Filed under: I’d Rather Study the Mating Rituals of My Parents. It was announced today that 42-year-old anthropologist Dr. Damian O’Doherty will soon be living at the Manchester Airport for 12 months, up to 18 hours each day. The good doctor will study travelers — their every move, interaction and bathroom break, not unlike the TSA — in an effort to make airports a better place to live and work. The government-funded study will cost roughly $64,942.13 USD. And it’s worth the money, why?
(‘’)I’m all for making the skies a little more friendly, especially as a Hail Mary-chanting, white-knuckled frequent flier. But what can O’Doherty possibly tell me that I don’t already know about the experience? Airports are these sterile, hostile environments in which I fear my flight anxieties will be misconstrued as cold terrorist feet. The food is expensive and shitty. The TVs are always cycling natural disaster stories on CNN, and instead of taking my mind off takeoff, I start to think about how Rick Sanchez might react to turbulence. The bathrooms smell of fear and other things. I have a pet-peeve about seeing lone squares of toilet paper on the floor, or used bits of recycled paper towel in front of the trash. Those moving sidewalks would be fun if only they went a little quicker. Oh, Dr. O’Doherty, if you would just let me save you the trouble of spending a year filming the sequel to Tom Hanks’ The Terminal…
10. If we’re not drunk at 5 in the morning, we don’t like those pizza places with pictures of Mira Sorvino lining the walls. 9. If the bars looked a little less like a Coney Island arcade, we might be more likely to drink and be merry. 8. Give us free wireless. Jesus, we’re spending enough time worrying about those oxygen masks. All we’re asking for is a little YouTube access. 7. Why can’t there be a little Joy Division or David Bowie playing in each terminal? Everyone likes Joy Division and David Bowie. 6. Flight attendants look like mean schoolteachers who S&M in their spare time. Please advise. 5. No one can afford Hermes scarves, okay? And we don’t want to buy nativity scenes year-round. Give us an Apple store or Urban Outfitters, or something. 4. One time I saw Angela Lansbury, and she didn’t even notice me. Couldn’t you have done something to help? 3. I always forget to wear nice, matching socks on flight days, when of course, you’ll be inspecting my feet. An e-mail reminder isn’t too much to ask, is it? 2. There are too many grays and blues in each terminal. Isn’t yellow supposed to calm people — or does that drive them crazy? Regardless, someone needs to get on the phone with Grace Adler. 1. Planes are scary. If we could do away with that whole part of it, I’d really appreciate it.
There you go, O’Doherty. You’ll thank me later.