I am not a number

A Dublin pub's outer wall carries a defiant W.B. Yeats quote.

A Dublin pub’s exterior carries a defiant W.B. Yeats quote, the sentiment of which would most likely be lost on certain automatons working at airports.

There’s nothing quite like a modern day airport to remind one of the hell that is conformity. Lined up like cattle, spoken to by blank-faced, authoritarian douche bags, it’s a tasty reminder of the pleasures of unbridled authority and totalitarian processes.

It could have been worse, though, and I avoided having to lump my bags to the airport on London’s tube thanks to scrounging a lift with Big Al who had to go to Heathrow for a business flight, meaning our annual bromantic adventure extended to the last possible moment.

United Airlines offered its usual cheap but cheerful flight experience–great film selection, peppered with some greats from the ’80s and ’90s.

I went for Woody Allen’s latest offering of  “To Rome with Love” (6.5 out of 10), “LA Confidential” (still a classic, 9 out of 10 despite numerous previous viewings), “Before Sunset” (7 out of 10), “Robot & Frank” (7.5 out of 10), and “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (had to bail, it was so bad).

Being a 9-hour flight, it’s usual for people to leave their seats and stretch the limbs. But I was slightly surprised when the woman in the seat opposite me across the aisle stood up and proceeded to vigorously massage her buttocks a foot away from my face. Evidently she felt drastic action was needed to combat potential deep vein thrombosis in her derrière.

At Houston’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection I encountered the friendliest official thus far during my American adventures, and my ears tingled to the reassuring thuds of red-ink entry stamps on my passport and I-94.

I was back in; still a non-resident alien–but through the barricades.

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