Felix Felicis

As I reached the bridge that separated the two sides of the Falls at Niagara, a single thought occurred to me:

"EVERYONE has read my blog and now they've poured in to sample the polygamous relationship I have with the USA border guards."

Guys, you missed the point! THIS RELATIONSHIP IS ABUSIVE.

I have crossed at Niagara at least half a dozen times and I had never seen queues so long. In both directions too. Was everyone doing U-turns so they can have a second date with the guards? Or was I in fact observing a gigantic population exchange between New York and Ontario? Perhaps everyone was trying to escape the heat in their home town. If so, boy were they going to be disappointed!

It took me over an hour to cross that bridge. Mercifully, my tourist visa was still in date, so I was able to drive straight through the border .... and into the backlog from three traffic accidents and the tail end of a police chase. I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel. There was only one explanation for all this chaos:


Someone was trying to stop me reaching Florida and visiting Universal Studio's new Harry Potter theme park. I gritted my teeth; they would fail! What I needed was a way to counteract this spell, something really .... lucky. I looked down at my car's cup holder. It contained a bottle of Mountain Dew. Probably not exactly the same recipe as Felix Felicis, but it was an exciting new flavour. It would do. I took a large gulp.

Accelerating into Buffalo airport 45 minutes before my flight, I tumbled through security and skidded down the corridor to the last gate in the terminal. Success! Feeling smug, I boarded the plane ...

... along with every under-2 toddler in up-state New York and (seemingly) none of their parents.

My eyes narrowed. There was no denying that my enemies were good. The kids were cranky; perhaps they too had been queuing at the Niagara border. Perhaps they were ALL visiting Harry Potter World. Perhaps no one would notice if I chucked a few out the emergency exit.

We touched down in Atlanta just as a storm rolled in, stranding us on the tarmac for twenty minutes. Little Joey still wanted a window seat. I pondered the merits of throwing little Joey and his friends through said requested window. Would I still be able to hear their screams from the runway?

Eventually we pulled up to Gate A36; out of 36. My connecting flight was at D36.... out of 36.

.... FML.

I arrived, out of breath, for the last boarding call and tumbled into my seat as the doors slammed shut. This allowed our plane to ... drive a few feet along the tarmac to the back of a line behind twenty other planes. I was in the front row, so my bag (containing a second book), was placed in the overhead bins. I finished my first book. We waited. I scowled at a small child in the row next to me who had a picture book. It began to cry.

When we finally landed in Gainesville, it was after midnight and the rental car place had closed for the day.

There was no doubt about it, the anti-muggle charms were good. But I was now so close .... I just had to find a way to my friend's house. It was late for the small college town, but perhaps a taxi would show up eventually or ...


I looked up from my examination of my iPhone (seriously, there had to be an app for my problems) to see one of my friends standing in the arrivals lounge, car keys in hand. I blinked. Then looked down at the empty Mountain Dew bottle still clutched in my hand. Perhaps I should keep this.