I was super worried they wouldn’t take my full carbon bike which was 100% pure carbon especially because of the no exceptions thing but they made an exception, actually 150 of them, and took it.
The minute the beefy angry young man in the oversized baggage pit with a hernia belt tossed the box like a corpse onto the conveyor belt I regretted the 150 exceptions and realized that the next time I saw it, my bike, protected only by cardboard and the ironclad assurances of Boozy P., might well be nothing but pieces of bicycle.
The flight to Amsterdam was uneventful except for my epic battle with the plastic dressing packet which refused to tear open. Common sense said that too much effort would cause it to rip open and spray Thousand Island all over the nice lady who had been sneezing on me for two solid hours.
Common sense said that the coach meal of gruel and iceberg lettuce would not taste appreciably better with the chemical dressing.
Common sense said to put down the packet.
However the challenge to my authority could not be ignored. If I let the dressing packet skate, what would happen to the similarly wrapped caramel biscuit, not to mention the fake dairy creamer to go in the brown water?
Just when it seemed hopeless, I gingerly put the edge between my teeth, bit down, and shot a cold stream of dressing onto the seatback, but not before an equally large blob glopped onto the lettuce and the Jell-O surprise.
We landed in Amsterdam, where it was cold and no one spoke Dutch, least of all the Dutchians. There was more English, and more gooder English, in the Amsterdam airport than in the New York Times. I decided to go native by purchasing a local newspaper, de Volkskrant, which means The People’s Rant in English.
Whenever I visit a foreign country I like to polish my pretentiousness, and nothing screams pretentious like assiduously reading a paper you can’t understand. The only down side was paying for it, as the clerk assumed I was Dutch and happily began speaking to me in Dutchese. I just smiled and shook a fistful of coins at her, some of which worked, others of which, bearing Chinese characters, did not.
It appears after a careful perusal of The People’s Rant that the word “the” is quite common. More on this important breaking news later.