Lazy Americans, Indeed

I’m on my way to Salt Lake City for the IFLA conference. I was walking to my gate a few minutes ago, after going through the security checkpoint at BWI. Just in front of me was a family of four: a mother, a father, a baby in a stroller, and a very talkative little boy no older than three. It turns out they are foreigners of some type, although they certainly looked like a typical American family. Except maybe for the matching-shade-of-pink shirts the parents were wearing.

Crappy Picture of the Moving WalkwayThe excitement of the airport combined with the naturally talkative nature of a precocious three-year-old to produce a yammering, tassel-haired dervish of questions. “What was that?” “Look at this!” “Who is that?” The parents were obviously used to such a grilling, as they deftly answered each interrogative with very terse, yet accurate, responses. Of course, the boy inevitably asked about the moving walkway as we approached it.

“What’s that?” he demanded.

“It’s a moving walkway,” responded the father.

“A moving walkway?”

“Yes,” confirms the father.

“Lazy Americans,” he says in disgust.

Despite his disdain for our country’s indolent ways, he was quickly overcome by the curiosity and fervor that accompanies any new toy. He excitedly stepped on the walkway and rode it to its terminus, despite the lack of exercise he suffered.

I suppose laziness is no good only when it’s habitual.