Pepto Bismol Almost Made Me Miss My Flight

I love flying Delta. Bankruptcy really suited the carrier when it made over its website and actually worked on making things more convenient for the way today’s consumers fly. When my flight to Des Moines changed, I got a call and email. The website also updated the information.

I took a little too much advantage of the extra time and worked on some work projects. Running a little late, I knew I was cutting it close. But I’m an “expert traveller” and I know what I’m doing. I also am not an asshole. My carry-on luggage is a reasonable size and I can lift it on my own.

So I made it in time, got in the security line, had all my liquids less than 4 ounces in a baggie, my belt off, my shoes off and my boarding pass in hand.

“Bag check!” the x-ray technician begins to bellow. Benicia wasn’t paying attention as she flirted with Terrance, a six-foot-seven vision who was patting down an International traveller in a turban who’d set off the metal detector.

“Benicia! Bag check!” he yelled again. Benicia, in her dark, goldilocks midnight curls, ignored his calls. I slipped on my shoes and belt, tempted to start yelling at Benicia myself. But I resisted. T-minus 10 minutes until departure and it was a C gate at an extreme end of the terminal.

He called a third and fourth time before Benicia left Terrance to come grab my bag that the tech informed had a “gallon jug” of water in it.

Now even at this point, I didn’t recall what I’d left in my bag that had caused me to be called out. Benicia waddled over and took her own sweet time.

“This your bag?” she said, lifting it and then adding under her breath, “Damn!”

I guess it was a little heavy for her.

“Yes ma’am,” I answered politely. “It figures the one day I’m running late that I get a bag check.”

All my stuff starts coming out. At the bottom, the very bottom, is the biggest bottle of Pepto Bismol you can buy. Cherry flavored no less. And it is not less an 4 ounces.

“He said it was a gallon jug,” Benicia said. She stares at the pink bottle for a long time, as if she’s trying to decide what to do.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, as I make the efforts to pick up my clothes in the bundle so I can shove them in the bag. “You can have it. Are we good? Can I go?”

“Since you’re late, I guess so,” Benicia said with a bit of a snap. She kept my Pepto and trashed it.

I grabbed my goods and darted for the train. I imagine she went over to see Terrance as I went to the escalator.

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Michael Cheek

With more than 20 years of communication experience, Michael Cheek offers solid marketing expertise, especially in the digital frontier. He currently resides in Georgia but he's open to relocate anywhere the opportunities take him. Learn more at You can follow him on Twitter at and see more about his professional experience at Reach him via e-mail at

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