Airport Watch, Round One: Good Omens

6 Jul

Welcome to how I keep myself entertained in a noisy, crowded departure lounge: Airport Watch!

The airports of the world are like melting pots, except instead of chunky and delicious bits of beef there’s really just a whole bunch of tired people. Thrill at my staggering insight as I introduce you to a multitude of colourful and unique human beings, each of whom I’ve gifted with distinct attributes. Today’s band of misfits come courtesy of the Ottawa International Airport.



This dead-eyed harpy was one of the first things I clapped eyes on when I hit the terminal, and by God she tested my resolve. Like a skull hanging from a tribal pike, she served as grim warning to any who would trespass within. Her horrifying, toothy grimace might have stopped even the most seasoned of travellers in their tracks, but I am no such cowering weasel! I ignored the way she peered out from beyond the howling void, dodging her piercing gaze with dextrous ease, and settled in to find a comfy seat.


This was my chosen spot and I think you’ll agree that it’s pretty dope. Commanding a comprehensive view of both the boarding tube thingy and the runways beyond, it was a functional and comfortable base camp from which to venture forth and document the humanity buzzing about me like a cloud of caffeine-fueled insects. Plus, leather couch! No straight-backed, spine-busting departure lounge chairs for me, Jack! I depart my lounges in style and comfort!


My couch companion was the affable and intelligent lady you see here, who we’ll call Farah. Her friendly smile was all I needed to assure me of a swift and disaster-free voyage, and as we clacked away on our Macbooks side by side I knew I had it in me to be an international man of the people. I didn’t look at what was on her screen, but I’m secure enough in my non-racistness to know exactly what was going on over there: she was deep into a scholarly analysis of  nineteenth-century Russian poetry. Farah’s legit with the lit, man. She gets down like that. She also sings in a gospel choir Tuesday nights, but don’t let her mother hear about that. Even the transportive power of soul can’t quash a lifetime of mistrust towards black people. Okay maybe I am a bit racist.

IMG_1216This is Margaret, a fortysomething Nutella addict with a penchant for reality television. While decidedly straightlaced due to her nineteen-year marriage to Gregory, a retired German self defence instructor, she harbours a secret love for Megadeth. In the heat of a Napanee summer, the tender sixteen-year-old Margaret was seduced by cheap wine, a transfer student with a rat-tail named Chaz, and the raw primal power of rawk. Her hard-charging life is behind her now, but every once in a while, alone in her Dodge Caravan, she’ll hit that Sirius classic rock preset and get the Led out. Rock on, Margaret. Rock on.


Chang here could be upset that he has such a stereotypical name, but he stopped giving fucks in 1974 and has no plans to pick up the habit again. Marvel at his crafty fashion sense, which is like Buena Vista Social Club by way of a Hong Kong street vendor. Did you notice the ring? That’s actually a globe of solid jade, gifted to him by a Qumari diplomat for his relentlessly mediocre service in the office of the Chinese consulate. His leather briefcase contains what appear to be administrative documents, but are actually Dan Brown novels which he has painstakingly re-formatted in Microsoft Word. Don’t ask what’s in the plastic bag. Just don’t.


If I wasn’t excited about my trip before, I sure was after I saw Takashi. He’s fresh off a kendo championship, which was held in Ottawa instead of Toronto at outrageous expense due to a last-minute mixup. He blames the tournament manager, whom he’s sure is struggling with a cocaine problem. Takashi, or “B4ttle_Masta_23” as he’s known on the Shonen Jump forums he frequents, wears his hair pulled back samurai-style – not out of any functional, religious, or cultural inclination, but just because it looks super badass. He killed a guy once, but it was totally an accident, and that district court judge had some kind of stick up her ass or something because damn, you mug a guy standing outside a dojo holding a wooden katana, you gotta expect not to come out of there without a bruise or two. Still, Takashi did his kendo team proud and is excited to return to his native Osaka to share his victory with his ailing father, Yoichi.


You see what kind of fascinating stories are happening all around us? Takashi’s taciturn presence, and that of the other agreeable lounge-mates I shared my time with, buoyed my spirits and gave me hope for the arduous journey ahead. If the other people I meet are half as interesting, and the rest of my trip proves as auspicious as the beginning, then I’m in for a hell of a ride.


2 Responses to “Airport Watch, Round One: Good Omens”

  1. Your Father. July 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    One just never knows what will crawl out of that fertile mind of yours. Love it.


  2. Steph March 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    I just re-read all of these again and am dying laughing at work. I shared them with a few of the techs here and they love them. Hysterical.

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