Tweets @Branson

Imagine getting little-to-no sleep for about a week. Then imagine that you are waiting for your delayed flight at the airport. Such was the situation I faced August 31, heading back to Phoenix after a sublime — though nearly sleepless — week in Chicago.

Slouched in my seat at Midway Airport at the terminal gate, my ears were stung by the blue-eyed soul singing about 30 feet away. I turned around and saw several clean-cut young men in black t-shirts, belting out a familiar song. Thus began several hours of documenting the experience on Twitter and consequential mental breakdown:

The song ended, and after the applause died down, the singers revealed their true intentions: they were the music group Cat’s Pajamas, shilling for Branson, Missouri’s tourism business. The preppy lads brandished fliers and walked around to everyone in the vicinity. I was too tired and too moody for that shit:

Strangely, this tweet was retweeted by two pro-Branson Twitter accounts:

I wonder if they read the whole thing.

The Cat’s Pajamas were persistent, and they worked hard to get on my nerves. I relented and took some of their wares:

But I made sure to memorize their features in case I needed to pick them out of a lineup:

At this point — like the majority of the time — I tweeted to amuse myself. And entertaining myself often involves going to dark places:

After a few seconds, I realized that this could be seen as a legitimate threat against comedian Whitney Cummings and the cast and crew of her soon-to-be-canceled TV show. So I decided to right my wrong:

Real talk and all that:

At this point, another Branson entertainment group started singing, an older set of gentlemen that “Real Americans” could identify with. I couldn’t handle two of these things in one day:

Somehow, several hours elasped between the start of the singing and finding myself home in Phoenix, unsure of how I got there:

So that was the adventure, dragged out to its natural conclusion: navel-gazing about it online. I don’t have any animosity towards anyone in or from Branson, but I’m not a fan of ready-for-YouTube performance stunts (some still call these flash mobs) or sales pitches done in song (let that be a lesson in ethnic marketing, McDonalds!).

But airports are good for one thing and one thing only: being the hub to get you to and from your destination in an efficient manner. And whether you medicate yourself for the trip with alcohol or quiet, that pre-flight routine shouldn’t include being harassed by a marketing gimmick.





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