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Houston Airport = The Apocalypse

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Buggzilla, May 29, 2016.

  1. Buggzilla

    Buggzilla Monkey

    I travel a lot for my job, and on Friday was coming back to Arizona from a week spent in Washington DC. Trip was via a two-hop flight on United, with a short stopover in Houston. The first leg (a three-hour flight from DC to Houston) got diverted, and actually took 12 hours due to really bad weather in Texas. After finally arriving in Houston, I then ended up spending roughly 30 hours at that airport due to continuing bad weather. Further, the airport was seriously overcrowded, and food supplies were running low, people couldn't get on their flights home, and tempers ran short. In under six hours upon landing, I saw people starting to lose control of their emotions, panic buying $5 bottled water and $6 bags of nuts (vendors purposely raising prices due to the "crisis"), travelers shoving other people in lines, etc. Saw a couple of minor fights break out, too.

    Basically, what I'm saying is that it's crazy how fragile society is, and how quickly the sh!t hits the fan when otherwise polite and well-behaved people suddenly are denied conveniences, food, water, etc that they expect to magically appear.

    I like to read apocalyptic genre fiction for pleasure but have always kind of rolled my eyes in minor disbelief when the authors write about cities collapsing in riots and panic within just a few days of something bad happening. Guess what? I was dead wrong and the authors of those books are right. It is very scary how quickly things devolve during even minor "emergency" situations like an airport shutdown due to weather.
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    Thanks for the report @Buggzilla. If you saw price gouging and fist fights just from flight delays, I cannot image what would happen if there was a major incident. It is scary how basic kindness and all those good things vanish when people think they will do without. We live in a materialist world and it is not nice what people will do to make sure they have more then the guy beside them.
    Ura-Ki, kellory, Tully Mars and 5 others like this.
  3. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    The rise of social media has led to a massive and irreparable disconnect between individuals. People respect their pseudo-friends on Facebook and Twitter but have zero interest in the living, breathing people around them. That's if they even raise their eyes from their phone long enough to realize they're standing there. Empathy is expressed in transparent flags over one's profile selfie rather than in physical, real time deeds, and the snarkiest response gets the most likes. If someone is mugged, phones are raised to video, rather than hands held out to help.

    I did a little work with an author who wrote a book on decoding human body language, guy works with intelligence agencies and reading people is his life's work, and he said what fascinated him was how the upcoming generations were oblivious to body language. Most of us develop a pretty good read by the time we're 4 or 5, but he said with kids as young as 5 having their own smart phones now, this skill is rapidly vanishing. And, because most of their interactions are limited to digital, they've managed to avoid the lessons of youth that involve being scruffed when one goes too far. This has resulted in many of them having an unusually high level of arrogance regarding potential consequences of their actions. It made his job a lot easier in that the twenty sompins he had to deal were the worst liars ever thanks to their total cluelessness about body language and over inflated belief in their own cleverness, but it also made for a very volatile population. In a nutshell, we're surrounded by young, healthy individuals who can't tell when it's time to back off. They just keep pushing buttons, blind to the rising redline.

    If the fiction writers have it wrong anywhere, it's in the scale of mass chaos. I think it'll be worse, and if Trump is elected, America is gonna burn.

    I got my popcorn.
  4. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Spot on, Buggzilla. The instant a panic starts, the Rule of Law goes straight out the window. People can--and will-shift from mild to murderous in the blink of an eye.

    Then only your might makes your rights. And that's when you want to have the biggest stick in the crowd.

    Our veneer of civilization is very thin, and many of the people that live under it could have starred in "The Lord of the Flies".

    @ditchwitch--Yeah, and watching Trump stomp out the fires will be a true Popcorn Moment!
    Ura-Ki, chelloveck, Legion489 and 7 others like this.
  5. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon West Coast Monkey

    I wrote an article a few years ago, called the basket ball experiment.
    It basically was the study that basic humans can sit at basket ball game, share seats side by side.
    Eating hotdogs, and drinking soda. These same people will go out side burn cars, bash windows flip cop cars
    all because the points on the board in the game were not what they expected. This mentality is possibly in your friends, family, co-workers, and loved ones. These same people will see you as a threat as well if you are interfering in anyway, or if you appear weak, and can be victimized. People often think if they ignore the situation they will be ignored. The whole dynamics of who people are changed when they have control, seek control, or acquire control in a deteriorating situation, such as the OP, a disaster, or yes even a basket ball game.
    Ura-Ki, Tully Mars, Motomom34 and 2 others like this.
  6. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    What a shame.

    Our cities are within a few missed meals of anarchy. Remember what happened when the bet system was down for a few hours...

    I want The Donald to win because I want to see what the libs actually do.
    Ura-Ki, Bandit99, Tully Mars and 4 others like this.
  7. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    @ditch witch , I think it will be worse if Trump is NOT elected. His hard core followers are pretty well, hard core. I can tell you from business owners standpoint we have to fix trade policy or this country is going to go down . W e can not afford to lose any more jobs and the others who are running have no plan to fix anything.
    Ura-Ki, Ganado, oldawg and 4 others like this.
  8. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    I travel all the time too(home in AZ)

    I always carry food with me due to diet restrictions(gluten free/paleo/primal). I probably have 3-5 days of nutrition with me in the form of GF bars, organic apples, organic almond butter, jerkyGF food wraps, 100 oz water bladder, lifestraw, fire starters(mag &fero rods), small set of binos and a PNVS-14 and at least two HT ham radios and a repeater book

    This stuff is always in my 511 Rush 72 pack I carry on business trips.

    If I could have my glock 35 with me instead of in my checked bag I would

    I have seen my share of chaos in airports.
  9. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    Many moons ago... I just missed getting stranded at the New Orleans airport by this much (holds fingers up) - we were the last plane to get off the facility before a hurricane shut it down.

