This was me, then. And now, really.
Moonlighting for The Boss’s Limousine Service means hanging around airports a lot. Despite the meagre pay, this isn’t an imposition; I like airports.
Fear and expectancy are in the faces. Nervousness competes with complete boredom, and happy travellers mix with exhausted travellers. It’s an emotion incubator with expensive food.
Mostly I’m a little bit smug, having no fear of missing flights, nor missing luggage, no exasperation at the horror of row 32, seat B which comes fully equipped with a colicky kid in row 32, seat A.
More than anything I notice how poorly people dress. Almost always I’m the best dressed person in the airport, and often in the limousine too.
Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t say much. I’m in the regulation driver’s uniform: black suit (off the rack), black belt, white (slightly rumpled) cotton-blend shirt and black tie (coffee stains hopefully not visible). I call this style Chauffeur Chic.
Chauffeur Chic means that your trousers are slightly larger than optimum fit because of all the sitting and waiting – believe me, if you’re hanging around in Florida in August, you don’t want zoot-suit style pants. And the suit jacket is rumpled at back from driving with the thing on, necessary to create the formal atmosphere our clients like.
Notwithstanding the fact that my uniform is how tramps dressed in the thirties, it’s the gold standard compared to everyone else there. I shall refrain from describing the nightmare, except to say that middle-aged men who are 100 lbs overweight should wear neither lycra shorts nor Crocs, and especially not together.
What America needs is a dress code.
As the only man within a thousand miles in an ironed shirt and a necktie, I get to criticize.