I enjoy watching people at airports when I’m waiting for a flight. I guess that comes from all the years I spent as a child sitting in our car on the public square in my county seat watching the people shopping on Saturdays. That was the day we went to town to “shop” as well, which come to think of it, was really just a figure of speech we used back then. Real shopping often involves spending money and because there was not a whole lot of money in our household to buy anything, we usually just looked.
We would spend a lot of interesting time just watching people pass by our old Desoto. Today, people watching is accomplished primarily at our malls, but back then we could do it without leaving the comforts of the family sedan.
People watching in airports seems to be more challenging to me than public square watching back in the old days. I used to wonder who certain people were or even whom they were kin to back during those days of naturalistic observation on the square, but now I have reached the suspicious thought level of what they have been up to or what they are planning to do.
I also do a lot of naturalistic observation while waiting in line at sporting events, department stores, doctor offices and other gatherings that require you to spend time behind other naturalistic objects in a line trying to get something done. I have met a lot of nice people in those lines over the years and have also seen many who just need to be taken outside by my mama and talked to with the help of our backyard peach tree, if you know what I mean.
I watched in total amusement the other day at folks getting upset due to a vendor running out of free cupcakes. They acted like Black Friday had hit once again and those cupcakes were the last in the world. I agree they had been in line for a while in some pretty warm temperatures, but sooner or later when something is given away free, the supply is going to run out. The comments made by those without the privilege of getting a cupcake were not very pleasant and my only thoughts were they should have gotten to the event earlier.
Those folks not getting what they wanted reminded me of a story that U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander once told to a group that I happen to have been an attendant of a few years back. It is one of my favorites and I have shared it before, but I think that it is worth telling again, because it is so true to life.
The story originated back when the Senator was running for governor of our state in upper East Tennessee. He had been on the campaign trail all day and had skipped lunch. That evening he was at a chicken barbecue and was going through the dinner line with everyone else and when he came to the chicken a lady placed just one piece on his plate. Being very hungry from the day’s hard work, he asked the lady for an extra piece of chicken.
The lady replied that there was only one piece per person.
Still hungry, the Senator asked the lady, “Do you not know who I am?”
She answered, “No.”
He said, “I may be the next governor of the state of Tennessee, Lamar Alexander.”
Not overly impressed she said, “Do you know who I am?”
The Senator answered, “No.”
She smiled and said, “I’m the lady in charge of the chicken and I say you get just one piece like everyone else.”
I have always remembered Senator Alexander’s story and totally understand that if you are not the one in charge of the “chicken” then it doesn’t matter who, what or how loud you can fuss, you still get just what you deserve. And, with November 2 coming up in a few weeks, here is a thought: you may want to be sure to vote for who you want to be in charge of your “chicken” if you want to get what you think you deserve.