This is my suitcase. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My suitcase is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
My suitcase, without me, is useless. Without my suitcase, I am useless.
So I landed in Chicago on Wed night. Starving and pretty tired of sitting on dirty cramped airplanes. I had to do a plane side bag check because the flight from Columbus to Chicago was on a small plane with no overhead storage. No problem.
After touching down, I grabbed my suitcase (it was one of the first to be placed in the jetway, probably because they knew it belonged to The Commish), jumped in a cab and went to my hotel. No Problem.
I checked in at 8:30pm, dropped my bag in the room and immediately went out to get some dinner. No Problem.
Sat down at the bar, ordered a drink and some food and all was finally good.
And then I started getting a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize, and it was coming up as “Memphis TN”. So I ignored it. No Problem.
But it kept calling. No Problem?
And then I got the following text: “Hi Eric – my name is Shannon Williams. I accidentally got your bag at the Chicago airport. Please give me a call.”
Turns out, Shannon Williams had my bag and I had his. And unfortunately, neither of us realized this before leaving the airport. Oh, and he was staying 45 minutes North of Chicago.
So I called him and we discussed putting each others bag in a cab and sending it to our respective hotels. He was a nice guy (sounded like a total redneck) and he liked the idea but when he asked a cab to do that for him, they said no. (Of course they said no. His name is Shannon and he’s from the South. And he probably had a heroin needle hanging out of his arm and a line of hookers in his room at The Motel 6.)
Anyway, I asked a cabbie outside my hotel and the guy not only said yes, but he acted like he’d just won the lottery. It turns out he was $300 in the hole for his January lease, and the Feb lease was due the next day. He had to charge me the flat rate of $95.00 each way. No problem. (funny thing is, I think he was worried I’d look for other options after hearing how much it was going to be. This is funny because at the time I probably would’ve paid more if I had to.)
So, thanks to Moe the cab driver, I had my own bag back by 10:30pm. It could’ve been worse. A lot worse. How you ask? Well, when we went on vacation last April, Mrs Commish wrote out the blue and white name tag you see attached to my bag. Up until then, I had no identification on my bag. If that wasn’t on there, Shannon would’ve had no idea who the bag belonged to. And guess what. Shannon didn’t have his name on his bag, so I wouldn’t have had any idea how to contact him. Imagine that nightmare.
So a HUGE THANK YOU to Mrs. Commish. Saved my ass big time.
I’m still amazed that I made such rookie mistake after all these years of traveling.
Anyway, all was well that ends well. Of course, at the time I landed in Chicago I was closer to feeling like like Private Pyle about 2:15 seconds into this clip than anything else.
Now go put a name tag on your suitcase.