I make up lots of stories, this is not made up.
Of all words I’d use to describe the Chicago, O’hare airport, “tiny” would be low on the list. “Fun” might also be low on the list. “Cantankerous” might be higher.
After visiting a buddy from residency I had a layover in Chicago. I had promised a stuffed owl as a present, since I saw one on the trip down. It was a white, snowy owl Beanie Boo’s toy. I assumed it would be everywhere and I could easily pick it up on my trip home since I had time.
Assumptions like this slowly turn brains into marshmallow pudding.
Originally I found it in a Hudson News stand. If you have ever been to this airport, you know this store is located roughly every 18 feet in every terminal, all looking identical to one another.
Re-finding a stuffed owl should have been easy. Unfortunately, finding a real owl would have been easier.
I wish I had some GPS tracking system on me for my heroic journey through the airport. I started at gate 77 on concourse B. I walked from my gate all the way down to the end, down the escalators, past the neon people mover area under the airport to concourse C. I then visited each and every Hudson News (7,133 of them), without success. Sure I saw many different stuffed animals, but if you promised a snowy owl and show up with a bear, you are inviting atomic hellfire tantrum, along with a broken heart. Thus I went back to B. After visiting 426 more news stands, I found the friggin’ owl. Where was the only Hudson News that had it? You guessed it, right across from gate 77 where I started. I then trudged back the 3 miles to wait for my flight.
It was delayed.