Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Skates on a plane

Thursday last week, I was at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto to fly home on Porter. There was a long line to get to the security check. So long, that the guy in front of me in the line looked at me and said, "this is a long line." We strangers in the airport line rarely talk to each other. Maybe because we're alert to the possibility that we all might be terrorists.

I agreed. "The longest line I've ever seen here." We were in the Nexus/Premium Access line, so no need to mention that we both had plenty of experience with the airport lines.

Then he rifled through his bag. "I forgot my boarding pass." He ducked out of the line and went under the cordon ribbon thing, causing it to come undone. He started to reattach it, but I took it from him.

 "I'll deal with this, you get your boarding pass." I reattached the cordon.

While he was gone, two different people came along looking frantic waving their boarding passes and saying something about boarding in five minutes. I thought about saying something like, we all planned our travel to get here in lots of time, but I didn't. I just said, "go ahead."

Then the guy came back. He looked a little sheepish about getting back in front of me, but I told him it was fine. Perhaps this made him feel like confessing something. He lifted his carry-on bag. "I've got a pair of skates in here."

My eyes went wide. "A pair of skates?"

"Yeah," he said, "they told me at the counter they would be fine."

"A pair of skates is fine and we can't bring a little 2-inch pocket knife on?" (I'm still bitter about losing the little Swiss Army knife that I forgot to take out of my pocket a couple of years ago.)

"I guess it's hard to threaten someone with a skate," he said.

This seemed dubious to me, but I said, "okay, I think they should let it all on anyway. I wish you luck."

He went in the line for one x-ray machine and I went in the line for the other. A few minutes later I was heading into the snack area to get my free decaf cappuccino and packet of cookies when I ran into him.

"You'll never guess what happened," he said.

"Your skates?"

"They let them through!"

"They did? That's great."

"Yes, but I didn't know that my wife put a wine opener in my bag."

"Oh, no," I said, "they didn't like the cork screw?"

"Not the corkscrew, the little blade for taking off the plastic wrap at the top of the bottle."

"Oh, no," I said.

"Yes, I lost the wine opener."

 I'm hoping that if he was skating in Ottawa this past cold weekend, he found a good bottle of screw-top wine for afterwards.

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