We were being ably assisted by the special service folks at the airline. There was a commotion off to our left, in an airport you pay attention to commotions, and a couple was plunked down in the special services area complete with their luggage cart full of baggage. The man who brought them there came over to special services and spoke quietly to the guy helping me, he left laughing saying 'They are yours now.'
After being processed we were to wait until one of the pushers came to take us to the boarding area. I watched as the couple was approached and it was immediately evident that they were refusing to put their luggage underneath, they wanted to carry on, hold on let me count, 7 pieces of luggage. They spoke with the airline people in a language that I don't understand but I could easily understand the airline guy holding up two fingers and then pointing to the luggage cart and shaking his head.
The couple smiled brightly and the man put a knapsack on his shoulders and the woman pulled a suitcase behind her back (I shit you not) and then they smiled at this wonderful sleight of hand, see now only 5 bags, surely you can let 5 bags go. I smiled at the sheer audacity of people. It was made clear that they could carry on two bags. The clerk left.
Then the couple got to work, they rummaged around in one of their bags and came up with a role of flimsy plastic bags that you get at a grocery store. You can't make this stuff up. They then pulled all the stuff out of two small bags. He still wore the invisible knapsack and she still had a disappeared bag behind her. They then folded up these two now empty bags and shoved them inside one of the larger bags. Now they stuffed their clothing into these plastic bags. Now they had 3 bags on the cart, 2 invisible bags and about 7 plastic bags. They went and got the clerk. He came back and, well, firmly said 2 bags.
They weren't phased. Now they went through their luggage and began putting on layers of clothing. She ended up with 4 blouses and 3 light coats. He had at least 3 pair of pants on, several jackets and he stuffed underwear into each of the coats pockets. That's six pockets. Now they were able to unpack the pastic bags, which, being green, they rolled back up onto the roll. They went and got the clerk.
He came back, I don't know what he said but it was clear they couldn't get onto a plane wearing layers and layers of clothing and besides, they still had too many bags. On his way back he said that he was now ready to take us to the gate.
I asked him who was going to win the battle of the suitcases. He just shook his head and said, 'I like working special services because,' and here he paused thinking about what he was going to say, but then gave way, 'Normal people drive me nuts.'