The OP comments that he/she is unable to commit times tables to memory. This alone indicates a real, measurable learning disability in at least one domain. He/she should get formally tested and have a plan to address the areas of weakness directly.
So, harassing low paid workers at the bottom of the food chain who are performing their jobs in good faith, slowing and inconveniencing all the other travelers with energetic 3-year-old kids and crotchety 85-year-old grandparents who all have to pee, and further diluting an already strained and minimally beneficial system to "buck authority" just doesn't seem to be the best way to address this. Sure, this reporter got to write a really "witty" article. But, this kind of episode just seems really self-serving and inward focused. You want to gum up the system? Spend some time organizing and do it in a concerted, organized fashion where it could actually make a change. Haphazardly slowing things up just ticks people off and makes many more complacent about "let's just get on with it so I can get on my vacation/get home/get to my meeting." Separate issue: Since when does having served in any military capacity provide carte blanche for any behavior and imbue one with near mystical wisdom about life?