If you travel enough on a given airline, you'll invariably find yourself elevated to one "elite" status or another. This is, of course, a sham as the benefits in most of these programs are inconsequential and do little to make travel any more civilized. However, given the generally dehumanizing nature of travel these days, it is hard of avoid a slight feeling of self-importance when an airline lets you board slightly earlier than the mass of hoi polloi.
With these observations, I present the following vignette recorded by Paul Theroux in Dark Star Safari:
The best story about the Cairo Railway Station, told to me by a man who witnessed it unfold, does not concern a luminary but rather a person delayed in the third-class ticket line. When this fussed and furious man at last got to the window he expressed his exasperation to the clerk, saying, "Do you know who I am?" The clerk looked him up and down and, without missing a beat, said, "In that shabby suit, with a watermelon under your arm, and a third-class ticket to El Minya, who could you possibly be?"...and aren't we all holding third-class tickets to El Minya these days?