My wife put down her trip checklist and said: "What in the world is that?"
"My suitcase," I said.
"No way. Do not put that thing on the dining room table…"
I put it on the dining room table. "It's just a little dusty." I took a deep breath and blew as hard as I could. For just a minute, it was like being in Pompeii during the eruption, then the soot settled and the air in the condo brightened a bit.
"See it's actually plaid."
While my wife was choking, gasping and wheezing, I took the opportunity to open up my Travel-Rite Deluxe.
"Wow, look, my high school year book. Cool."
I sat cross-legged on the dining room floor and thumbed through it. Meanwhile my wife picked up my suitcase, held it as far away from her as possible, carried it to the front door, and tossed it out.
"Hey, be careful," I said, "I paid fifteen bucks for that…"
Too late, the minute it landed on the front lawn it disintegrated into something even a forensics expert wouldn't recognize. Bummer. I wonder if it was still under warrantee?
My wife handed me my jacket. "Our plane leaves in a few hours. You need luggage. Hurry."
"Can I help you?" Leonard of Leonard's Luggage asked. He took off his glasses. He had huge bags under his eyes. Somehow I found that appropriate.
"Going on a trip and I need a suitcase," I said. "Do you carry Travel-Rites?"
"Ah, no. But we have the Tumi Generation 4.4 Travel Collection in a variety of color coordinates. They have ultra functioning interiors and sleek refined exteriors."
Just then a young lady holding two Trader Joe's grocery bags walked in, and we were both momentarily distracted by her sleek refined exterior.
"How about that red one?" I said returning to the task at hand. "That makes a statement."
"Ah yes, the Samsonite Silhouette with multi-directional spinner wheels." He moved the bag to the middle of the room and turned it in a complete circle. "Easy to pull. Hard to tip over."
"Wheels. Wow." I spun it like a top. "I could rinse out my underwear, put ‘em in there and spin ‘em dry. That way I'd only need to bring one pair."
I opened the Samsonite. "What's this?"
"Your tri-fold removable suiter specially made for hanging up your evening wear."
"Evening wear? You mean my sweatpants? Man, these people thought of everything."
I gave the Silhouette another hearty spin, then looked at my watch. "Okay, I'll take it."
"Very good," he said. "That will be four hundred and twenty dollars, plus tax."
I waited for him to laugh. He didn't.
"Four hundred and twenty dollars! That's more than the trip is costing."
The young lady with the refined exterior walked by again. She gave me an idea.
"Whataya think?" I asked my wife as I walked toward the gate.
She hesitated. "They're you," she said.
I smiled then handed my matched set of Trader Joe's grocery bags to security. "Careful," I said. "They're new."