What To Do When You Have 14 Hours to Spare in an Airport

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Today, I am Tom Hanks.

There are a lot of ways to be Tom Hanks, sure. There's the beloved Forrest Gump version of Tom Hanks, but my IQ is OK & I've never had leg braces or saved anyone's life in war, so that's out. There's the Captain Phillips version of Tom Hanks, but I've got a wicked fear of water & New England accents, to say nothing of pirates. There's the horrible, bearded, survivalist version of Tom Hanks whose best friend is a volleyball in a movie so abhorrent that I refuse to give it further thought (and plus, I don't really like the beach).

Today, though, I am Tom Hanks in The Terminal, that movie where he... resides in an airport? I don't actually know because I've never seen it, but I think I get the gist of it, & at least half a dozen people have made that reference to me today, so I must be Hanksing pretty hard.

My situation is this: I vacationed in Las Vegas this weekend, & I booked a stupid flight back, a red-eye to DCA by way of Boston. I'm scheduled to leave at 11:55pm, but all the friends I traveled with had flights earlier in the day, so I came to the airport with them to see if I could fly standby this afternoon. I could've gotten a noon flight to Boston, but I wouldn't have been able to fly standby on an earlier flight from Boston to DC - because my flight is technically tomorrow - so I would've been stuck at the Boston airport until 7:30am. I figured it was better to spend a day in the Vegas airport than a night in the Boston one, so here I am.


In my spare time, I compiled for you a list of things you can do should you find yourself in an airport for more than half a day.* Naturally, most of these things should be done while sitting cross-legged on the floor in some carpeted terminal corner, with electronics perpetually plugged in.
  • Get everything off to an optimistic start by watching the newest episode of Game of Thrones. It's important to do this before your iPad's reliably awful battery begins to dwindle.
  • Call your mother.
  • Read everything, including many round-ups of tweet responses to the US Airways toy plan/porn snafu & Jenny McCarthy's lying oped about how she's not actually an anti-vaxxer & a Jewish pop culture piece on the rise of the "BeyoncĂ©der"
  • Text everyone you know multiple times.
  • Shame-eat a Whopper because fast food calories count for less in airport.
  • Put all your vacation photos on Facebook Listen to a RENT song & accidentally begin crying in public because of Feelings.
  • Try to write a deep & powerful piece that draws on all your Feelings. Scrap every version, but keep trying over the course of all the hours.
  • Watch last week's episode of Grey's Anatomy.
  • Look through 48 hours' worth of other people's Instagram photos.
  • Consider purchasing an ugly souvenir hoodie for $40 to keep you warm in this cold airport because this is Las Vegas & you didn't pack anything long-sleeved.
  • Drink 2.5 soy lattes.
  • Photograph an epic '80s rock star mullet sitting in your terminal.
  • Wash your face, brush your teeth, reapply your makeup, & try to degreasify your hair despite the fact that you've run out of dry shampoo.
  • Watch the Oreo Cookie Balls video three times.
  • Take an online quiz telling you the color of your aura but immediately write it off as bunk when it tells you your aura is "temporarily black."
  • Forget to eat dinner.
  • By the time you remember to eat dinner, realize that all the restaurants in your terminal are closing. Find a sandwich shop that's still open. Remember that it's Passover & you can't eat sandwiches.
  • Shell out $7 for a small package of trail mix & a banana, the only items you can eat.
  • Text everyone you know multiple times again, but feel kind of bad about it this time because it's now approaching midnight on the East Coast
  • Read the newest issue of Glamour
  • Search Rent the Runway for a dress to wear to a "black tie optional" wedding in Chicago next month 
  • Brush your teeth again
  • Spend an hour formatting a blog post in the useless abomination that is the mobile version of Blogger 
Now here's the kicker, & you get bonus points if you can accomplish this one: Learn that you have a middle seat on a full flight across the country. Burst into tears mid-sentence as the gate agent informs you that no other seats are available. Enjoy your flight!


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