Things for a Writer to Do in an Airport

Whilst fighting to survive an attack of the dreaded disease Servious Boredomocleosis during one of my two lengthy layovers on my way to China (the result of being completely rerouted after my first flight was unexpectedly cancelled), I was inspired (or deranged) enough to compose the following list:


  1.  Compose witty limericks about the fate of your luggage.
  2.  Write your own imaginative backstories about the other people waiting in the terminal.  Could that tall man with the oily mustache really be the notorious international jewel thief Wickham Haversham in disguise?  Could the pudgy, overindulgent mother with a screaming toddler actually have a secret past as a concert pianist roadie who once hid in Liberace’s shower?  Perhaps the ticket agent is actually an Interpol agent, in disguise, tracking the afore-mentioned Wickham Haversham’s movements and preparing to capture him once and for all . . .
  3.  Write a loving sonnet to your cancelled flight, which would have gotten you to your destination so much faster, and so much more pleasantly.
  4.  Write a story about where your cancelled plane actually went.  Perhaps he went to visit relatives who live at the Buffalo/Niagara Airport.  Maybe he broke up with the A-31 Airbus he was dating and was just too heartbroken to fly anywhere.
  5.  Ignore the obvious opportunity to finish writing your “should-have-been-done-two-months-ago” novel.
  6.  Write haikus about the airline food on your napkin and lovingly present it to your flight attendant.
  7.  When ordering food at the airport restaurant, speak only in rhyme.
  8.  Write Clerihews about all of the TSA agents, particularly the guy who is texting his latest status to Facebook rather than watching the baggage x-ray.
  9.  Compose a song about your experience, to the tune of “Camptown Races”.  Generously share your creation with all the passengers around you, then relish the sudden abundance of stretching room.  Later, cast an innocent glance toward the curious flight attendant.
  10.  Write a play, in the style of Tennessee Williams, about the tawdry romance of a down-on-his-luck airport janitor and a saucy ticket agent, who pretends to be gentile but really likes to be treated rough.  The current heat wave should provide ample inspiration for setting.
  11.  Write a love letter from the guy announcing cancelled flights to the gal paging “Mr. Simpkins to Gate B12”.  Leave it in a conspicuous location.
  12.  Build a scale model of Mordor out of pens at the Duty Free store.
  13.  Pretend to spot J.K Rowling at the busiest ticket counter.  Exclaim VERY LOUDLY about this.
  14.  Using rejection letters from publishers, create your very own paper airport on your tray table.  Invite the person next to you to “Fly RejectionAir!”

About HistoryGypsy

I'm a high school history teacher and author of upcoming novel Sidhe Eyes. I live in gorgeous Qingdao, China, where I spend much of my free time studying the fascinating and frustrating Chinese language, eating odd things, or taking long walks along the Yellow Sea. At "While We're Paused" I have the pleasure of blogging about things that catch my interest: good books, language, history, poetry, writing tips, grammar rants, random humor . . . I don't like to get in a rut! Some of my favorite writers include (and this is by no means an exhaustive list): Dorothy Sayers, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Jules Verne, Baroness Orczy, Geoffrey Wawro, John Lynn, Bill Bryson, the Bronte sisters, John Christopher, J.M. Barrie, O. Henry, Roald Dahl, and Robert Graves. I usually find myself reading no less than three books at a time!

Posted on July 24, 2011, in Humor, Lantern Hollow Press Authors, Stephanie Thompson and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Don’t forget this one: Write a script for a soap opera based on the people around you. 🙂

    Great post!

  2. oh gosh, being an amateur writer who flew FROM china back to the US a few hours ago, i loved reading this!

  3. This is great stuff! If only it had been posted a month ago, before I had a twelve hour long flight to London (and another one back) with a whole lot of waiting time…

    I’ll be sure to remember this the next time I fly somewhere.

    I love reading While We’re Paused, it’s one of my subscriptions.

    Keep up the informative and entertaining work!


  4. I think I would like traveling with you, Stephanie. So, when are you going to share some of those limericks? I’ll go first:

    A good definition of pain
    Is the agony, suffering, and strain
    You inflict on your knee
    When you force it to be
    Between two coach seats on a plane.

  5. Great list. I must try some of them the next time I travel.
    Also worth having:

    Take photos of people at the airport then post the picture on Twitter under the #hottieornottie tag. Great fun! (Hot or not?)

    People love to join in with that game.

  1. Pingback: Inspirational indeed! | Words Will Fly

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