It sure is a Dying Art.
Since time immemorial, one of the toughest questions ever posed to mankind has been “What is the best time to reach the airport for a flight?”
Millions of homosapiens including scholars, mothers, politicians, the common woman and the uncommon man, have tried different strategies over the last century (which is kinda time immemorial), without any credible answer. But on this fine June morning, circa 2011 AD, I might have cried ‘Eureka’ – Not while in a bathtub, not while running naked from there, but while taking a piss in this unreasonably cramped Jet Airways 9W 822 toilet.
The answer my dear friends, has nothing to do with flights. In fact, it hardly has anything to do with travelling. ‘Be the last person to get in, without dissing anybody’ is IT and I request you to hold your applause for a moment.
Let me first explain.
Imagine that your friend invited you and another person over for coffee. Or better still, beer. Now, if your friend is anything like my friends, she is likely to reach the place 15 minutes early (its not about the beer. My friends are just made that way). And if You are anything like me, you are probably going to reach there ten minutes late. Of course this would have been caused by bad traffic (which, contrary to popular imagination can happen on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes.) or an asteroid missing you narrowly. And when you walk in, questions will be raised about your punctuality, repeat offending, birth, etc. I don’t blame them. But the real, logical truth of the matter is that your friend was 5 minutes more unpunctual than you. And you my beloved, are the only person in that room who arrived closest to the scheduled time.
Relax your brows.
Think about it honestly. When beer is being served at 3:00 PM, you should arrive as close to 3:00 PM as possible. By arriving 15 minutes early, you are taking the host for granted, you are running the risk of catching him unprepared, you are patronizing warmer beer, you are being non-optimal in the usage of your lifetime, you are being a global warmer, but most importantly, you are just being an ass. Now, how that is better than arriving at 3:10 PM, is beyond me. In fact, the guy arriving at 3:10 should reserve the right to criticize, make fun and question the birth of anybody who came more than 10 minutes early. I am sure your high school math teacher will agree with me.
By the same logic, the most punctual guy on a flight is the one to board on the dot, without dissing anybody. Not the guy in 16C, who boarded a full 37 minutes before take off. Loser. Now this is by no means an easy ask. Your loved ones at home are gonna experience some high BP. The cab guy who you asked to break neck, will curse your unborn children. You might end up havinga man-to-man chat with the guy at the check-in counter, who would claim that ‘Delhi is closed’, as though it was a fucking sandwich box. He will eventually let you check-in.The restless souls who have been in the security queue for hours will open their jaws in a synchronized manner when they see you ‘officially’ cut the queue, escorted by an airline staff. But then my friend, like Aamir Khan will tell you, you cannot aim for success, if you don’t have the stomach for excellence.
Like I said, it is a Dying Art. One that our friends and family, should help us revive.
PS: Please appreciate presence of the Salvador Dali picture on this post even though it doesnt have any bloody connection to the topic.