Airlines: a flying shame

“Young man. Excuse me, young man come here so I can show you something,” belted the U.S. Airways credit card saleswoman. The statement was followed by a hand, as if I was her nephew who strayed away from the assigned seat in Sunday school.

I assumed that it was my young looks that gave her the inkling that she could talk to me as if she knew me well. But after careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that airport employees are just as rude as the Chinese restaurant worker who cuts your answers short and only speaks correct English when quoting the price of your meal.

I proceeded to the restroom to release, including the over-worked stick of Extra gum that had been held captive since the ride down Baltimore-Washington Parkway to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Upon entering the bathroom, I was bombarded by a bathroom attendant who wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“Excuse me sir, can I hold your bag?” he asked. I politely said, “No.” He proceeded with an, “Are you sure? It can be very troublesome.” And I responded, “Man, I’m good.” On exiting, he handed me two paper towels and a mint.

“I will only accept tips,” he said.

I almost slipped into a four-month coma. Instead of acting my shoe size, 7, I politely turned around and walked out.

For as long as I can remember, I pictured flying on an airplane to be a stressful experience. My second flight confirmed this.

From the moment I stepped on the plane I felt an aura of death around me, or it could have just been my mind placing me in the movie “Soul Plane.” The flight attendant had a Cheshire cat smile that assured me I would be clinching the seats the whole way back to Tally-ho.

As I passed first-class seating to get to coach, I felt like a frozen-up contestant in Lee Hall at a Coleman Library Showcase. People of different ethnicities, color and smells looked me up and down like a piece of meat. How exciting! As I took my seat, I immediately became a character on “Honey I Shrunk the Kids.” There I was inbetween two mountain men from North Dakota, snarling, sweating and ready to delete my existence with a movement of their arm from their lap to the armrest, which entails the vicinity of my whole body.

Soon, thereafter the witches of the night graced the aisles with buggies filled with smashed crackers and outdated soda pop. Their blue and white uniforms are designed to come off to customers as classy. They are a wretched mess. It aggravated me the whole flight.

Joshua King is a senior magazine production student from Jacksonville. He can be reached at