A Free Meal on the Fly

It was one of those days. I was running around the whole morning to finalize my work papers and to pack my bags. Cool weather clothes, boots, laptop, Kindle, adapters, papers – you name it. I was also checking that everything was in order at home for the next one week, and explained to my dog that I had to go to work again. He doesn’t think I’m working when I do it in my home office, so for him mom needs to go to work means several days without me. And needing to rely on dad for his treats and walks.

He definitely doesn’t like the prospect of me not coming home every evening so I always need to spend some quality time with him before leaving. All this was going on in the morning and I had to be at the airport around lunch time to catch my early afternoon flight, first of three for the next 24 hours. So I forgot to eat.

After going through the necessary hassles at the airport, I found myself – now really hungry – in a concourse that didn’t have my airline’s club. But it had a nice gourmet restaurant. Fancy looking and only a few customers eating lunch and sipping their wine.

As I had almost an hour to spare before boarding, I decided it was not good for my figure to eat several bags of potato chips or pretzels onboard.  So I went in and ordered a proper lunch, grilled chicken salad and a glass of crispy white to go with it.

It was very tasty! Really enjoyable. I was just finishing my salad when a small house fly came around. I was afraid that, as usual, it would land in my not-yet-empty wine glass. I didn’t want to share my wine with anyone, so I caught the fly in-flight. The poor little landed on the white rim of my large salad plate. And there he was sitting. Still very normal-looking but …well, dead. No danger to my wine or anyone.

About ten minutes before my boarding time the waitress came to remove my plate. I asked for my check and handed over my card. I waited and waited. Now I was in a hurry. Finally a male waiter approached my table with the check.  I saw his name plate in the corner of my eye and observed that he was actually the manager on duty. I was already getting up, prepared to run to my gate, when he put the tab on the table and said he was sorry about the fly. I said it was ok and quickly signed the check, put the copy in my pocket, gave a few dollars as tip that I had calculated in advance, and ran out.

Sitting in the plane, I looked at the check. It was for nine dollars and six cents. The price of my glass of wine with tax. And I realized I had gotten a free meal on the fly! I thought about the fly with gratitude the next day when I had to pay over 10 Euros for my cappuccino. It all balances out sooner or later, right?