In my opinion, airports can bring out the best and worst in people. Although, the worst is usually what’s on display! Below is a story that I couldn’t resist because it not only shows how far some individuals have fallen off the social order, it also highlights the sweet, sweet revenge that can be bestowed upon their absolutely terrible behavior.
On a recent flight from LAX to Tokyo, Comedian and T.V. Personality, Steve Hofstetter, encountered a self-absorbed, fellow passenger who went as far to let her dog relieve itself in the terminal without cleaning it up and that was just the beginning. Her unruly behavior continued but I’ll let Steve tell the story as it unfolded:
While walking to my gate at LAX, I noticed a woman whose dog was in the middle of doing its business. The woman was loudly face-timing with her back to the dog, so I assumed she didn’t notice. That was likely the thought shared by the gentleman who tried to get her attention.
“Excuse me, miss?” he said, in a polite tone. The woman glared at him. “Your dog,” he sheepishly continued, pointing to the mid-poop pup.
The woman rolled her eyes and went back to face time as the man slinked away, seemingly embarrassed. “Some people,” she bellowed to her face-time companion with no hint of irony, “are just so damned rude.” When her dog finished, the woman started walking away, leaving everything right on the airport floor. Another woman tried to stop her.
“You’re not going to clean that up?” she asked, as shocked as the rest of us were. “They have people for that,” the offender replied, disappearing into the crowd, as much as someone yelling into their phone can disappear into a crowd. I stood near the pile and warned people to walk around it while someone else got a maintenance worker’s attention. No one said anything – we were so shocked that anyone could be that horrible.
When I got to my gate, the woman was there, too. Great – we were both going to Tokyo. When I travel abroad, I get embarrassed by other Americans doing things one hundred times less embarrassing than leaving animal feces on the floor of an airport. To make it worse, her dog was now barking at everyone who walked by. I have nothing against people flying with their dogs, I do it often. But it is a privilege I take seriously. My dog is well-trained and behaves better than most people. He certainly behaves better than that asshole. Speaking of assholes, there is a pet relief area inside LAX, past security, just two gates away from where The Party Pooper let her dog go to town. It didn’t matter – she was the type of person to litter three feet from an empty garbage can.
While her dog barked at the world, the woman had moved from face-timing with no headphones to listening to music with no headphones. I don’t like to throw around the word “sociopath” but I don’t know how else I could explain just how selfish and terrible of a person she was. I’d bet her car was somewhere in long-term parking, parked across three spots with paint on the bumper from the child’s bike she hit without leaving a note.
Everyone else tried to ignore her, sitting as far away from her as they could. I am not everyone else. I sat down right next to the horrible woman. “Are you going to London on business?” I said. “I’m going to Tokyo,” she responded gruffly, annoyed that I interrupted her DJing. “Oh, I said. Then you better hurry. That flight got moved to gate 53C. This is the flight to London.”
I figured I could give her a little moment of panic as payback for how terribly she was treating everyone. I didn’t predict what would happen next. She grabbed her bags and her dog in a huff, and stormed out of the gate without even checking. She was so self-involved, she didn’t notice that the monitor at our gate still said Tokyo and almost everyone at the gate was Japanese.
Based on her actions, she believed me that the fight had been moved, so she’s also an asshole for not thanking me. “Some people,” I thought as I watched her rush away from the gate without stopping her, “are just so damned rude.” The flight to Tokyo was at gate 69A, so the 53 gates were on the other side of the next terminal. And I felt guilty knowing she probably berated some poor clerk who had to explain to her that there was no gate 53C.
I don’t know if she made it back to this flight before we took off or not, but I didn’t see her board and I don’t hear her dog. Her missing her flight was not my original intention, but it would be a fine punishment for her being so rude to everyone and making a low-paid stranger clean feces off the floor. What makes me wonder if I went too far is the knowledge that Delta only has one flight to Tokyo each day. Whoops. Maybe she can re-book on another airline. I hear they have people for that.
Steve is currently on tour and you can follow him on on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. Check out his Youtube page for clips from past shows and other T.V. segments he has appeared. Thanks Steve…you are a champion of airport relations!
*This story was published with permission. All rights reserved.