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  • The guys working Delta curbside check in at Palm Beach call the last of April and the beginning of May "wheel chair season". It's when all of the snow birds have decided that it's finally safe to venture home to NY or MA or wherever they came from.

    The work is harder but the money is better. TSA has made it more lucrative because even the stingiest birds know that they won't be able to go it alone, to dig for their single zippy bag of shampoo, take off their shoes and feed the plastic buckets that need to be fed. Everybody tips. They have to. It's supply and demand.

    Like sharks in a channel waiting for seals to cross, the curbside boys pick their marks carefully. Where are they going? Mass-holes tip better than the New Yorkers. How are they dressed? Those with a family member putting them on the plane yield better. They just do.

    The airlines raise prices and allow more time between flights and lay on more attendants. The wheel chairs are everywhere with stenciled carrier logos on the backs and red sticks, little flag-less flagpoles sticking up for all to see. Those are Delta's in the distance. See, over there.

    The chairs scurry around piloted by blacks in blue shirts, their still Florida dressed human cargo with frail feet on stops and blue veined hands clutching a purse, a boarding pass or maybe photo ID.

    On flights to Logan or LaGuardia, swarms of them congregate at departure gates waiting for instructions as to when to board.

    There are plastic oxygen tubes snaking across laps and into noses, loud cries for spouses standing right there, bewilderment and dazed looks. There are white headed women and bald headed men with their heads down, chins resting on their chests.

    And there are others, like me, younger but not by much, just watching the show.

    It's wheelchair season.
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