« The CarpUltima Thule »
09.27.2006

A Short Play About Baggage

ACT I

Scene I The departure lounge of the Buenos Aires airport international airport. An EASEL stands next to a SMALL

DRAGGY BAG and SUITCASE on a baggage scale. It is night. A tall, intimidating CONTINENTAL GATE AGENT stands glowering behind the bags.

EASEL: Somebody please unfold me.

GATE AGENT: Sir, there is a $100 excess baggage fee if you want to check a third bag.

ME: What? I flew down with these same bags three months ago!

GATE AGENT: No you didn't, sir.

ME: Well, I did.

BAGS (together): He did!

GATE AGENT: If you flew down here with those bags, you got charged $100.

ME: You are saying I am lying to you?

GATE AGENT: The limit is two bags. If you have an additional bag, you have to pay $100. That has been our policy for a long time.

ME: But that's just not true. And these bags are small, they could all fit in a single big bag!

GATE AGENT: Sir, either you pay or you are not getting on this plane. Shaking with rage, ME hands him a credit card

GATE AGENT: Cash only.

Scene II

ME: What about now?

GATE AGENT confers with the CROWD OF CONTINENTAL EMPLOYEES that has gathered to watch the big fight.

GATE AGENT: We will allow it.

ME: Will you concede that this makes no sense whatsoever?

GATE AGENT: I'm sorry, our policy is quite clear, is there something you still don't understand?

ME: Yes! I don't understand how my spending my last $20 to get this easel shrink-wrapped to my suitcase somehow saves your airline money.

GATE AGENT: Sir, do you want me to stop you from boarding this flight? Because I would be more than happy to do that.

EASEL: Help me.

SUITCASE: Ow ow ow.

ME (under my breath): ¡Cabrón!

ACT II


The departure lounge of Newark Airport. It is a beautiful Indian summer day, with light pouring in the big terminal windows. A GIANT SUITCASE stands impassively in the terminal. inside it hides a black DRAGGY BAG. Its contents are soaked from a bottle of vodka that shattered several days before. A CONTINENTAL GATE AGENT is standing next to the suitcase, pointing at it with the antenna from her walkie-talkie.

DRAGGY BAG: I am trapped and its dark and everything inside me reeks of vodka.

GIANT SUITCASE: You better not be letting that leak out!

CONTINENTAL GATE AGENT: Sir, this bag is eleven pounds overweight. The limit per suitcase is fifty pounds.

ME: But I thought I was allowed two bags on an international flight?

GATE AGENT: That's right.

ME: And so the total weight limit is 100 pounds?

GATE AGENT: That's right, but a single bags cannot weigh more than fifty pounds. Either you take out eleven pounds or you have to pay the overweight fee. Me: Well, I have a second bag in there...

GATE AGENT: That's perfect then!

Me: But will you concede that this makes absolutely no sense?

DRAGGY BAG: Let me out.

GATE AGENT: Sir, our policy is clear, no bags allowed over fifty pounds.

ME: But you will acknowledge that the only difference is that now the bags will take up more room in the plane?

GATE AGENT: Sir, this is our policy. I don't set the policy.

ME: But on grounds of pure logic and everything that is holy, will you agree that this makes no sense whatsoever?

GATE AGENT: Oh sure, if you use logic it makes no sense at all.

DRAGGY BAG emerges in a haze of vodka

DRAGGY BAG: Sweet freedom!

ME: Thank you. Thank you so much.

PLANE leaves for China

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