Noticing Things with Grammar Punk

Air travel, as I have noted before has become much more…businesslike. We travelers are no longer treated as guests on the worlds biggest and fastest buses, we are now merely cargo. Or so it feels as you’re stuffed into those tiny little excuses for aircraft.

This, I’m assuming is the reason for the rather odd display I noticed at the baggage claim on my last trip.

I have arrived at my home airport after midnight on the past couple of trips—I’m also assuming this has something to do with the additional…cargo.

You may or may not have heard about ARUP, which is a company which deals in, among other things, human hemoglobin. Yup, blood. ARUP ships their cargo in bright yellow boxes, largish, about three by four or so. They are distinctive. The last couple of flights I have noticed several—say six or seven—ARUP boxes being offloaded with the rest of the luggage, and while I didn’t think much of it, it was a little…unsettling. All that blood, flying by itself. Okay, I’m reading too much into it, but remember, I tend to read Stephen King novels when I travel, so there you go.

Anyway, on my last trip there I was, awaiting my luggage to disembark and lo and behold, bright yellow ARUP boxes began to appear. And appear. And appear. There were forty-three, count ‘em, forty-three boxes of human blood. And intermixed meekly and awkwardly, our hapless luggage. It was quite a site, the conveyer belt going round and round, tons of yellow boxes, wee pieces (comparatively) pieces of luggage.

And all I could think, (knocking wood, crossing fingers, crossing anything) was what if the plane had landed…more firmly than intended. Think of the mess.

Teachers of English, writing and grammar, here’s a good writing challenge to throw at your students—ask them to look around and notice the oddities that might pop into everyday life. Then write about it.