Over the next several days I will be telling you about my recent challenging, weird and wonderful 17 days in
Hoping that the airport shutdown had also delayed the
As instructed, we ran off down the corridors of the airport. Scanning the overhead gate direction signs at jog pace we scurried like folks with a time problem to the amusement of other airport patrons. I guess those that were amused have some sort of idea that if a person is in time duress then it is jolly well funny; that it is my problem and not theirs? One ass yelled out the threadbare cliché “Run Forrest Run.” They remain fortunate that I was in an authentic hurry and had no time to insensitively address their need for sensitivity training. I reached the gate agent completely out of breath. BEG trailed by the margin appropriate for an untrained runner chasing a trained sprinter. I had not intentionally left her behind, but I felt if I got there ahead they would surely wait for us both. I asked if the Paris flight was still boarding, though it was asked with about 4 to 5 breaths between words, words that were garbled and yet hopeful. Without looking up a gate agent, later nicknamed ‘Miss Sunshine’, intoned that the flight to
He answered, “That’s no big deal, there is a flight at 2:30 pm that you can be a stand-by for and I can confirm you on the 8 pm to
BEG came jogging up behind me at this point. As it turned out all the other folks at the counter had been left behind also. A total of 14 passengers grounded as BEG and I were. They also ran to the gate. We were all left standing there with
I had decisions to make. There were teammates in
My track competition clothes and spikes were on my back in a backpack. That lesson had been learned by nearly all the athletes over the years. Do not take a chance on lost or delayed luggage! Our checked luggage was by now circling the luggage carousel in some distant part of the airport. I told Raul about our luggage. I told him if it was not tagged to
I turned to BEG. She was totally bewildered having arrived later than much of the ongoing conversation. I asked Raul what gate the
Standing at my newly arranged
We walked on board a huge Boeing 777 and even the flight attendant picked up the baton on herding us to our seat and treating us as if as if we were the main reason for the airline’s continuing loss of revenue.
Seated on the plane, which was huge and freezing cold, I turned to look at BEG. She was ashen faced. The run through the airport and the anxiety had caused her asthma to flare. It had all happened so fast she understood little of the details apart from the fact we were going to
We sat back and settled in. The plane flew down the runway. The wheels below made that familiar sound as they folded back into the aircraft body. Eddie Murphy appeared on the monitor in front of me. Oh good, I really like Eddie Murphy!