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I am writing this post sitting in an airport. And that’s a first.

Yesterday I flew out of my hometown on ‘important business’. Uncle Sam’s representatives who decide on the eligibility of those wanting to visit their country had asked to ‘interview’ me. I duly presented myself and cleared any doubts they had about my worthiness to step foot in their country. After all everyone (already) knows I am a baa lamb, a miss goody two shoes. But they, these diligent busybodies who do Uncle Sam’s work, don’t go by self declaration of ba-lamb-ness on the part of aspiring tourists but need solid proof to back up claims.

Be that as it may….do you all know what happened while there? Of course you don’t because I haven’t told you as yet. Duh! So here goes.

While I was waiting my turn to be ‘interviewed’ and found fit enough a baa-lamb to aspire to visit Uncle Sam, I suddenly started getting restive. It was all I could do to not fidget. There on the floor between me and the girl at the counter being ‘interviewed’ was a small, five inch by five inch transparent plastic cover.

I am someone who cannot bear to see litter where it shouldn’t be, especially transparent plastic paper like this one which could send the person stepping on it on a sailing trip into a hospital ward. The waste basket was beneath the counter next to the girl. Hmm…If I moved forward would that construe as disobedience on my part by the security gaurd on duty watching everyone with hawk eyes, I wondered. Or the ones walking up and down maintaining order?

I will do one thing, I decided. I will pick up the offending and dangerous bit of plastic piece when I myself am called forward, and then drop it in the waste basket. But, but… when they call me, if instead of moving forward I dive down, what if those around get alarmed and promptly jump on me pinning me down to the ground like some sort of you-know-what! After all, how would they know I was just being a conscientious person and doing my duty of putting garbage where it belongs?

Sigh. I know, I watch too many thriller shows. By now it must be also very clear what a wild imagination I have. I quietly chided myself for letting my thoughts run away. Not that it did any good. I just couldn’t let the plastic paper be. My eyes kept going back to it, staring at its offensive appearance on an otherwise spotless floor, willing someone to notice too, and put it where it belonged.

In the meantime I tried making up my mind. Pick it up. Ignore and move on. Pick it up. Ignore. What I did when I was finally asked to step forward was to quickly bend down grab the offending bit of plastic paper and put it exactly where it should have been in the first place, the waste basket. Phew. Nothing untoward happened. I then quietly presented myself to be β€˜grilled’.

That’s how my dears that I now find myself writing a post from the airport while waiting to take a flight back home. πŸ™‚

Β© Shail Mohan 2023