Saturday, August 16, 2008

Travel Log

I traveled to Tulsa-town this weekend to rehearse with the Triibe. We are going to England next month for an international leadership conference, and we have been wanting to prepare some new material.

During my trip here, I had a little fun making notes about odd things I noticed. Here's some of my miscellaneous thoughts:

Generosity Stolen

Location: Las Vegas Airport

Situation: In between flights, at the cashier, buying my personal pan pizza, m&m’s and water. (hey, at least I got water)

Total: $10.96 USD

Cashier: “That’s eleven hundred”, with a slight chuckle at her own ability to break down dollar amounts into the hundreds.

Me: “Oookay, here ya go”, giving her eleven bucks.

Cashier: “Thank you.” She closes the drawer and looks to the next sap.

I say “sure”, or something and walk away.

At first I thought, no biggie, it’s four cents. Then I thought deeper into it.

I would normally say, “please keep the change”, not wanting to deal with the pennies, etc. You see those change cups by registers all the time, and I frequently throw coinage in them. My beef was that I wasn’t given the option to give the money away. I was robbed of that “to give is better than to receive” feeling.

As I ponder my shallowness while waiting at my gate, an m&m bounces off my front tooth as I try to toss it in my mouth, then I realize that I have never thought it odd when a cashier forgives a few cents owed to them, like if a total is $11.04. I pick up the m&m and move on with my life.

On airport bathrooms:

I love going to the bathroom at airports these days. Everything is automated. You don’t have to touch anything that doesn’t belong to you. There is no main door, the toilets & urinals flush automatically, the sink is automatic, now even the soap is automated. The towel dispensers are automatic, but I guess I don’t wave nice enough for them to spit out towels for me. Wave wave wave. Stop, look, wait. Wave wa- there's a towel. Repeat.

On airplane windows:

I’m 6’1”. (and a half – I have to say that as I vainly try to keep up with my oldest son who is about 6’3”) Anyhoo, I’m 6’1”. Tall, but not super tall. Not freakishly Yao-tall. So, why are all airplane windows designed for people 5’4” and below? It’s a neck breaker to take a peep through them.

On airplane comforts:

I have a new invention idea. I know I’ll never market this idea, so you can have it. (just send me a nice gift card if it does well for you) It’s a travel aid called “No Splay”. It would be a simple Velcro strap you wrap around your legs, to keep them together as you nod off in your undersized seat on the plane. This cuts down on the awkward involuntary leg bumping with your neighbors. (thanks Martin for the name)

On window gazing:

While flying, where does that barrier exist between the houses, cars, roads looking like a clean, beautiful and elaborate train set, to just some regular, full-size houses, cars and roads? I think about 50 feet up, there is a magical line where everything transforms to the coolest toy collection ever, and I have always wanted to play with it.


Unknown said...

im not suppose to be on line today...ya know, celebrating our anniversary and all...but brent signed me up for internet on my he's busy gettin that squared away...

anyway...lovin your thoughts here! im flying to kansas next month and im dreading already the person next to me falling asleep for that exact reason of them invading my personal space. the thing is...i will say something to them! and i will try to be nice ;-)

oops...brents done...gotta go!

have a great day Mark!!

Adam Palmer said...

Yes, the windows in airplanes are in a bizarre spot. And I never really labeled that before, but you're right: the ground does just suddenly get small, doesn't it?

And while we're here, us tall folks, can we just extol the greatness and grandeur of the exit row? What a marvelous thing...

Mark Keefer said...

Tam - Honored that you came to my spot on your limited time.

Adam - all hail the exit row!

Karenkool said...

Ok--about the airport bathrooms... the paper towel thing is great and all, and maybe you don't know much about the stalls, but I cannot understand why the toilets must automatically flush over and over again while one is still sitting/ hoovering there, business unfinished. It's just WRONG!

BAHahaha on the No Splay.

Mark Keefer said...

Yeah Karen, my bathroom praise was definitely from the guy perspective, wasn't it? I can see the annoyance.

Unknown said...

karen, yes! the flushing before the business is done. horrific!!!

Dale Baker said...

So what do I have to do to become a member of the Tribe! Man, I want to go to England too! And hang out with you some more as well...and do that in England or Spain or where ever you guys go, would be freakin awesome...

Oh, and on another note, I usually have good luck with those automated towel dispensers by waving my hand (ala Obi Wan - Ben - Kenobi and saying..."these aren't the droids you're looking for...") I love doing that.

Mark Keefer said...

Dale, I think you and Triibe are a perfect fit. I mean it. Let's explore that. I just wish it was a more regular thing.

And I will try 'the force' on the dispenser next time. Why didn't I think of that?