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 Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Passenger Pickup Lane....
The Passenger Pickup Lane
I went to purgatory -- at least I call it purgatory. Most people
call it the airport. .
It used to be fun to go to the airport and pick someone up and
watch the planes come in. But now you can't go where the planes
are. You have to wait for arriving passengers at the security
gates and hope they didn't take the escalator that goes down to
luggage pickup instead of coming back to the gates.
You might as well just pick someone up outside of the airport
and be done with it. Everyone seems to have the same idea,
though. Traffic circling the airport is like rush hour downtown.
Our airport has a front way in and a back way in. We usually go
the back way since it is closer to home and there is not as much
traffic. This time we had to take the front way as we are coming
from downtown. The road is wide and the traffic heavy as we
There is a lane for everything, long term parking, short term
parking, departures, arrivals, rental cars, taxis, busses,
commuter vans, pickup lanes, drop off lanes and lanes of no
return. The lane we need to be in is always on the opposite side
of the lane we are in. You need to really be careful in
purgatory or you could find yourself on the fast road to a very
The airport likes parkers who pay to park and they make it easy
for them to get to the short-term parking lot. They do not like
non-paying non-parkers who add to the congestion but not to the
budget. At least it seems that way as we weave our way in and
out of the confusing maze of traffic. There are signs, plenty of
signs, even signs telling you to watch for other signs.
How do you pick someone up outside the door when you are not
allowed to park? We find a few slots by the door so we slide
into one of those along with all the other people trying to pick
up an arriver. "Ten minute parking" says the sign.
"Leave your trunk open." "No unattended
vehicles," "Cross your legs and wait." Of course,
Honey decides he needs to go inside to the bathroom and leaves
me all alone to deal with purgatory.
When he comes back, the security guard tells us "Your time
has run out." So, we leave our empty spot for the other
lost souls. Now in a holding pattern, we circle the airport, and
circle, and circle like we are following a labyrinth.
Finally, we notice a sign that says "cell phone lot."
In the back of my over-heated mind, I remember someone (probably
a security guard) once told me that you could wait there for a
flight to arrive. I don't know why they don't
call it "short-term waiting lot". So, we pull in and
read more signs about not leaving your vehicle unattended while
we wait for the much-lamented plane to arrive.
An electronic sign flashes with arrival times for the incoming
flights. There must be airplanes somewhere, even if we can't see
them. Our flight is arriving 15 minutes early. Good, we won't
have to wait much longer. Our person can call
us when she gets here and we can circle around and pick her up.
Finally, our flight comes up and it's back to timed parking
where we are already on bad terms with security, but this time
we actually find our passenger and make a clean getaway before
time runs out again.
Now if we can only find our way out of purgatory without going
into a long-term parking lot or taking a shuttle. It is hard to
avoid the front way as all roads lead to town. Finally, we find
the narrow road for the back exit. The signs
direct us to go north or south -- but it's an east/west road!
Fortunately, we guessed right.
My airport atonement is done for a while. I just hope I can make
it home before my time runs out for good.
Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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