Think of the Children!


This being my first post of the new year, I figured I’ll start things off right. I was chatting with my friend @alexaizenberg about some bizarre travel stuff and he said something obvious. Not so much “In your face” obvious, or even “That was stupid” obvious. More of an unspoken truth about travel.  We all think it; he said it.

Alex said, “Traveling with kids… NOT looking forward to that.”

So, so true.  Mr. Aizenberg nor I have any kids. Not that “We” would have kids. We’re friends. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (#seinfeld). But, as common loves go, we love to travel, and I’m sure I can speak for both of us when I say kids would not stop either of us from doing it.

But why not? I should and do HATE the idea of children on an airplane. Screaming, crying, puking, miserable balls of snot who destroy that last bit of serenity in our already nearly peace-less overpriced floatation devices called Seats.  Yes, it is truly that bad. I never feel as anxious as when a baby’s crying pierces through my headphones and isn’t in tune with whatever Beatles album is playing. Sigh. Music education really needs to begin earlier in life.

Lost arts aside, there’s only one solution that makes sense. Stop having children.

Bear with me here…

I don’t mean for Alex or me alone not to have children. No, that would just not be good enough. All of humanity needs to jump on this bandwagon. Children clearly do not fit in with us traveling elite. Excluding them would be unfair. Therefore, they just shouldn’t exist in the first place. 

Sure, an entire generation would be lost.  But isn’t this what the world needs anyway? The movies (Avatar, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Inconvenient Truth, etc) have been telling me for years that only the human race is to blame for Global Warming and countless other diseases, infestations, and eradications. Who am I to argue with filmmakers? Ahem. (The name of this blog isn’t Buttered Popcorn.)  Skipping a generation would not only correct a few of these issues, but would spare many, many millions of potential lives.  It also might get James Cameron a Nobel Prize – This is something we can all get behind!

For the sake of travel, people, let’s put some real thought into this. I so wish I could enjoy a flight or two during the holidays. I know you want to as well.

Y’know… On second thought, kids are another seat.  It would be hard to pass up the extra miles.


Up in the Air (Pr)Review

With shameful, appalling disregard for the traveling elite, Paramount Pictures has disappointingly released “Up in the Air” today.  The film is billed as a comedy-drama about a corporate specialist who travels 85% of the time.  It is more like a horror film, however, doing as much a disservice for tourism and travel as “Planes Trains and Automobiles” (also by Paramount) and the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (Warner Bros.) collection. 

Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) is a corporate “Termination Facilitator” who ends up (unwillingly) on a moral crusade of sorts that explores the lifestyle choices he has made.  The plot centers around the man’s relative complacence with his job, and a twist on his social life initiated by the female antagonist who forces him to rethink his otherwise swell existence. What follows is one hour and 48 minutes of the most blatantly disgusting anti-traveler propaganda your eyes will ever see.

The film starts off well enough; Ryan flying, Ryan doing his job, Ryan flying some more.  The premise really has potential until Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) enters frame and destroys any semblance of plot. No more flying?! I nearly lost my Milk Duds and half gallon of Coke.

The rest of the film is devoted to destroying public perception of passionate flyers around the globe. No mention is made of the few “bad apples” that do ruin some personal travel experiences.  Instead we are lumped together and stereotyped until we are nothing but mere winged cockroaches buzzing over the honorable and innocent heads of the annoyed public.  This atrocity is only further exacerbated by the anti-traveler program jungle-fever-esque relationship between what I’ll call a Ground-dweller Femme Fatale and our dear Ryan.

I question Paramount’s intentions with this film. The statement they are making is unclear. Movie-makers are some of the biggest travelers.  From private jets and trailers, to the millions of dollars of equipment that must be shipped on location, we know that without travel Hollywood would die.  The hypocrisy is clear.  The writers of this film (and novel) must be held accountable for the irreversible personal damage this surely will cause.

What’s next Paramount?  Are you going to single out Bearded people?  Oh wait, you already did. You make me sick.

(Disclaimer: If you haven’t guessed already, I have not actually seen this film.  I read a synopsis, only. Nevertheless, 100% of the above is true. Hope you enjoyed it.)


Claiming Baggage

It’s like when you find an old $20 bill in your washed pants.  Glad to have it back, and of course it’s still good, but you have no idea what ordeal it just went through.


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

Speedy Security Check

Empty your pockets into your carry-on before entering the security check. Not fumbling around with the awkward bins saves time.

Paul Theroux

“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.” – Paul Theroux

Eye Contact

If you are sitting in the airport terminal and you make eye contact with someone, look away quickly so they do not think you recognize them.