Saturday, September 23, 2006

An Unexpected Shout Out

Dear Port Authority Police Department of Laguardia Airport,

I am writing to thank you for locating my cellphone, recklessly abandoned at the Delta Baggage Claim. My husband spied it from across the room but in my rush to keep a squirming toddler from mounting the conveyer belt, I believed it to instead be a chewed-then-abandoned piece of blueberry bagel.

Hallucination, you ask? Well, it may have been a symptom of post traumatic stress after having to change an enormous poop in a airplane lavatory on a closed toilet seat. As my blog-crush Julie asserted at, not all plane bathrooms are retrofitted with changing tables. I was in denial of the side effects of that fact when reading her blog entry from the comfort of my own home, but when faced with a screaming toddler, steaming load and the stewardesses suggestion that I lay a blanket down on a filthy toilet seat and get at it -- it was a whole 'nother story. My husband did do all the dirty work, all six feet three inches of him crouched down in the two foot two inch air borne porta potty, while I paced unhelpfully and gagged even more unhelpfully. My only moment of smug retailation was handing the unsoiled but well used blanket back to the stewardess who looked at me like it was on fire. Note to all flying with children - beware of Delta airlines.

Anyway, imagine my distress when I found myself to be without cellphone after rooting through all carry on bags which were instead filled with cheerios and tabloid magazines. We were in a cab because the car service never showed up - damn the seven sevens. I came home and was instructed to "dump" my bag, and mentos and crumbs went a flying. Calls to unhelpful Verizon stores and bickering with husband ensued. No, I do not want a new phone number. No, I will not pay $300 for a new phone. Why did you throw out your old phones? I so do NOT lose everything. Etc.

Then, as if by magic, someone from the airport called my mom, extracted from my contact list, I presume, and told her they had the phone. I called Lost and Found, and got repeated voicemails. I imagined my little cheapo phone in the bottom of some bin filled with orphaned luggage and liquids and gels that are no longer allowed through security. In a daring move, I pressed the number for the "Laguardia Airport Detectives" and expecting to be laughed at and then chastised for bothering them about my phone when the terror alert is at level ORANGE, the lovely detective said that he actually had my phone, sitting right there. He gave me slow directions to the police building at the airport. He wished me a nice day.

So we went to the airport, and the New Yorker in me still doubted the possibility that I would be reunited with my phone. After following the impeccable directions I entered the police building (which looked exactly as I imagined it would.) Lovely officers in blue swarmed around, and as I entered the glass doors one turned to me and said:

"What, you come to someone's house and you don't even bring any RUGELACH?"

In five minutes, I was handed my phone, with apologies for stickiness from the police tape. I could not believe it. Even harder to believe was that the officers called each other "honey".

So I thank you all, for renewing my faith in customer service, validating my affections for the NYPD. I promise to bring gooey kosher pastries next time. Who knew?



At 9:54 PM PDT, Anonymous Leigh said...

This is a fabulous story in a great time of need for tales of travel redemption. Please see M.I.A. on the Redstar Perspective for more bullshit about Delta!!!

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