At the moment, I’m sitting in Knoxville’s Tyson-McGee airport, waiting for a flight that was, mercifully, only delayed half an hour. I’ve never been here before, and have some things to say about it.

1. The middle of the concourse between the waiting area and the gates is a long fountain. The waterfall sounds it makes pretty much completely drown out any announcements from the overhead public address system. Very soothing unless you want to hear flight information.

2. Next to the fountain, seated on a fake rock, is a sort-of-life sized resin bear, sitting in an upright and quite human position, holding a baby bear. It looks as if it is a nanosecond from completely wacking out, staring at the people in the seats with an expression of intense displeasure. It looks, frankly, as if it’s been holding that baby bear on a long, squirmy flight.

3. All that said, this isn’t a bad airport, as they go. I do wish people would stop photographing their family members with the bear. It just doesn’t seem to send quite the right message.


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