So I'm sitting in the B gate area of McCarran airport yesterday waiting for my flight to Boise. Every other time I've flown Southwest we've gone out of the C gates, which I much prefer because that's where my favorite bar to make new airport friends is. But okay, I'm making the best of it. Of course, I'm there an hour early because I'm neurotic about missing my flight, but I have my newspaper and the latest Rolling Stone and People magazines, so I'm well armed for the wait.
So I'm sitting there kind of away from the rest of the travelers, but within view of my gate, totally minding my own business when I see some motion on the floor a couple of feet away from me. It's a freakin' BIRD hopping around! I let out a gasp loud enough for the people around me to pause their cell phone conversations, grab my carry-on, rush over to gate B11, and plop myself next to the biggest guy I could find.
"There's a freakin' bird over there," I tell him. "You have to protect me."
"No problem," he said. He was really nice and we got to talking, but quite honestly I could hardly pay attention to what he was saying because all I could think about was that freakin' bird.
"Birds should not be allowed inside," I declared, "especially in an airport. Like if there's a bird in Costco, you can just abandon your shopping cart and dash out of the store, you know? But you can't run out of the airport; you gotta get on your flight." I paused. "Should I call 9-1-1?"
My protector assured me he had everything under control; there was no need to summon the authorities. He was a swell guy. At one point he excused himself to use the rest room and inside I was all like, You can't leave! There's a bathroom on the plane, can't you hold it? but on the outside I was like, Oh, yeah. That's totally cool.
I hate birds. A couple of weeks ago as I approached the stairs to my apartment I saw a bird on the sidewalk up ahead of me. I coughed and jiggled my keys to scare it away (as I always do), but the damn thing wouldn't budge. There was no going around it because it was right in my path. At one point, I stopped and again was like, Should I call 9-1-1? but I was in a particularly brave mood and so I stepped closer, continuing my coughing and key jiggling routine.
Then I stepped a little closer. And a little closer. And then I saw... it was only a pine cone.
But that was definitely a bird I saw in the airport. Definitely.