Travel Note:
Don’t Miss It!
19 June 2019

¶ A Certain Party that I know misread her plane ticket this morning, and showed up at the airport at noon. But noon, in a distant time zone, was when the flight was scheduled to land, not take off. The flight had been scheduled to leave her location at ten. It seemed that she had missed it. 

There would be two more flights to CP’s destination later that day. She tried to book a seat on the earlier one — the later flight would be tremendously inconvenient — but could do no better than first position on the standby list.

The Certain Party’s Interested Friend, meanwhile, was following as best he could from home base. Armed with a flight number, he watched, so to speak, the second flight take off — without having heard a word. His anxiety therefore took off as well. Presently, however, the phone rang, and CP had this story to tell: 

She had not, in fact, missed her flight. Due to some mechanical problem, it was delayed. It was four hours delayed — four and a half. An hour later, in other words, than the second flight. She was right on time.

Thus is the study of history mocked. It consistently fails to provide precedents for future mishaps and odd developments. Our Interested Friend is not so hot, either. He seems to think that history will repeat itself. As one might, considering the patina of routine banality that coats air travel today. But if history teaches anything, it is that Certain Party has a gift for eliciting novelty from the unpromising material of airline schedules. 

If only it were conscious. 

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