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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Hurry Up...

Hurry Up!

Why are we in such a hurry? Would the world really end if we got where we are going 10 minutes later? If it would, couldn't we just leave 10 minutes sooner? 

This week I had occasion to travel by plane and watch people - people in a great hurry. They arrive at the airport and are immediately greeted by a line to check their luggage. Because people are so impatient, there is also a line at curbside to check luggage easier and, of course, faster. In this line, there is a charge (okay, "tip") involved, but it is worth it if you are in a hurry to get to the gate and don't want to stop at the ticket counter and stand in one of those time gobbling lines.

After finally getting rid of the luggage, it's off to the concourse to find the departing gate. Some people are so impatient, they don't even check baggage at all, but drag it behind them on wheels. "Saves time," they say. "Don't have to wait to get your baggage when you get off." Also, "Don't have to worry about the airlines losing it," a really, big, super-duper time consumer. 

So there they go, dragging suitcases on wheels, up ramps, down ramps, over moving sidewalks, up escalators, and down escalators, really saving a great deal of time. If we could collect all the time saved at airports, we could probably extend the end of the world by billions of years!

Next comes that horrible time consuming obstacle - the metal detector. Valuable seconds are lost poking purses and luggage thru the conveyor belt. And if spare change or a belt buckle sets off the alarm... Wow! Forget it! The hurried passenger becomes a hostage of the airport security guards for five or more minutes, at least, before being fleeced enough to satisfy the metal detector and security guards that there is no madman with a firearm intent on hijacking the plane.

Passing inspection, passengers are free to proceed... and proceed... and proceed... Seems like they will never get there. Why do airports always make the gates for impatient people the last gate at the end of the concourse? It's almost as if they know who is impatient and planned the delay as a cruel joke!

At last, the correct gate is found, and another wait begins. People fidget, they read, they use cell phones, laptop computers, or watch TV, if there is one. Why doesn't the plane get here? Don't airlines know people are in a hurry? Why do they think people fly? 

At last the attendants come out. Before they can announce the flight, the suitcase people, who were in too big a hurry to check in at the ticket counter, begin to line up. After all, people in a hurry need to be first!

Finally, boarding begins and chaos evokes. Never mind that seats are assigned. People cannot wait, they stand by eagerly waiting for their row to be called so they can rush on the plane. Some don't wait, but cut ahead of others before their row is even called. 

On the plane all the aisles are blocked by the early boarders who, of course, have wheeled luggage and are trying to put it in overhead compartments. The other people, who are also in a hurry, are very annoyed by not being able to get to their own seat and put their own wheeled luggage overhead. 

Should the flight be delayed in taking off for a few minutes, people begin to fidget, murmur, and look at watches, sure they will never make their connection on time. 

At the end of the flight, they are out of their seat belts and in the aisles before the plane can stop taxing. Bags are jerked from overhead compartments and impatience evokes until the door is finally opened and the hurry-up people run from the plane pulling their wheels behind them. 

Yes, it really is too bad there is no way to collect up all the time saved at airports. We could dole it out to the impatient, luggage pulling passengers along with their airline tickets and give them all sorts of time to board. 

Guess it wouldn't work, though. They would want to save it in a "frequent time-flies plan" and get preferred seating - ahead of everyone else, naturally.

Copyright 1999 Sheila Moss


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