The NorthWest Airlines employee at the gate assured me, yet again, in a syrup voice that our 4:15pm flight would leave on time. This despite the fact that (a) Frances had just told me the NWA.com web site was showing a 20-minute delay and, (b) it was already 4:05pm and there was as yet no actual plane at the gate.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a flight land, taxi, offload, get cleaned, switch out crews, load up again, taxi, and take off in ten minutes.

Right after the woman lied to me about my flight, I noticed a man drop a plastic toploader folder out of his bag as he walked down the terminal. I picked it up, caught him up, and returned his folder.

This will become significant, in some small way, later on in the story of my day spent chasing Lorenzo de’ Medici around Rome…. Full Story