We seem to have hit a nerve in the traveler’s discontent forum this week.  So pardon me for going back to the well, but I’m in transit back from Vegas as I write this Thursday night (traveling at a comfortable 460 mph – thank you very much voice in the sky), am working on three hours of sleep, and thought of a clever tie in for the Bears part at the end, so deal with it.  Some of this may come off as ripped off Jerry Seinfeld rants, and other parts are a little more akin to Dana Carvey’s Grumpy Old Man, but again, it’s late, I’m tired, and dreadfully hung over so just suck it up and enjoy…

  • Escalators and moving walkways are not rides at an amusement park.  They are tools to assist you in getting where you need to be.  Keep your feet moving people.  When people hop on to these animated transportation devices and treat it like they’re on a shuttle bus, clogging the lane for everyone else, my snarky nature kicks into gear.  Let’s just say there is a direct correlation to America’s obesity problem and our eagerness to find a “free ride” while walking down a hallway or up a set of stairs.
    • Quick Aside: I am granting myself full permission to violate this rule when I have a baby (and all its associated crap) with me at the airport
    • If I were graduating from college right now I would declare myself eligible for the NFL draft and post my 40 yard dash time as captured running on the moving walkway out to Terminal C at O’Hare (the one with all the crazy lights).  I guarantee that thing would aid me enough to get into the 4.xx second range which might just capture some teams attention, and then I’m sure my charming personality in the interviews would carry me the rest of the way.  The NFL is all about how fast is your 40 time?  But they never specify where you ran that forty.
    • TSA Security is an absolute joke.  They provide absolutely zero value to the process of keeping us all safe beyond a false venire of protection.  Think about the literal millions of bags and passengers that pass through airport security every day and compare that to how rarely you hear about TSA actually thwarting a potential problem.  They operate in a “one failure is too much” environment which I appreciate, but seriously… If I were Rick Perry, this would be the third government agency that I forgot to mention (and I would promptly be crucified by the mainstream media for it). 
    • At Midway Airport why would you ever park in the Red or Yellow lot?  There is a perfectly functional five story concrete parking lot available to you where your car can be protected from the elements and have some degree of safety (there are cameras) that costs the exact same amount of money.  The shuttle bus ride may be roughly a minute shorter but otherwise it makes absolutely no sense to me why people use the outdoor remote parking lots.  Frankly I don’t care where other people park, except when waiting for a bus to take you back to your car after you land, it appears there are two or three buses headed to the Yellow and Red Lots for every one of the Economy Garage.  This bugs me.
    • When going through security, avoid the lines with strollers and old people and find the one with the most Asians in it.  They’re an efficient breed and they pack lightly.  Just a little tip from your Uncle Chi-Guy.
    • The Priority Lane doesn’t mean much if everyone is “Priority”.  This is Southwest specific but when going through security most airports now have a Priority Lane for A-List Southwest flyers.  Great concept, but when that line is longer than if you opt to mix with the rest of the peasants, there’s something wrong with the system.  Basically the Priority List should consist of myself and thirteen other people in the nation.  Wouldn’t that be fun?  You would essentially never run into one of the other thirteen, but when you did it would be a special event and you could perform a secret handshake and talk about what suckers everyone else in the other lines are?
    • Southwest no longer takes expired drink coupons.  Between this and their changing their points system are my two personal signs of the Apocalypse coming.  Don’t they realize that I have roughly two hundred drinks owed to me at 33,000 feet?  Then again, maybe they do and that’s how we came to this point…
    • I’m going to knee cap the next person I see fumbling around in the overhead compartment while others are trying to board the plane.  People have an incredible amount of time to get what they need out of their carry-on while sitting in the gate area and yet still feel compelled to wait until they get on the plane and throw their bag into the overhead compartment before they opt to stand in the aisle and rummage through their luggage for their Judy Bloome novel.  Grab it while you’re sitting at the gate and carry it the 126 feet down the jetway, take your seat and be done with it. 
    • For those who fly Southwest, there is absolutely no reason to stand in line until they begin boarding the plane.  Back in the day before a number was assigned to your ticket I could understand lining up to establish the order in which you board.  But now with a numbering system in place there is no purpose to stand in a line for 20 minutes before you get on.  For the record, I’m the guy in the comfy chair powering my iPod until the last second, who darts right in front of you as you hand your ticket to the boarding agent.  It’s all legal, my number is before yours and my legs are fresher…

Those are my grumblings from the airport lifestyle to put a nice little cap on this week of travel.  Speaking of getting ready for take-off however, we are T-minus 2 days until the Bears decide whether this season is going to have lift-off or be aborted.  With a win Sunday the Bears place themselves in the cockpit for a Wildcard run, tying us with Detroit in the standings and only leaving San Diego, potentially Oakland, and Green Bay on Christmas as potential turbulence spots the rest of the way.  Detroit meanwhile still has two Green Bay dates ahead of them, and the Bears hold tie-breakers over the Falcons and Eagles.  Sunday is big and I hope the Bears know it.  I think the line steps up again and the team avenges their Monday Night disaster from last month.  Call it a Bears win (potentially convincingly) that brings them back into the discussion of the upper echelon of the NFC.

Prediction: Bears 33 – Lions 21

Bears Record: 5-3

Chi-Guy Record: 4-4