(And now for a pro-SFO story...)

Airports simply aren't given to happy surprises. That's the way it is.

Gotta go, gotta do, gotta git. It's a funnel, a gilded chute, a holding pen. A set of obstacles, checkpoints, and fetch-quests. It's something to be overcome, not enjoyed.

But what if someone went out of their way to lace a usually-crappy process with the crisp surprise of basic joy?

That's precisely what the ebullient folks in the San Francisco International Airport's PR department did this holiday season with the You Are Hear music program -- they set aural whimsy traps throughout SFO.

Gleefully-played classical Christmas music filters down from a balcony onto the longest security queue in the airport, hip-shaking jazz reverberates down high-ceilinged industrial corridors past benches and exhibits and deadlines. Guitars and drums echo throughout a monstrous hexagonal Bond-villain-esque terminal. It's not what you'd expect.

Live music doesn't fit with the go-go-go frenzy of a holiday airport. And gloriously so. SFO's You Are Here program is a gloriously-direct affront to all of the attendant headaches of air travel.

Good surprises laid as traps. .

Among the tango groups, bell-ringers, and singing saw players were scheduled local luminaries like Bart Davenport and Tommy Guerrero -- and a notable oddity -- Jason Lytle was coming back to the Bay Area to play music in the airport.