Travel Story 

Acapulco wait

Aca-pulco; The slow sneeze

We got to the airport at 6:30 a.m. and waited.

We bought duty free and drank juice and coffee and scanned the gate for eye candy. Perused magazines and bean bag headrests.

We waited. We had made the effort to get to the airport two hours early after a very long evening only to wait, under fluorescent light sabres. We watched a security guard in a shiny helmet cruise the airport on a mountain bike. Vancouver.

Aca-pulco. We had been saying this in a slow sneeze for about four days now. Still, it didn't seem real. I was going down for a wedding, and a girlfriend came along to play.

The flight originated in Calgary. You could tell. It must have left quite early, because the crew and passengers were already sitting at the gate when we got there. The flight attendants sat in a group and listened to something about something that the captain was saying. A man walked up to one of the hostesses and asked her a question. She told him he would have to "hang on a minute." She wasn't polite. She snapped her head back to her huddle. I'd never seen anyone talk to an air hostess when they were not on a plane. It never occurred to me to speak to one when they were not on a plane. We boarded around 8:15 a.m. I got the window. My friend could have it on the way back. As we filed down the aisle, rude hostess was escorting a man off the plane. He looked a little stressed.

"He is getting off the plane," rude hostess said out loud.

I sat down, buckled up, hoped for a blanket soon and pushed my carry-on under the seat in front of me with my foot, and waited.

Passengers around us were talking about the man we had just passed. How he wouldn't come out of the bathroom. How he had said that he wanted off the plane. There was something unsettling about him. One man confided that he had felt unsafe. He had entertained getting off the plane. It was good that the weird man was gone.

I buried my face in my sweater against the window and settled in. "Good morning passengers and welcome to Sky Service flight 648 to Acapulco. As you may be aware, a suspicious person has been removed from the plane. In the interest of your security, we are going to have to ask you to disembark. We will be bringing a dog on board to check for bombs. The person has been taken in for questioning, and his baggage is presently being removed from the vessel. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please exit the plane in an orderly fashion and leave your belongings on the plane. Again, we are sorry for this inconvenience, but it is for your security and protection that we take this precaution. Please stay close to the gate, as we would like to get the flight underway as soon as possible. Thank you. Mesdames et Messieurs."

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