10 MAY 2018: There is probably something in the Scriptures (and if there isn’t, there ought to be) saying something like “getteth thee not to high and mighty about thyself because surely it will cometh back and biteth thee in thy bum". Or as the hillbillies might say “don’t go gittin’ all biggity”

As an example, I have an ex-relative. Nice guy, a bit pompous, though one who has done good work and supported charities along the way. I figure that he’s entitled to be as pompous as he likes.

His wife decided to take a year’s sabbatical and study at a little university called Oxford, in England. So they closed up their home in Toronto, and we arranged to rent ye olde Englishe cottage for them in ye Englishe Countryside near to Oxford.

He would run his business by remote and fly back to Toronto as needed. And so it was that on the big day we waved goodbye as the family took a limo to Pearson to fly to England. Actually, given the amount of baggage, they took a chauffeured van. Well, half an hour later I got a phone call. “We’ve left our passports on the hall table. Can you bring them to us at the airport?”

I thought to myself “Geez – what an idiot! This guy should know better!” After all, he uses the day flight to London like we mere mortals use the subway or the GO Train.

Or how about the angry fellow we met in a La Quinta Inn in Summersville, West Virginia. He had just driven 14 hours nonstop from Sarasota, only to be told by his mother-in-law that she had left her cat behind, and they would have to turn around and drive back to fetch it.

What can one say? You’ve probably got a dozen stories, too.

But what can I tell you – pride goeth before the fall. We (my ever-loving and I) had just returned from wintering in Florida this weekend past. Closed up the condo, packed up the car, helped ageing dog into the back seat, and spent two days on the road, overnighting at La Quinta Inns in Columbia, South Carolina and Moon, Pennsylvania because La Quinta accept pets of all sizes without question, and ours weighs in at 90lbs.

Well, we went through the tolls at the end of the NY Thruway, and as we were driving down the 195 to the Peace Bridge at Fort Erie my ever-loving said to me “where’s your passport?”
I said, “In the passport wallet, with yours.” And she said “Nope! Mine’s here. Yours isn’t.”

And then I realized that after I had flown to Toronto from Florida for a few days a month previously I must not have returned my passport to the family passport wallet.

I was panicking all the way up to the passport control booth, and I blurted out my forgetfulness.

“No worries,” said the lady in the booth. “Do you have a driver’s license? Canadian ID card? Something to prove that you’re a Canadian?” I did, and ten minutes later we were on the QEW back to Toronto.

She was probably thinking “What an idiot! Who leaves his passport behind?”

The $60 I paid to Fedex to get my passport sent to me was just an additional punishment.

So next time you get a frantic phone call from a client whose passport isn’t valid, or is being denied boarding because he gave his stage name for his tickets instead of his real passport name, don’t go getting all high and mighty on yourself.

It could happen to you.

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Derrick Bloch

A regular contributer to Travel Industry Today, Derrick has been recognized by National Geographic Traveler as one of the top 80 travel agents in North America. 

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