Observations from Terminal B and row 14

As you might know, I love to observe the people and happenings around me, wherever I may be. Restaurant bars, playground benches, subways and airports provide especially ripe environments for my ethnographic study. O'Hare's Terminal B, and my cozy row on the aircraft have been bonanzas this morning.

As the snaky security line wriggled slowly towards the final checkpoint, I spied a woman decked out in workout gear from head to knee. Curiously, south of her patellae her style veered sharply right of fancy with jeweled sandals adorning her feet. I don't get it at all. Flip-flops with shorts of most any kind, yes! But reversing that equation doesn't work.

Another glaring choice was the pair of shockingly tight, stretchy white athletic shorts ahead of me as we boarded. Really, they resembled a 1-ply Kleenex, and the view was TMI.

At my two-o'clock stood a failed comb-over. Oh dear. A shock of frizzy curls had escaped its gluey scalp latch, flipped over the forced part and swayed; it was the hair equivalent of a dangling participle.

Once aboard, the input kept coming! To my immediate right was a pasty man, all peach-fuzz facial hair and random arm tatts. This was no problem, and in fact I only noticed these details because he was besieged -and thusly so was I- by the most irritating sniffle-tic ever. His sniffles and attendant throat-clearings were as constant and staccato as a woodpecker's efforts on a big tough tree.

On my left was a kindly man whose heft moved into one-third of my middle-seat space. His wife passed him a granola bar, and he placed the top eighth into his mouth as if it were a fax awaiting the instruction to begin moving through the scanner. He managed to eat this bar, hands-free!, utilizing a combination chew-swallow-reel in technique. To his credit, he didn't seem to lose much in the process. As his right arm hovered over my lap, I think I'd have noticed stray crumbs.

Ultimately, I moved to an empty middle seat across the aisle because Sniffle-tic was making me nervous: any sort of sickness relapse is NOT what I need.