I just returned from 12 days in Portland. Traveling to and from meant time spent in a variety of airports. Lots of folks were viewed, scrutinized and wondered about. Some observations…

Americans are fat. Perhaps one out of every ten was reasonably shaped. The remainder had bellies—some of the men looked pregnant—saddlebags, ample padding in the rear and awe inspiring thighs. Muscles were flabby and loose, if they could be seen at all.

Americans eat a lot in airports—which might explain the above. Food courts and their temptations abounded. Many a fellow walked with food in hand, gobbling as he waddled. I could not count the number of greasy hands that were engaged in the placing of food into mouth.

Americans talk on the phone. A lot. Call me odd, but the hearing of a stranger’s conversation annoys. Why would I be interested in his family or vacation or plans? Such conversations used to be private. Some folks had that device that goes in the ear and allows hands to be free while chatting away. When coming upon one of these specimens I always have the first impression that the person is nuts.

I should add here that I am probably the only person in the nation without a cell phone. And I am not going to get one. I scarcely answer the one I have. I cannot imagine taking the damn thing with me 24/7.

American men expose too much of their flesh. Trust me when I say that I have no desire to see your naked legs on public display. Stop wearing shorts, for the love of Heaven. I cannot imagine some strange man wishing to view my naked legs. Of course I do not give them the opportunity to do so.

American ladies expose too much of their flesh. Girls, why would you think that every man has an interest in seeing those parts of your body best observed only by your husband and your physician? Please spare the innocent your naked flesh and cover up.

American men dress as if they were teens. I am at a loss as to why. Men wear shorts, baseball caps and t-shirts. They look like large versions of my 8th grade students. Some grown men were seen wearing capris. Had I had my revolver I would have shot them dead. No jury outside of San Francisco would ever convict me.

Americans take too much carry-on baggage. They stack the things up like Lego bricks and tow them around from plane to plane. They then try to fit the things in the overhead, which always makes for an amusing spectacle. Check your bags at the counter. At least then your hands would be free for eating.

For a snapshot of the way we were, see any movie from the 50s that has a scene in an airport. You will be startled.

We the People were different then. Thinner too.