Monday, April 2, 2007

Flight of the Baton Twirlers

Well, April has arrived, and it appears as though I can return to my usually laid-back 3rd year pace. After two intense weeks of work, I can now focus again on writing random stories and book reviews and what not.

Yesterday offered an interesting travel experience. I went to the Amarillo airport to fly back to Dallas at about 5:30 or so, and I noticed a lot of strange-looking young girls. They had bizarrely sculpted hair with enough metal pins to surely set off the metal detectors. Some wielded trophies or strange velvet tubes. All had a mother plodding behind carrying a massive garment bag.

It turns out that I happened to catch the same flight as about 25 competitive baton twirlers who had recently competed in some regional event up in the Texas Panhandle (I think Pampa . . . not sure). I made several observations about this lot. First, I was stunned at the choice of hair style--they looked like minature versions of a bad movie about Dallas in the 80s. Not sure why this style persists.

Secondly, this was a very annoying lot to fly with. I don't know what it is about groups flying together that makes them inherently obnoxious. I used to fly places with a speech and debate team, and I assume we could occasionally be annoying--then again, my main flight memory was having an older teammate explain why everyone should read Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish (by the way, he's right--everyone should). Okay, so I guess that's almost as obnoxious as the conversation about Justin Timberlake I endured on this flight.

Finally, I had flashbacks to the last time I flew to Dallas with a plane load of strangely perky women wearing way too much make-up. I caught an Atlanta to Dallas flight along with about three dozen women headed to the international Mary Kay cosmetic salesperson convention. Perhaps they had traded in their own batons for pink cadillacs. Regardless, I think I'll be a more conscientious group traveler in the future.

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