O Hairy Day

Everyone and her bouncing baby is coming out with funny, lyrical, beautiful and otherwise excellent recaps of our weekend at the Blogher09 Conference in Chicago. I too will be releasing one of those stink bombs fragrant flowers of prose either today or tomorrow, but first let me say this:

The worst place to be in the Chicago O'Hare Airport is wherever you're standing.

I mean it. Arrivals, departures, check-in, security, the bend in the hallway that passes for a Quizno's, wherever. That place was built with a ferocious but inhuman disregard for the convenience and enjoyment of people, as if the Airport Authority had outsourced the design to a team of ravenous wolves and gas giant aliens. You could flood the departure concourse and I'd at least eke some distraction out of drowning.

Coincidentally, the worst airline to fly in the US, as far as I can tell, is United. Combine an international United Flight with the slaughterhouse chic of O'Hare, and you have a monstrous shitball of a time, a dark globe of pure experiential feces whose circumference is nowhere and whose centre is right up against your nose. I now know United's real slogan: You'll Fly With Us Because That's Where You Need to Go, Sucker.

Thanks for the check-in machine that shut down in mid-process. Thanks for charging me for every piece of our checked baggage. Thanks for not telling me beforehand that you're too cheap to haul our bags. Thanks for the one poor woman trying to answer a million questions at once as each machine winked in and out of service at random. Thanks for the lack of proper instructions. Thanks for the expressions on the faces of staff who know that they're next in line to be replaced by a chunk of crap technology. Thanks for having departure times that are more like best guesses. Thanks for the confused lines, the ancient plane with seats covered in almost brittle vinyl, the three-hour flight with no food. Which reminds me, the flight was delayed because the galley was being stocked. Stocked with what? Packets of non-dairy creamer? That stuff sucked. Thanks.