    Now - thanks TSA weenies - I carry empty water containers, which I fill on the backside of the security area. Always have food & water for a long stay. My plan is to find a cubby and fort up - chairs in front etc, in case of stranding. There is a downside to living in Alaska.
    My brother was in DC on business and was grounded by the Sept 11 attacks. By the time he decides more waiting was a no-go, there wasn't a rental car to be had - anywhere.

    Travel = crapshoot and is a gamble that I increasingly find I have less interest in taking each time I go Outside...

    @Ditchwitch - in case you missed it - the US is already burning. Most major cesspits...check that - I mean major cities are a slow-motion riot right now. If homey wants to burn down his village, maybe his choice. Lots of folks got hurt in St. Louis - mostly from paid, out of town thugs. I can only hope a new DOJ will try and bring some real justice there.

    If hitlerlery gets elected, IMO - the fedgov will come and burn down my/our village....

    No matter how you slice it - we all lose.....
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
    Ura-Ki, Ganado, AD1 and 1 other person like this.
  10. Capt. Tyree

    Capt. Tyree Hawkeye

    @ Buggzilla: I am curious to know whether the eatery / bar establishments at the Houston airport still sold booze, wine, and beer without restriction during the 30-hour flight delay. Also, is it your observation that it may have played a role in some of the belligerence displayed?
    Ura-Ki, Cruisin Sloth and AD1 like this.
  11. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey Site Supporter+

    I no longer have to travel near as much as I used to and most of the time I'm good with that. I've honestly been to most everywhere I would like to see. When I do travel now I drive unless it an emergency. The cons of truck travel are far out weighed by me being able to carry all the items I feel I need to have with me. Driving, I'm good for 800-1,000 miles a day before I need a room and a shower, or just a truck stop or rest area. Not saying it's the way for everyone especially if one has to travel on a tight deadline, but for those of us that can I now prefer my 4x to a commercial jet.
    Ura-Ki, Ganado, chimo and 6 others like this.
  12. Buggzilla

    Buggzilla Monkey

    The restaurants and bars were still selling alcohol, but I'm not sure how much of an actual role it played in the belligerence. The biggest contributor to the situation just seemed to be just frustration with the "system" no longer working; i.e., the airport authority not able to planes taking off on time, food running out, etc. In addition, people were very angry about wait times sitting on airplanes, long lines that crept, and the like. I.e., people weren't getting instant gratification to their needs, so they were getting angry and began taking it out on each other. The lack of cheap/available food and water was also a definite contributor. Just amazing to me how quickly things seemed to begin spiraling out of control, alcohol or not.
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Should have called @Falcon15.... Just do NOT snitch any of his Bananas.... That will get you DEAD...
  14. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I've been snowed in for flights, a few times. Bags of jerky and nuts ride in my carry on bag. Water bladder is a good idea, but I've just used clear water bottles. (Sealed) and had no problems yet.
    I used to do chainmail while i flew, and in down time between fights, but the new rules will not allow my tools.
    (Oddly, if you are weaving chainmail, either you meet another history fan, or folks give you a wide berth.
  15. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+

    One time I stopped at the grocery store around 7:00 on a Sunday morning. Overnight there had been a power outage that lasted only a few minutes. Not a big deal, but it jacked up the store's computers. By 7:00 am the network was only sort-of working.

    Some debit & credit cards worked and others didn't. Most didn't, and of the ones that did, the transactions were gong through real slow. I had a small purchase and paid cash. The other customers were getting very pissy and confrontational. Keep in mind it was 7:00 Sunday morning and there was hardly anyone in the place.

    Imagine if it was 5:30 pm on a weekday when the place is jammed with people trying to get home from work.

    So yes, saying society is fragile and people will go crackers at the slightest little hardship is not over the top tin foil hat stuff. It's real and it happens all the time. Being prepared means having a plan when it happens on a large scale and gets out of control.
    Ura-Ki, Altoidfishfins and oldawg like this.
  16. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey++

    I've been in a situation recently where network connections went down and credit / debit cards were useless. I needed gas and this was in a very isolated town in the sticks of Arizona. Fortunately I happened to have cash.

    A woman in line in front of me had a few items that she finally left on the counter because she couldn't pay for them with her credit card.

    Lesson learned - if I couldn't have paid for something as essential as fuel it would have been a white knuckle butt pucker drive to the next nearest fuel source. Carry cash. If you can do it, carry extra gas but preferably not inside the vehicle with you.
  17. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    You should have seen my move to California. The axel of my trailer failed, and i had a deadline for school to make. I arrived with (4) 5 gal jerry cans chained across my rear windows, chains through the rear windows, two spare tires on the deck lid, and every spare inch inside packed tight like tetris. My portable CB rig active and on the dash, and my gun loaded and with me. Reminds me of the look of Mad Max. There was a pocket just big enough for the driver, and still see my mirrors, and the rest was solid packed.
    (Car was a '66 mustang with a 289 auto. Used to be a police pursuit car)
  18. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    Just because the sewage treatment plant is ablaze doesn't mean the entire city is up in flames. Yet. We're just seeing the fat lady clear her throat right now.

    I think some took my comment as a caution against voting for the Donald. Not how it was intended. The US will burn either way, just that it'll look more like a Michael Bay movie with a Trump win.
    Ura-Ki and Ganado like this.
  19. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey++

    From what I have seen, only because the Libs will lose their fecal material and burn the place down.
  20. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    I have small hidden cash vaults in Car (scared the shite out of customs ) but cool with encarta , hide Cash encase of needed ,till it's useless .
    Ura-Ki and Altoidfishfins like this.
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