To the irritable man with the rollerboard suitcase ...

As with this post, it is sometimes necessary to write to people you have only encountered in passing. Such "missed connections" form a popular column in the website craigslist. It is in this style that I offer the following to a fellow passenger at Toronto airport last night:

"To the irritable man with the rollerboard suitcase,

I know you were irritated that night at Toronto airport. I know this because I had been just behind you in the queue, also being told I would have to wait for a seat assignment. I was also just behind you when you shoved your rollerboard backwards, causing me to trip and you ... you to look still more irritated that someone had the audacity to touch your luggage.

It is possible that your day had been harder than mine. Perhaps so much so that it explained why I was innocently heading to find a soda while you were embarking on a departure room rule of terror. If you had decided to ask, rather than ABH, I would have explained that my day had been one of trials and triumphs and I was thinking of selling the plot for a remake of Groundhog Day.

I had headed out that morning at 6 am to meet a potential landlord before he went to work. The apartment was nice and, after a brief consideration, I decided I wished to sign the lease.

Yay! Apartment!

Such an event would have been marginally easier if my future landlord had not lost his phone three days earlier, rendering him incommunicable until his return at 3:30 pm. Coincidentally, this particular time was also that for the last departure of the airport shuttle bus.

Nevertheless, I had happily wiled away the hours by trying to reach one of the three professional pet sitting services who had been ignoring my existence all weekend. They persisted until mid-afternoon when one of them finally broke. After scuttling between Waterloo and Hamilton (~ 1hr drive) to ensure bags were packed and cat briefed for good behaviour over the following weeks, I reached my landlord and agreed to meet him at a coffee shop ... that proved to be closed. A chilled twenty minutes later finally saw me signing a lease in a KFC.

At this stage, it was too late to contemplate public transport to the airport, so I had driven the rental car and dropped it off at the terminal. In their confusion at seeing a vehicle they expected to be in Waterloo, I was ushered into the help desk area. This left me at the back of a long line of customers (did I mention to anyone I'd driven the car because I was late?) who were being personally shown to their rentals by individuals who had mastered speaking English at one tenth normal speed. Finally, I was presented with the bill and ...

".... I'm sorry, you've overcharged me."

"No Ma'am, a large fee is charged if you drop the car off at a different location from your rental branch."

".... Even so, my original bill was $400 .... it is now $1450."

Okay, so perhaps, just perhaps, there was a slight slip. After some consultation, I received a new bill for $800.

"... This is still rather high."

"Well, you have the fee for being an underage driver."

".... I'm 29."

"We have your date of birth as 1985."

"That is incorrect."
(As you could see from my official Government issued driving license that is in your hand.)

"Oh right. Why is that?"

Know what? Not my problem. The fact my flight leaves in less than an hour, that is my problem.

Now running, I had leaped up to departures, sacrificed my toothpaste to avoid checking luggage and made up the blandest version of my life to date so the USA border control would be too bored to prolong our interaction.

So you can imagine, good sir, that I also was not thrilled to discover I was not guaranteed on this flight. However, unlike you, I did not resort to beating up other passengers although I note that, had I been so inclined, I would have at least picked someone with a seat.

Regardless, both you and I made the flight that day. You probably rolled off home without a care in the world. I, meanwhile, had to deal with yet another car rental desk.

"We only have a minivan."

I hate you."