“Oh for the love of…” Harry fumed. “Are you kidding me, JoAnne?”
“I’m sorry, Harry. I… I don’t know what happened. I had the tickets and the passports right here in this little pouch.” Harry’s diminutive wife pointed to the open suitcase sitting on the small bed in their hotel room.
“I can’t believe you’d lose something like this,” complained Harry loudly. “It’s just like you to screw things up!”
Small rivulets of sweat cascaded down Harry’s brow. The summer heat of Cairo did not mix well with his short temper.
“Maybe we could check at the front desk to see if anyone found them?” suggested JoAnne hopefully.
“They barely speak English down there and you know I don’t speak Arabian,” said Harry, waving her off.
“Arabic,” corrected JoAnne.
“Arabic. That’s what they speak here. You said…”
“It doesn’t matter,” Harry interrupted.
His loud Hawaiian shirt clung to his portly body. He removed the straw Fedora hat he’d purchased at a local market and ran his hands over the few remaining strands of hair that still sprouted from the top of his head. JoAnne stood silently, wringing her hands, waiting for her husband to speak.
“You know,” he began, pointing his finger in his wife’s face. “This is your fault. YOU need to fix this. You need to call the uh… what’s that… the embassy, right? Yeah, you need to call them and have them do whatever it is I pay them to do with my taxes!”
JoAnne nodded compliantly. “Ok, I can do that, Harry. I’m so sorry.”
“Yeah, yeah, you said that already. Jeez, don’t these people believe in air conditioning? It’s no wonder we beat them in the war.”
“We didn’t go to war with…”
“I don’t hear you making that phone call,” chided Harry.
JoAnne pursed her lips as she reached for the phone next to the bed. She knew arguing with her husband was pointless and it was best just to do as he asked. Years of frustrated marriage had at least taught her that.
Before she could lift the received, a sharp knock sounded at their door.
“Now what?” muttered Harry as he plodded towards the room entrance.
Harry swung open the door to face a dark skinned man wearing a bellhop uniform.
“Mr. ‘Arry Pulansky?” the man asked with a smile.
“Yeah, that’s me. Whaddya want?”
The man produced a small, dark blue fanny pack.
“Sir, this was found in the lobby. We believe it belongs to you.”
Harry looked down at the pouch with a grimace.
“Jeez, nothing’s safe around here. Someone probably tried to steal it.” Harry snatched the bag from the man and slammed the door in his face.
“Can ya believe that?” he asked, showing JoAnne the pack.
“Harry,” JoAnne gasped. “That was rude. You should thank the man for bringing that back!”
“Eh, whatever… he’s the one that probably tried to steal it.”
“Isn’t that your fanny pack,” asked JoAnne.
“Yeah, I totally forgot about it.” Harry pulled the zipper and emptied the contents onto the bed. Out fell two plane tickets and two passports.
“Well would ya look at that,” Harry exclaimed brightly. “Problem solved!”
JoAnne glared narrowly at her husband.
“What would you do without me, honey?” asked Harry smiling. “Say… why don’t we grab some lunch before we head out?”
JoAnne Pulansky breathed deeply and slowly unclenched her fists. As usual, she said nothing.