genius at work

by santoki

For the most part, air travel doesn’t phase me. Sure, I usually book the most inconvenient time to travel, pack everything I don’t need at the last possible moment, break out in a cold sweat looking for my passport, get screwed over by Chicago Carrier Cab and make it to the airport with literal seconds to spare. In my mind, it’s like a live action “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.

While I could wax poetic about the abundance of monotony busting lines, or the fury of the delayed plane, or the romance of the baggage claim, I will put all of that on hold.

All of the things that would harry the average gal on the go mean little to me. How can I stay so wonderfully aloof to the glorious people watching that abounds? How can I be so coldly indifferent to the drama of life that seems to play out in all of its overwrought glory? How can I not stare at the wild gesticulations of the incredibly angry person who if not careful, will be locked up for showing a little emotion?

Three words: noise attenuating headphones. It’s a socially acceptable way of blocking out the world without ruining my hearing, entirely.

Imagine my anti-social horror when in my rush to get to O’Hare, I found myself sans ER-6’s. I had the iPod, but no headphones. All I could do is stare blankly at my useless small talk avoidance module. My hope for finding a suitable replacement was nil. Since almost everything at O’Hare was closed at 5:15 AM, unless McDonald’s started selling McShure earbuds, I was out of luck.

Sort of.

Bad Packaging

When in doubt, every traveler knows that they might be able to find a helping hand at Hudson News. I knew that I wouldn’t be finding anything better than the bottom of the barrel, but at least it would keep any chatty Kathy from striking up a conversation. I was in luck.

Sort of.

At the overpriced oasis, I was able to secure a set of Coby earbuds. For those who don’t know, Coby is the Nolex of audio. Anywho, I buy the 11 dollar buds, and am ready to rock.

Sort of.

So who can tell me my first problem?

A gold star for all who recognized that this thing is meant to be opened with a machete. As anyone who has purchased anything of the electronics ilk is full aware, the powers that be have sealed these for freshness into the next millennium. Seriously, what the hell is the reason for the incredibly passive aggressive packaging? It would take me a good twenty minutes to open this thing with my entire toolbox at my disposal. Which leads us directly to problem number two.

Did you know that all of the stores and restaurants at O’Hare are not allowed anything that might be considered useful? All items, boxes, and deliveries need to be precut and packaged in a way so that it can be opened without the means of outside aid. This includes sandwiches, by the way. In any case, I wish that the thought occurred to the geniuses at Coby.

Fire the package engineer

When dealing with problems like this, it is important to take stock of one’s inventory. In my possession, I had a laptop, camera, phone, passport, wallet, keys, eye drops, lip gloss, 3 Starlight mints, and a pen. If I was MacGyver, I’d be doing the Cabbage Patch to Blackalicious in no time.

Alas, as I am no MacGyver, I did what every other slightly less than brilliant mind operating at “what the hell” o’clock would do. I started biting. That’s right. Operating on sheer grit, teeth, and brute force, girlfriend finally got this thing opened.

Unfortunately, I also cut my hand on the plastic, bit my tongue, dropped the f-bomb about eleven times in front of 2 different small children and got myself worked up into a terribly foul mood. All this, WAY before sunrise.

Memo to self: Send strongly worded note to Coby and Hudson News. Be sure to use the word “Sagacious.”