Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Legend of F1 - O'Hare's lost gate......... (from the Road Warrior Chronicles)


Deep in the annals of airport myth exists a story so odd even the most jaded road warrior cannot grasp the enormity and banality of the situation. This is my journey to find the infamous gate F1 at Chicago's O'Hare International.
    This map LIES, nothing but LIES.
I was first introduced to the story of Gate F1 by an 'Aisler' on the GSP to Charlotte hop.
**Aisler - passenger that utilizes their seat as pivot point to communicate with all other rows in his/her proximity, regardless of the interest level of said passengers, usually with legs stretched way out into the aisle itself.
                                                            Artist rendering of a typical Aisler's seat location.

The aisler that had my ear that day was a seasoned pro. And by that I mean she was a prostitute covered in paprika. Weathered and worn by years of layovers, luggage tags, and eight dollar domestic beer she had a legend to share.
Whenever she spoke a distant foreboding look crept into her eyes and a sour dred washed over her completion. It had obviously been a rough week and the paprika was starting to mix with her sweat to form clumps of eye burning fire balls.
"F1 does exist, I saw it myself back in '86. Was on my way to see Yani in Tampa. He wasn't playing a show, but I heard he was making an charity appearance in support of arthritic ferrets."
                                                          Yes, actual Ferret X-rays. The internet does truly have everything.
"Excuse me, ah..mam? Weren't you going to tell me about the Lost Gate of O'Hare?"
"The lost what?"
"The Lost Gate of O'Hare, the legend of F1."
"Son, you better think about what you are asking, and truly, deep down in your heart, decide if you are man enough to handle the answer."
"You've never actually seen it have you?" Exasperated and disappointed to have found yet another dead end in my quest for the truth I shook my head ruefully (really I just shook my head, there was no rue).
She took a deep draw from her electronic cigarette and blew water vapor down into her coat pocket, "Kid,...I've also never climbed to the top of the Merita Bread sign,.....but I still know it exists."
                                                                Mindless I-4/Orlando reference courtesy of Robert Droz
I ran into her again six months later during a layover in St. Louis. She was sharing a package of Dipping Stix candy with who I swear was Robin Leach.
Still no concrete evidence that Gate F1 actually exists, but for now the journey continues..............