Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Now for the Ridiculous and Embarrassing

Before I completely move away from the subject of the ACFW conference I attended a couple of weeks ago, I have to tell you a little bit about the fun I had on the way to Dallas. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) You knew I couldn’t go all the way from Atlanta to Dallas without a few misadventures, right?

If you recall, I left for the conference right after the incident of the frog in the night. My critter adventures continued when I got to the Atlanta airport. I had about half an hour until my flight started boarding. I found a great seat with a view of the planes taking off and landing, and plenty of room to stretch out and relax. For about two minutes.

A gaggle of teenagers suddenly appeared and plopped down all around me. They were sort of loud, but that wasn’t the problem. A couple of them started squealing and giggling and pointing under a seat across from me. One of them yelled down to the others, “Look! A mouse!”

Sure enough, a mouse was running back and forth under a seat across from my purse and my toes. I wondered if he was actually a pet mouse that someone had dumped, because he seemed hysterical. I didn’t wait long enough to think all that much about his roots, however, because he kept shooting toward my ankles. I decided to relocate myself before I got to know him any better.

Things went pretty smoothly for awhile after that, until right after I got into the Marriott Quorum. That’s when I realized I’d left my book in the seat back on the plane. It wasn’t just any book, either. Remember me telling you about getting a book called Insulin Murders through Interlibrary Loan at my library? It took me a long time to get up the nerve to request the book from our ILL staff person, because it sounded like such a weird thing to be interested in (you fellow writers out there will understand). Now I had to call up the airline and ask if they’d found it.

The customer service guy on the phone was very nice. Then the moment came. He asked the title of the book. I told him. His response: “Ha ha ha….okaaaaay.” For 30 minutes he tried to track down my book. The folks at DFW said they didn’t have it. The plane had returned to Atlanta by then, and he couldn’t get anyone at the gate on the phone. I finally decided I would check in person in Atlanta when I got back the next Sunday.

So I walk up to the woman at the airline’s lost and found. She asks for the name of the book. I tell her. She looks at me blankly. “What was that?” I tell her again. “Okaaaaaay.” She couldn’t find it, of course. I went through all that for nothing. Or actually, less than nothing. I actually ended up worse off than when I started. Somehow, while trudging around the airport looking for my book, I lost my sweater.

And now I get to tell the ILL person at work that I—a librarian, a guardian of books—lost that weird book she ordered for me. I’ll have to pay for it, of course. I’m beginning to wish I had just done that to begin with.