Monday, February 14, 2011

Early flight

Any day that starts at 4:30 am is sure to be a bad one.

I am now at the airport, busy delaying my 6:30 am flight to LA. After standing on line for 30 minutes, I am told I have missed baggage check by 5.

"But I've been on line for 30 minutes."
"You missed baggage check by 5."
"But I've been on line for 30 minutes."
"You missed baggage check by 5."

This exchange continues for some time, until the check-in agent breaks the impasse by disappearing through a door into the bowels of the airport for 10 minutes. Upon her return, she announces that she will check my bag, but can't guarantee anything. If this is intended to be reassuring, it doesn't work. My bag is on its way to Los Cabos, and I am facing the prospect of 4 days in LA with the clothes I am wearing and a floor-length padded down coat. I look like a walking comforter. This is a common sight on the streets of NY in February; in LA, not so much.

Decide that breakfast may improve my outlook, but my options are limited. Fried offal masquerading as a breakfast patty, or a donut sweet enough to trigger instant-onset diabetes. This is not the breakfast of champions. No wonder the nation's in a mess. Eventually locate a yogurt, also over-sugared. My teeth melt. Mentally compose furious letter of complaint to Danon ("Dear Sirs, Yogurt is supposed to be sour. Health haters. I look forward to your timely reply. Sincerely...") but know I won't have time to send it until I retire.

Cannot find anything that deserves to be called tea. Settle for Liptons. I discover the lid is leaking when it pours scalding liquid down the sleeve of my coat. Hurl it into the nearest waste bin in a fit of temper.

But thank god -- thank god -- duty free is open. I may not be able to find healthful sustenance, but I can buy as much liquor and tobacco as I can carry. Shelve my sarcasm when I realize that a liter of brandy would come in pretty bloody handy right now. Decide instead to buy face cream (mine is, as I mentioned, on its way to Los Cabos). Pick up my usual over-priced brand, and read the box in horror: Multi-Activ Night Creme counteracts early signs of aging in one's thirties. I didn't know it, but my skin is now beyond redemption. Ladies of my advanced years, it turns out, are better served by the Extra-Firming Night Creme. Crushed, but buy it anyway. Lard would likely be just as much use at this point, but not ready to go there yet.

So now, I am loitering behind a magazine stand near Gate 2, waiting until they call my name over the loudspeaker. I am gaming the system -- on account of my checking a bag, they cannot leave without me, or without opening the baggage hold and unloading my property. I calculate that this delay will give my bag just enough time to make the flight. When they call my name a third time, I will sprint to the gate, whip out my accent, and look apologetic.

Getting chest pains. I'm not cut out for subterfuge. Face cream no help in this situation. Wish I'd bought the brandy. I just want the world to sod off.

1 comment:

  1. Hehe brilliant! I quickly learnt to use my accent to my advantage when visiting the US too lol. hope the suitcase made it! xx