The people you see in airports.
By, Natasha Radmehr
If you’re travelling abroad this summer, here’s an airport drinking game for you. Down one shot for every person on this list you see – but be warned, you may end up becoming one of them…
Travelling in a 20-strong pack are these freshly peeled manboys, straight out of high school and ready to lose their virginity (or at least their VL) on their first ever #LADSLADSLADS holiday. You’ll smell them before you see them, a heady mix of Paco Rabanne and Durex wrappers, before they overtake you to grab the best seats in Spoons. Kev’s on the cider, Big Aldo’s on the tins of Venom and Paul, the wee barra, has already spewed up the nine Jägermeisters he drank on the airport bus. They’ll bundle into the plane five minutes before take off and wolf whistle the air hostess as she tries to inform them how to die safely.
Dressed in a headache of neon pink with co-ordinating T-shirts and tutus, the hens’ first port of call is the airport Boots. They crowd the too-small aisles, topping up their lippy and screeching “KAREN! HAVE YOU GOT DRY SHAMPOO?”, then spend half an hour at the till because although they’ve forgotten their euros, they have remembered their Advantage cards. Next up is the obligatory Proseccothon, and after two glasses the bride-to-be is having an emosh heart-to-heart with a puggy while the bridesmaids are weighing up which of the Inbetweeners they’re going to winch when they land in Maga.
Old People In Hiking Gear
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is or where they’re travelling to; Jean and Bob are always dressed for the great outdoors, each of their faces shrouded in the beige shadow of a canvas sun hat. Bob’s in the trusty cagoule he bought in 1976 to climb Ben Lomond while Jean sports a rather fetching fleece gilet zipped up to her chin. They both have bumbags strapped proudly around their waists (containing currency, passports, boarding passes and a first aid kit), a flask in hand and walking boots to assist them in their arduous climb up the aeroplane steps.
It should be simple enough: take your liquids and electronic devices out, remove your jacket, stick them all in a tray. Yet you’re going to see at least two of the following: 1) the person who has 10 electronic devices and puts each in a separate tray, 2) the person who doesn’t bag their liquids until they have arrived at their tray, 3) the person who is extremely confused by the tray queuing system and stands behind someone even when there is a vacant space, 4) the person who doesn’t take their tray to a separate area on the other side to put their shoes and jacket back on, and 5) the person who can’t be arsed stacking their tray once it’s empty, thus leading to a pile-up. Tray annoying.
The Bold Bottle Bank
Your bag has been pulled over for a routine check – great. But before security can rummage through your meticulously packed case with their giant ham-haunch hands to find absolutely nothing of concern, they need to deal with ol’ Bottle Bank in front. Bottle Bank hasn’t just forgotten about an errant 500ml bottle of water. Oh no. Out comes a full-size suncream, a jar of hot sauce, a bottle of Smirnoff and a tube of flavoured lube. An evening of over-100ml debauchery immediately in the bin.
Couples On Their First Holiday
They’ve been together for eight months and now it’s time for Paula and Ali’s first trip abroad. They hold hands in the check-in queue, cute out over each other’s dorky passport photos then gaze googly-eyed at one another over a bowl of spaghetti bolognese in Frankie and Benny’s. Nobody would ever suspect that Paula, worried about doing a jobby in their shared hotel bathroom and spoiling the romance, has necked a week’s worth of Imodium and is now so backed up she may never shit again.
Standing out in a sea of wedges, gypsy skirts and football tops is Business Guy. He’s in a suit, obviously, with a briefcase, obviously, and is taking up an entire booth in All Bar One to Skype a client. Obviously. While everyone around him is fully in holiday mode, he is an ANGRY MAN who MEANS BUSINESS and DOESN’T HAVE TIME FOR YOUR NOVELTY SOMBRERO. He shouts so loudly at the poor sod on the other side of the phone that your mojito is now laced with frothy rage-spittle. You console yourself with the thought of his imminent heart attack.
Gap Year Students
Ethan is a man of the world, travelling the globe on his gap year, and he wants you to know all about it. That shell necklace? Gifted to him in Hawaii by an old woman in exchange for a stroke of his white-man dreadlocks. The UNICEF T-shirt (layered over a long-sleeved top)? From his volunteering days. His sandals? Oh, he didn’t realise he was wearing shoes – he much prefers to walk barefoot – but he picked these bad boys up in Thailand. Alongside a host of STDs that he would prefer not to talk about, thanks.
Kids On Trunkis
God, kids these days are spoiled aren’t they? With their phones and their tablets and their holidays to places that aren’t mouldy caravan parks in Dumfries. And now they have both the means and temerity to wheel around the airport on ride-on luggage like little cartoon emperors. Savannah has a unicorn because she’s “going through a bit of a phase right now” while Noah is trundling along on a police car. Which is ironic because it should be an arrestable offence for children to be so obscenely pampered.
You spent all last night and a sizeable portion of this morning squeezing your holiday essentials into one battered case that has accompanied you on every holiday for the past decade. As you half-roll, half-carry it to the check-in desk (it’s missing a wheel), a woman glides past pushing a trolley that groans beneath the luxurious weight of a 15-piece Louis Vuitton luggage set. Where is she going? Why does she have so much stuff? How did she afford it? You silently pray she trips over a Trunki and chips her freshly manicured nails.
The Upstanding Citizens
You know what they say: the early bird catches the worm. Except in airports, that is. In airports, the early bird has to hang about waiting like everyone else, and yet still they insist on springing off their seat the minute the plane starts boarding, and leaping in the air as soon as the wheels graze the runway. Their knees press hard against the metal of the luggage carousel as they stand poised and ready to pounce on their case (which inevitably appears long after the bag of the guy who didn’t board the plane until his name was announced over the tannoy). Do the world a favour and push them onto the conveyor belt.