Primary Airport: L.A. International Airport
Karl Meyer wowed the judges not only with his Road Warrior expertise, but his sense of humor. His entry was full of sly jokes and references to on-the-road hijinks, not to mention savvy travel tips. But it also showed evidence of warmth and compassion. He related stories about his favorite cabbie, his favorite waiter, and a gas-station attendant who did a good deed. So we expected to enjoy his taped interview - but never counted on a speech-cum-sales pitch, complete with background music. The tune? "Hail to the Chief." His answers to our questions were equally enthusiastic and creative. What's not to like? We had our winner.
"If you think Road Warrior training is learning to pop your ears on a plane or fold a wrinkle-free shirt, then you need to take off your Slumber Comfort Blindfold and buckle your seat belt, pal."
Subjects every Road Warrior should study: Advanced Transportology (the science of getting from point A to B), Idle Economics (productive use of downtime), and Arrival of the Fittest (coming home with consideration).
Best part of being a Road Warrior: Meeting the unofficial ambassadors of each city: cabbies, waiters, gas-station attendants, etc.
On extended trips a Road Warrior needs: A car service. "It can be cheaper and cleaner than a taxi, and it's always en vogue to pop out of the back seat of an elegant sedan with your sunglasses on."
You'll never see this Road Warrior: Looking at brochures in a hotel lobby or buying "overpriced mutant beanie animals" at an airport gift shop.
Best on-the-road birthday: A gas-station attendant named Reuben found his stolen wallet and drove 25 miles to return it. The attendant noticed the birth date on Meyer's driver's license and arrived with birthday cake: a package of Hostess Twinkies.