May 13, 2017:

Elderly with cane, clear plastic hearing aids, bandage on one cheek where a growth has been removed. Has an hour to wait, sits with nothing to do. No newspaper, book, smartphone. Staring at the tarmac from behind thick black hornrims.

Scan the waiting seats: dadbelly, dadbelly, dadbelly, dadbelly, stick-thin Asian with frown, pretty blonde in black slacks, dadbelly, dadbelly, dadbelly.

"Passenger Phillips to the podium please." They're gonna offer me a first class upgrade. From the line for Boarding Group 1 I shout, "I don't want it..." Everyone looks surprised: gate crew, passengers. Who'd ever turn down first class? No no no. First class is awful.