Thursday, June 04, 2009

Dude... What Did They Do?

I'm going to try to keep this up... we'll see if it happens. I'm starting a new segment here on BBB called, "Dude... What Did They Do?" The purpose of this section is to attempt to rationalize how people did something prior to existing technology (usually Internet related - but we'll see). Today's question is...

"Dude - how did they pick people up at airports before cell phones & the Internet?"

I had a friend coming in last weekend who was staying at our humble abode. One of my tasks was to pick him up from the airport. I did this with ease because of several basic pieces of technology.

1. I looked up his flight online to see if it was on time. It was. I promptly headed out the door en route to the airport to pick him up. I left about 20 minutes prior to the designated arrival time. Now - if the flight was late... I would have delayed my departure time to coincide with his arrival time. Fortunately the computer told me that this was not the case... but you can imagine instances where planes are delayed - can't you? (This particular flight was from O'Hare to Philadelphia so it was the single flight in the past 12 months that was NOT delayed in following this flight path.)

2. I navigated to the airport using my GPS system. This new technology really didn't do much for me because, if anything, it led me through the ghetto to get to the airport - and so I'm not too thrilled with this advancement. I am, however, alive.

3. I coolly parked my car on the shoulder of the road, cranked up the radio, and sat and waited for my friend's text message telling me that he has landed. After about 5 minutes, buuzzzzz, he was on the ground. Another 10 minutes went by and, riiiinngg, he was outside of baggage claim. I put the car in drive and tooled around the airport, having him in my car within 60 seconds. Other than the fact that the median was an incredibly shady place to park and I could have been car jacked, raped, or killed - I picked him up flawlessly. Here is a picture from my car - parked on the shoulder. The far sign says, "No Shoulder Parking." In the car in front of me - Charles Manson.

Can you imagine if it was 1982 and his flight had been delayed? I would have been driving around and around and around the airport aimlessly for hours. I mean - he could have called me at home when he landed from a pay phone but that would have added an extra half hour to the pick-up time. (Not bad - but what about those people who live 2 hours away from the airport?)

This is just another example of technology making, even the little things, a whole lot better.