Let’s admit people, things are bleak. China says we’ve already defaulted on our debt, unemployment remains intolerable despite giant buckets of taxpayer dollars, our homes have dropped in value by anywhere from 40 to 60 percent. We’re buying our own debt. The only ones who made out well in recent years are the turtles who got their own crossing. Suckiness, usually the result of stupidity, greed, corruption or all three, is the new normal. So how can we make that work for us? How can such conditions be a business advantage?
How about this: Take a leading example of government spending and turn it into a fun travel destination. Yes, I’m talking about the John Murtha Airport, where luggage is checked through to your destination! And the security lines are shorter! But don’t take my word for it. Check the video!
They’re not kidding about the fast security either. What other airport outside Area 51 has more security people than passengers? That means you get either the fastest or most invasive TSA patdown available to the general public. You can’t put a price on that.
But who would want to go to the John Murtha Airport?
I’ll tell you. Wonks, wags and Washington insiders. Or people who want to recreate “The Langoliers.”
The John Murtha Airport is a compelling story, so illustrative of American Government processes that anyone even vaguely interested in our political institutions would love to experience the magic of the John Murtha Airport, especially when I add the fun elements to the tour program.
There’s some mystery about the John Murtha Airport, and that alone should be an adventure to untangle. For instance, the commercial above mentions 300 daily flights to 100 destinations. But, judging from this grab of the airport’s flight schedule, apparently these figures came from Charlie Rangel and his accountant.
Another fundamental question that pops up after seeing their website is, where the hell is everybody? A parallel dimension? (pics plump when you click ‘em!)
Now I admit, I’m in the nascent stages of this concept. I don’t even have a name yet beyond “Wonk Wings,” but I have some thoughts I’m mulling.
- First, mingling is encouraged, and since these are probably turboprops, so is pantomime. I’d like to attract the wonkiest of the wonks, up to including actual incumbents and talking heads, make the whole thing a nice social event. Ultimately, I’d hope the tours became a ritual with a core group of travelers. The passenger list would be available to members as flights book up so they could see if particular flights look especially enjoyable, but they’d also be fun just as random wonk social meetups.
- Once we arrive at the airport, the tour guide will conduct a 30-minute tour on the history of John Murtha and the airport that bears his name, along with a certificate honoring their attendance, complete with an estimate how many tax dollars they contributed to its establishment. For special presentations, we might avail ourselves of the airport conference room.
- Passengers will receive a John Murtha Airport T-shirt and a free MP3 of the John Murtha Airport song, complete with an instrumental version in case they want to do their own karaoke or recorded version. And of course, everyone gets a tiny bottle of whatever the hell Murtha’s favorite liquor was, Scotch, I bet.
- Murtha is buried in his district so we might have a special visit to the grave via a Chevy Volt. If the Volt doesn’t work we’ll trick it out as a rickshaw to be pulled by the unemployed. Pretty sure I can get a grant.
As I say, this is a nascent concept. If you have thoughts for other fun themes or activities or a good name for the enterprise, chime in!