The Airport Ninja
Today I travelled interstate for some work. Like I do most weeks of my life. As I glided through the terminal (like the airport ninja that I am) and past the long boarding queue to the very short one, I noticed a herd of very large, tattooed men, all wearing sunglasses and, what looked to be, some kind of gang or club T-shirt with a slogan on it. Okay, I’m not exactly sure what the collective noun for a gathering of large fierce-looking men is (other than gang) but I’m going with herd. I considered flock, gaggle and swarm but herd seemed to be the best fit.
Having said that, I’m open to suggestions.
Anyway, I made my way on to the plane and there I was, standing in the aisle waiting for Mr and Mrs 7B and 7C to maneuver their considerable carry-on luggage into a not-so-considerable space, when I became aware of a very large back with very large arms hanging beside it, belonging to a very large man standing two inches in front of my face. To give you some perspective, I’m five ten (178cm) and my nose was not quite level with his shoulder blades. Without exaggeration, he was six foot eight and 300lbs (140kgs). As I marveled at his magnitude, I began to consider the logistics of trying to spoon such a physique into an economy seat.
Two minutes later and Mr and Mrs 7B and 7C were still holding up traffic. Still trying to squeeze their size sixteen luggage into a size ten space. Kind of like… oh, forget it. By this stage, my attention had shifted from the dimensions of the giant to the slogan (a reference to his club) sprawled across the back of his shirt. I read it and re-read it. ‘No, it can’t be’, I thought to myself. Can there really be a typo on his shirt? And I’m not talking about some poor grammar here. No, I’m talking about an actual spelling mistake. For some stupid reason (that embarrasses me to admit), I momentarily thought that perhaps the mistake was limited to his shirt only. I looked around his considerable mass to see if his comrade’s shirts all carried the same error. Of course they did. It’s not like the screen printer was gonna print one shirt with a typo on it just to piss off the giant, was he?
But that wasn’t the dumbest thought I had today.
For one even-more-stupid moment, I considered making the giant aware of the typo. Of course I did. What an awesome idea. After all, I’m a writer so surely Mr. Six Eight and the rest of the fellas would appreciate a little professional feedback from the geek in 15D? For a few irrational seconds, I wondered how I might deliver such a valuable and helpful message. Then, in a rare moment of sanity and clarity, I conducted a quick cost-benefit analysis (right there in the aisle) regarding the sharing of my observation with the herd. I concluded that the potential benefit was small. Tiny, even. And the potential cost? Significant.
I chose silence.