A Bad “Welcome” Home

Ever come back from a great vacation and get smacked by the return to reality?

I picked up my friend Denis at the airport yesterday as he returned from what sounds like a heavenly stay in South Africa.

Is Denis' luggage somewhere in this pile?

Within an hour upon his return, Denis realized:

–He had a cold

–He returned from vacation but his luggage didn’t.

–His car wouldn’t start. Dead battery

—His cell phone was missing.

—Having enjoyed warm sunshine and lush foliage, he was now facing a cold rain, and gray, gray, gray.

Denis was obviously bummed by this less than warm welcome, but he kept an amazing stiff upper lip.  I swear Denis is more stable and calm about things than a hunk of granite that’s been there for thousands of years.

If I had been in Denis’ situation, I would have been screaming like an overstimulated, over -tired two year old who was overdosing on sugar.

I tried to help Denis by  making him regale me with stories about his trip I don’t know if it helped him,  but the stories were great, so at least I was entertained. Hey, why not grab a vicarious thrill while you can? Besides, he didn’t need my help.

Denis was certainly much more stable about the situation than the airline clerk we were dealing with, who I’ll call  Sasha Royal Payne Diaz. (read the name out loud and you’ll get it.)

Sasha Royal Payne Diaz was NOT HAPPY that Denis was asking about his missing luggage, another guy was whining because he missed his flight, and NOBODY WAS HELPING HER!!!!!

With a dramatic sigh, Sasha Royal Payne Diaz glared at us and said darkly, “I’ll help you in a minute.” By now, we weren’t sure we wanted her help.  She kept dialing the phone and complaining about the guy who was complaining about missing his flight. Her end of the conversation was punctuated by the fact she rolled her eyes so frequently I thought they’d pop out of her head and roll right out onto the tarmac.

Sasha Royal Payne Diaz seemed annoyed that Denis couldn’t remember exactly which articles of clothing he put in each piece of missing luggage. Supposedly, that would help the airline find the missing baggage.  Actually, she was annoyed by everything.

Sasha Royal Payne Diaz pounded on her computer keyboard as if she was killing an army of ants on her desk. Sasha Royal Payne Diaz shoved a piece of paper at Denis, and said he needed to have the numbers listed on the paper to get his luggage back. Or else.

We fled the airport and I drove Denis to a restaurant where we had a nice lunch. Thank goodness Sasha’s brother, Major Royal Payne Diaz didn’t work at the eatery.

I then took Denis to his car, which he left at his sister’s house in Colchester, Vermont.  He turned the key and the car made a sickening, click, click, click, groannn. Probably the same sound Sasha Royal Payne Diaz makes when she’s trying to go to sleep.

Denis figured he’d call AAA, but the cell phone he swore he left in the car was nowhere to be found. He borrowed mine.

Now, I felt terrible. I had to get back to work. Nobody was home at his sister’s house, so  I had to leave Denis alone in a cold, broken car, rain drumming on the roof, to wait for Triple A.

Welcome home, Denis. I bet you’re on line right now, looking for the cheapest flight back to South Africa. (That advert: “Price Line NEGOTIATOR!!! ” is running through my head.

I just hope someone other than Sasha Royal Payne Diaz books Denis’ flight.

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3 Responses to “A Bad “Welcome” Home”

  1. Michael McCann Says:

    What is more remarkable than her irascible airline demeanour is that she was ever granted employment. But then the Sasha Royal Paynes of this world are here to remind us that living in paradise has its occasional drawbacks. In Africa, in such circumstances we just say ‘Eish’, shake our heads solemnly and walk away. I’ll be at Burlington airport on the morning of 24th December after an equally impossible journey; the lady best call in sick that day.

  2. denis Says:

    but how can i be in a bad mood when you picked me up at the airport with your big smile. i owe you big time!!!

  3. gary rith Says:

    Oh gosh. At least Denis is safe, but denis, why did you ever come back? 🙂

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