I was in Orlando this past week and had the opportunity to enjoy the sights of the obliviots at the Los Angeles and Orlando airports.  I use the word obliviot* because  they are very selfish and act as if they are the center of the universe. It’s not that they don’t care about their fellow man, they just fail to think about them. Tonight, I would like to share with you some thoughts on how you can avoid being the obliviot. 

Pay attention to people around you, don’t assume that because you don’t see them they aren’t there.  Stopping while walking is great way to upset people who are walking behind you.  They falsley assume you will continuing walking.  A person walking behind you may be using a cane, a walker, or carrying a few cups of coffee.  They will be forced to either collide with you or in avoiding you, collide with another sane person.  If you need to stop, give a quick look behind you and make sure it’s OK to stop suddenly.  Or better yet, pull off to the side, out of the path of traffic.  Those folks who give you a forced smile and say they are sorry really think that you are an idiot.

When they announce that the handicapped, families with small children, and the elderly needing a little extra time are welcome to pre-board, that does not mean that first class and priority status are free to huddle up and force those pre-boards to get lost in the crowd.  If you like massing up in front of the boarding gate, fly Southwest, be with the folks who like the cattle treatment.  But if you are traveling on a regular airline, wait  in an area away from the gate until your group is called.  If they haven’t called your group, you are not allowed to muck up the process.  When you are standing around blocking the gate before your group is called, I’m betting there are people behind you wearing a forced smile thinking you are an idiot.

When boarding the airplane, pull your carcass into a row and get yourself settled.  Don’t get situated or look through your carry-on while standing in the aisle.  That line of folks waiting patiently for you, with forced smiles, thinks you are an idiot and really wishes that evil things would happen to you.

When you are in the air, just because your seat reclines, doesn’t mean you need to recline it.  I can’t tell you how many times they guy in front of me will recline his seat, forcing me to be a T-Rex, all the while he is hunched forward reading a magazine.  I will adjust the air vent so the cold air blows on your head, or I will kick the back and underside of your seat like a 6 year old.  You are an idiot and should be treated like one.  Before reclining your seat, turn around and ask your fellow traveler if it’s ok to do so.  9 times out of 10, my forced smiled means I think that you are a nice guy.

Anyway, that’s my rant from the porch talk this evening.  Please don’t be an obliviot!

* obliviot (n) Oblivious idiots. People who are completely unaware of their surroundings, even though they should be.

The Parade



Tonight is the 64th Covina Christmas Parade,.   A big event for my little town.

Saturday mornings the town is a buzz with folks putting up their lights and setting up their lawn chairs along the parade route.  At 6:30pm, the parade kicks off.  There are numerous high school bands, city dignitaries, a grand marshal, and various floats from the local religious and n0n-profit organizations in town.  The parade is capped off with Santa Claus and a cadre of city street sweepers Awards are given to the best bands, floats, and other entries.  Roughly 25,000 people will invade the streets of my little town.

 Originally, the parade route went down Citrus, past the numerous stores in downtown Covina.  It was a kick off of the Christmas shopping season, a 1950’s version of today’s Black Friday.  The route was changed to Badillo in the 70’s to accommodate the growing crowds.  People come from all around and it has been said that it is one of largest nighttime Christmas parade in Southern California.  The evening is a big deal for many people.

As a kid, I marched in several parades playing my clarinet.  My wife and sister carried the two E’s of the “Traweek” banner pieces, announcing the coming of our Jr. High School.  In my later years, I rode atop a float as the Grand Knight of the Fr. Maguire Council. This float took the top award for a religious float in 2003.

But, I am not a parade person – never have been never will be.  So my parade evenings are spent on the porch, which is located one block off the parade route.  My evening is spent with non-parade goers, smoking cigars, drinking martinis, playing Christmas music, wishing parade watchers a Merry Christmas, and opening the house to cold revelers with weak bladders.  Cars carrying the City Councilmen and other dignitaries will usually speed down our street on their return, I play the grumpy old guy in yelling at these folks to slow down.

The lights are up and the house is decorated, thanks to an energetic son and grandson, so if you are looking to smoke a cigar, have a drink, have a weak bladder, or want to kick off the Christmas season in a Concialdi way, stop on by–the porch is open.

Merry Christmas