Thursday, January 06, 2011

Final Chapter
I talked to my son yesterday. He told me about a scary experience at the house earlier that day. Living in Encino with a security system and an electric gate on the driveway entrance we have always felt very safe, but criminals are always a step ahead of any technology.

My son had just returned from class and driven into the garage. The gate stays open for 45 seconds before it closes automatically, and had not yet closed as he was getting a backpack out of his trunk. At that moment an old car sped through the gate and screeched to a stop in the middle of the driveway, blocking any exit. A Ukrainian man jumped from the car and started toward him. It was the typical scenario for a home invasion robbery.

My son is a big guy and grabbed for anything he could use as a weapon. By then the intruder was almost in his face. Taking an offensive stance with a makeshift weapon in hand, he said, "What the f*** do you think you are doing?"
The guy jumped back and nervously said, "Bags, Bags I deliver the bags."
It was the long lost luggage from Germany being delivered by an English-challenged Ukrainian delivery man who was in much too much of a hurry.

No call, no notice, just a rush up the driveway when the gate opened. He quickly got our bags out of his car, with the motor still running, spewing exhaust. He tossed them on the porch and left as frantically as he arrived. It all took less than 45 seconds since the gate was still open as he sped away. My son took a moment to let his blood pressure drop and now sees the humor in the whole thing.

This event happens on the same day I receive an email saying KLM has no new information on our bags. I thought the email was funny because it said the bags were not lost, but they didn't know where they were. I wondered at the time what the KLM definition of "lost" actually is.
So there you have it, the final chapter in the saga of the lost luggage. The two bags have been out of our possession since December 17th just short of three weeks.

American Express is due a letter of praise from me. As a long time member and Platinum Card holder, the global services division has called, questioned and badgered KLM every day on my behalf since the bags were lost in Amsterdam. Sandi and I were able to get on with our lives, work and travel without having to sit on the phone ourselves. I will continue to be a fan of AMEX. I'm not sure I will choose to fly KLM again....although they did eventually return the bags to our home, albeit in a somewhat dysfunctional way.

Real life is so much more interesting than fiction, except in the case of reality television shows.
As you were,


Bob Conrad said...

You live the most interesting life Jay, you couldn't make this stuff up.

Roomie said...

Mandy and I are just in awe of your talent for writing...from the first word, we are PULLED into the conversation as though we were with you (wish we were) and we don't come out of the scenario until you stop....amazing thing you have there, my friend...and we are so glad that the luggage was returned...too you can just box up the Christmas gifts and send them off to Berlin...put a tracer on them...we love you. And I agree with just live TOOOOOOO interesting a life, and always have...
Carry on,