Tendencies proceeds to tell the clerk that the scale was wrong and there was no way she is paying such an outrageous fee. At one point her husband attempted to step in and " in a move I imagine to be similar to his sex life " was summarily slapped down, leaving him to lick his wounds in the corner.

Finally, Mrs. Tendencies decided that she doesn't have time to prove the scale is wrong and would pay the fee, (hoorah!) but on which credit card (damn it).

This sparks a debate between her and her husband, because he wants to use the emergency credit card and she doesn't think this is an emergency, but the other credit card may not have enough left on it to cover the charge and blah, blah, blah ... BOOM.

My brain literally couldn't take it and committed suicide inside my head.

So at just after 6:25 a.m. (and five minutes before the plane begins boarding) they pay the fee with the nonemergency credit card and hey, there's money left!

We're good right? Awesome, I can still make the plane.


Now " after they are all done " Mrs. Tendencies remembers she wants identification tags on her bags and begins filling them out at the counter.

Her husband tries to tell to her move " bye-bye goes his genital (yes singular.)

The other members of her party try to tell her to move " she verbally clubs them down like a baby seal.

The ticket lady finally tells her she is holding up the other customers (me, drooling and with blood coming out of my ears from the brain suicide) and she storms off in a huff.

So there I was, completely convinced that my lesson was supposed to be that no matter how wonderful the person you marry is " they will end up like that, so don't do it.

But then, the ticket lady looks at my bag on the scale, four pounds underweight, and says, "Hmm, looks like it's fixed."

It was then I realized that my lesson wasn't about marriage, it was that when ignorant and spatially unaware people anger you, you are not alone.

There will always be someone there to laugh at them with you.

(That and the Mrs. Tendencies got stopped by security for having a huge bottle of lotion and cried, which was a nice bonus.)

Now, if they had more fairy tales like that, I might give this whole "happily ever after" thing a shot.

Tell me your thoughts on the Party of One blog at

- Jarid Shipley is the Features Editor for the Nevada Appeal. Contact him a or 881-1217.


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