Background: She is a highly organised individual, listmaker supreme and the tidiest mind I know. Some years ago she and her husband decided to cross hemispheres to have a long faraway holiday involving several mini breaks and stopovers within the holiday. Unwilling to hand over the responsibility of its coordination to an agent, she planned it efficiently and meticulously, compiling numerous interrelated charts and lists. Means of travel at every stage? Tick. Budget? Tick. Right clothes – and only what was strictly necessary to enable them to travel light? Tick. Medication ordered in advance? Tick. Visas, overseas driving licences? Double tick. All set, they departed for Heathrow airport, and once there headed for the correct check-in desk.
Check-in hostess: Passports and tickets please.... excuse me, this passport does not agree with the name on the ticket.
A stressful conversation ensued.
What he didn't say: For crying out loud, she’s brought her daughter’s passport by mistake! Little Miss Perfect – I DON’T think... What do we do now?
What she didn’t say: Why must I have to think of everything – he could have checked them...
Him: (annoyed) Well I’ll have to go on ahead on my own, and you join me as soon as possible, say a day late...
Check-in hostess: Ah, but just a moment Sir, you’ve brought an out of date passport – look, it’s got the edge clipped off by the Home Office. So where’s your new one? (Sees his flushed face) – ah... at home I take it?
What he and she said: Censored
(PS: There was a grumpy and recriminatory return home, and the holiday was eventually started three days late. The travel charts had to be torn up...)