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Ah…Travel

Today I would like to summarize my observations on one of America’s most important business sectors, the airport shuttle van industry.  

This unique business consolidates passengers traveling between airports and major destinations, such as downtown hotel districts, into a single vehicle, making multiple stops and charging each customer about 1/3 what they would be charged by a taxi. It thus afflicts primarily poor students, people who are inexplicably inspired to save their corporation money, and those who did not have the confidence to say "no" when told to "hop in."

The key to the business is to have a van, and (time permitting) a driver’s license. The van must be old, the air conditioner should be disabled, and every possible surface of the interior should be well polished and glossy from the accumulated dead skin and sebaceous secretions of the previous passengers. Getting velour to a glossy sheen takes some doing though, so agitation must be applied to the passengers to encourage them to grip and grab at every protuberance desperately. To this end, the shocks should be replaced with "Twizzlers," and the driver should always keep in mind that time is money, but human life is cheap. Also, it may help if he imagines that Tom Tancredo has just been elected President and "La Migre" is bearing down on his rear bumper.

Once under way, the driver will be magically empowered by the aura of low expectations that surrounds all shuttle and taxi drivers, as well as the homeless, and makes their every aggressive and insane action seem perfectly acceptable to bystanders. "Hey that’s just what they do!" bystanders will think as the blood drains from their twisted crippled bodies.  

Heck, just paint "Shuttle" on the side of a van and even the cops will wave happily as you back the wrong way up an alley and enter a six lane thoroughfare rear first, foreshadowed only by the Doppler shifted screaming of the overweight Honduran woman crammed into the rear-most seat with three Drama students and a Mormon missionary. AAAAAAAAAAAAHOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Starts and stops must be made with an urgency befitting the driver of a donor organ delivery service. And of course, eventually, the driver will be providing fresh organs to someone, perhaps his own.

At the end of the trip the driver need only smile, laugh about how crazy traffic was, and pass out blank receipts like candy to all corporate travelers. The aura of low expectations and expense account bingo will make it all OK.

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Mr. Johnson, a writer and medical researcher in Cambridge, Mass., is a regular contributor to HUMAN EVENTS. His column generally appears on Tuesdays. Archives and additional material can be found at www.macjohnson.com.

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