Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Into the Bermuda Triangle

I got an IM from a friend of mine who arrived in Cyprus today after a trip to Ghana. A week or two in Cyprus, then she’s off to Turkey and finally home to the US on Sept. 15th. It’s a business trip. The bad news is that her luggage, along with the luggage of several other American passengers, was “lost.” Actually, it wasn’t really lost. It was stolen off the tarmac in Ghana. The airline won’t reimburse any of the victims for their loss because in their minds they did their job by “delivering” it. Apparently, once it hits the tarmac the airport becomes liable. In turn, the airport has a “no reimbursement” policy. Note to self: never fly South African Airlines into Ghana. This snafu comes on the heels of another baggage mix up this week. This one is actually rather comical.

As if being a hockey fan isn’t traumatic enough right now, an airline temporarily “lost” the Stanley Cup. The Stanley Friggin Cup!!! Now hockey purists might have imagined this trauma was caused by an American airline. After all, the Cup was won this year by an American team from Florida of all places. But no, this incident occurred on Canadian soil and was caused by Air Canada. The Cup was en route to Ft. St. John, B.C. The keeper of the cup boarded a flight in Vancouver thinking it had been loaded safely in the baggage compartment, which it had been originally. Apparently some brain surgeon at Air Canada decided to offload the “excess baggage” due to its weight. It only weighs 35 lbs., far less than the bag I packed for my last business trip! Unfortunately, no one thought to mention that the Cup was taken off the plane to Walter Neubrand, the official Cup keeper. Yes, Lord Stanley’s Cup has its own escort. Imagine his surprise upon landing and standing in the baggage claim area only to watch the belt go round and round – no Cup, no special Cup carrier. After a search of the plane and several frantic phone calls by Air Canada employees, the Cup was located in a baggage area in Vancouver, 750 miles from its destination.

Now if you are not a hockey fan you may miss the incredible irony in this whole true story. I’ll explain. If you ARE a hockey fan, feel free to skip this part. Hockey is the unofficial national sport of Canada. I believe the official sport is still curling, a phenomenon I cannot even begin to explain. The Stanley Cup is the Holy Grail of hockey, like the Super Bowl trophy is to football. But it means more…so much more, especially to Canadians. You see the Cup has a history, a long history that is sacred to the sport. In fact, a Canadian was quoted for the article I read saying, “It’s probably the most important non-religious artifact in Canada.”

So you can see how incredible this story is. I ask you, especially you fans (though I’m not sure there are any of you reading this): how the heck did this happen? I would have thought that the Cup would travel better than I do. Snuggled in its own seat in first class for instance. One would also think that a Canadian airline (and it has been reported that they actually were aware of their cargo) would be a bit more careful when handling this “artifact.” And of course, unless you follow hockey you are probably wondering why those of us who do find this thing so incredulous.

My friends, Sept. 15th is looming on the horizon and there is still no CBA. And now they have lost the Cup, however briefly. What is happening to our sport? We have to cling to whatever we can get at this point. I ask to you join me in raising a Molson and asking the hockey gods to smile upon us. If they choose not to, it’s going to be a long winter.


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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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