Lost WordsI wrote a couple of paragraphs for my next book on my work laptop yesterday morning. I was on a small propeller plane on my way to Manchester. It was early and the flight was short. I took out the laptop and got typing. I liked the words that fell from my fingers. They were interesting observations about the waitresses in Las Vegas casinos. I think they were interesting anyway. I can’t remember exactly what I wrote.

I was there for a meeting but after it was done I had about 4 hours to kill before my flight home at 10pm. So I got a train from the airport to Oxford Road to meet a friend. We went to a pub. Had a pizza. Went to another pub. We drank lager and all kinds of different ales. Then it was time for me to go.

I was swaying a bit at the security check in at Terminal 3. I was the only person there. I had drunk some water and eaten about 15 Smints so I was more sober than I could have been, but not sober enough to pay attention to what I was doing.

In my bag was about 15 ink cartridges that had been taped together. They looked suspiciously like a bomb that had been disguised to look like printer cartridges. I was made to separate them and put them into small clear bags. My laptop was put in a separate tray.

I went through the scanner. It didn’t beep (a first in the history of Andy).

“I think you’ve missed your plane mate,” said the security guard on the other side.

“I don’t think so.”

“Let’s see your boarding pass.”

I gave it to him.

“That plane is about to take off, It’s due to leave at 9:25.”

I checked my watch. It was 9:22. “Shit, I thought it left at 10. Or there about.”

“You better run mate if you want a chance to get on it.” He pointed at the screen at the end of the room that listed the flights. “It’s at gate 144.”

I grabbed my jacket, put on my belt and slung my bag over my shoulder. I ran for the gate and arrived panting.

“Have I missed it?” I said, chucking my passport at the guy and slumping over his desk.

He looked at me like I was some kind of delusional mad man. “No. We’re not boarding yet.” He tentatively picked up my passport and handed it back to me. “Why don’t you take a seat.”

I turned around and there were people sat in the waiting area, staring at me.

“That fucker was messing with me.” I said, mostly to myself.

I sat down and looked at my ticket. The boarding time is 9:45. This is how these sick fuckers get their kicks. Watching people run at full speed away from the security check in fear of being stranded.

It wasn’t until I landed in Bournemouth that I noticed my bag felt a bit light. I had left my laptop and ink cartridges in Manchester. Fuck. My boss will not be happy. How will I do my job?

I called the airport security in Terminal 3. They seemed to be expecting my call.

“Hi, I’ve just landed in Bournemouth and I –“

“Forgot your laptop?”


“We’ve got it. You’ll have to call lost and found tomorrow afternoon. They’ll arrange to have it sent to you.”

I got in a taxi and met my sister for a beer. I’m not really concerned that I can’t get much work done without it, I can work around that, but those few paragraphs about the casino girls in Las Vegas. I need to get them back.

The first thing I did when I got up this morning was back up all my writing (I have two laptops, one that stays in the house and is used just for writing, and the work laptop which is used begrudgingly to do the things that result in money being in my account at the end of each month).

Losing words is far worse than losing a laptop.

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