Monday, July 27, 2009

Ye Olde Saw: Yet Another Travel Horror Story.

I carry my passport around with me a lot because I travel so much. But when I am at home at Oxford, I stash it in a “secure location” in my house. (I believe Dick Cheney may be hiding there too). Where is this “secure location”? In a drawer built into the bottom of my bed. (I blogged about this bed previously here and here).

Anyway, as I was finishing my preparations to go on the road for the next month, with only about half an hour before I had to be on the bus to heathrow, I went to retrieve my passport, and mysteriously the drawer was stuck shut. I tried yanking a bit. No dice. I tried prying a bit. Nothing. Screwdriver. Nada. Hammer. Zip.

This bed was an assembly-yourself deal, so I start disassembling the entire bed piece by piece. In twenty minutes, I am sweating profusely (literally and figuratively) and I have the bed disassembled down to its constituent minimal pieces. But I still can’t get into the damn drawer.

Cost of bed-frame: 300 £. Cost of plane ticket: 600 £. Time remaining: about 10 minutes.

Out comes ye’ olde saw. In five minutes, I have my passport, and I have a great big hole in the base of my bed with a lot of sawdust on my bedroom floor.
Sadly I missed the bus, but caught one only half an hour later. Unfortunately, this was not good enough. I ended up missing my airplane by precisely one minute. Actually, this is the first time I have missed an airplane by being late to the airport. I’m usually one of those people who gets there four hours in advance just to be careful. Exactly one hour before the flight was scheduled to leave, they officially closed the flight and even one minute later, I could not convince the folks at Continental to let me on (I suspect they had oversold it; and closing it promptly was a cheap way to fix the problem – I noticed that most other flights to the US did not close until 20 minutes before the flight).

[Here’s something to think about. When I am one minute late for the plane, I get bumped. If the plane is one minute late.. how can I bump them? ]

Added: I managed to get a flight only four hours later. Exceedingly annoying, but not tragic. Not sure what I am going to do about the bed though.

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