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I have noted on at least two occasions that I am spending a week in vacation. On August 10, 2022, I was flying from New York City to Texas. My first flight took me to Atlanta and then my final flight took off from Atlanta. In theory, I was supposed to have a two-hour wait at Atlanta. Despite the fact that my flight arrived in Atlanta almost one hour late, I ended up with a four hour wait in Atlanta due to a combination of airline issues and foul weather.

During the long wait, five fellow passengers talked with me about the weather and airline situation. There was one thing that all of these passengers had in common.

All of the passengers who talked to me were from Florida.

Now to be sure, I would estimate that about 35% of the flights leaving Atlanta while I was there were destined for cities in Florida. The flight that was supposed to leave directly after mine at the terminal was headed for Tampa. But still, there were many flights headed to other places. The 100% Florida-consult percentage defied probability.

One of the Floridians was actually helpful. I was looking outside into the darkness, admiring the torrential downpour and the bolts of lighting. A nice lady started talking to me about the weather. Despite the fact that the airline refused to tell us anything about the situation or what it expected and it was apparently putting out notices online (I did not see them at the time) that our flight might be cancelled entirely, the nice Florida lady told me that she looked at the weather and was confident that it would pass soon. Why was she confident? Why could I trust her? She said she knew her storms because she was from Florida. She asked me where I was from. I said New York City and confessed that I lacked the storm expertise of a native Floridian.

She was right. The storm passed. To be sure, we still had the issue that our plane did not have a pilot or flight crew. But once those issues were resolved, we were able to take off a couple hours later than expected.

Why was everyone who talked to me from Florida? I thought about it and came up with an answer. I was wearing slacks, a light blue short-sleeved polo, and a white visor (even though it was night and I was indoors, it was easier to wear the visor than carry it).

Black and white photo of a visor on a carpet.
A picture of the visor. Astute observers should notice that I applied my professional editing skills to this photo.

My theory is that the Floridians saw me as one of them despite the fact that I have never been to Florida. A friend suggested that I carry a golf club next time with the outfit to see if that has any effect. While I do have putters for carpet golf in my apartment, I have a feeling that trying to bring a putter to the airport would be more trouble than it is worth.