Snapshot of American air travel: I'm typing this from an airplane stuck on the ground at a major American airport. The crew is begging for more people to get off the plane, because they overloaded it. They can't say that, of course, because to do so would admit culpability. Seven people have gotten off so far*, but it's apparently not enough. I think they fear our being too heavy to fly through a storm up north. We passengers are all wearing poker faces, trying to get the crew to up the ante. We studiously listen to people complaining about this on their mobile phones. It's getting to be like Lifeboat (1944).
This exercise in game theory follows an aerobic event, wherein I was trained or simply ran around 75% of this huge airport, following multiple gate changes and the mysterious absence of flight information on the few monitors available.
The culinary angle is similarly heinous. For "food," I scarfed down a small pizza in a box, so badly baked that the container and contents resembled each other. Earlier I missed lunch, because we were in the air, and not being fed.
The only Wifi available? Slow and for pay.
Now, if all goes well, I will arrive in another city after nightfall, then drive two hours across a nighttime landscape I've never traveled before, guided only by a Google Maps printout and the cheery snarls and cheerily glowing screen of a GPS unit.
Another sign of the times: I Twittered this, first.
*Another fun detail: the stewardness announced that they were taking people off. No, not that those seven people were volunteers, but that "these people are being taken off the flight."