The Vickers of Darrell Take a Jaunty Journey

Let’s face it; we live in hyper-reactive times. The teensiest trespass against us sets off radical, volcanic transmogrifications that make The Incredible Hulk look like a big green pussy. Spit-flecked invective and throbbing temple veins are instantly marshaled to man the pike-staffed ramparts of our fury, should our McNuggets fail to be brought forth in a timely manner. Mistrust and intolerance swirl around us like Carol Doda’s nipple tassels in a seedy Frisco supper club. Compromise and empathy have become about as appetizing as Planter’s Wart or Rob Schneider.

Deepak Chakra and his self-improvement holiness, Tony Robbins, would surely counsel each man-jack of us, that we all need take a giant mellow step to the rear or close our eyes and count to ten (or perhaps an attainable three, if you’re from the Deep South). For, there are remarkably few wounds that cannot be salved, nary an odor that cannot be perfumed and blissfully few burns (or blondes) that cannot be buttered. There are categorically no parking-lot infringements, outside of Trader Joe’s on a weekend, that rise to the level of justifiable garroting and dismemberment.

In short: We should all try to get a fucking grip!

Are love and peace and joy so vile, so “five minutes ago”, that we should callously eschew them, as we would a really leaky leper?

To this I say nay! Nyet! And a big Canadian, “Fer sure, not!”

Even in this withered and soulless age, where conscience and basic human decency hold no sway, there are still some truths we hold to be self evident. Kindness and selflessness must not be allowed to perish or be forgotten. Regardless of unrelenting and soul-crushing societal decay, we must not allow our humanity to be torn to pieces like a one-eyed turkey at a fat farm.

For, as the Big Lebowsky once so vociferously trumpeted from the core of his White-Russian-soaked soul, when justice was denied and his highly decorative carpet lay bedamped and gamey, “This shall not stand!” He did addend his insalubrious call-to-arms with an “er…Man,” but I believe his righteous herald had already been well and truly proclaimed.

For, there is no greater vocation than that of the healer. There is no more holy edifice than that of a bridge that melds what divides us. Love. Love. Love is all we need.

That being said…

I believe that I have been wronged like no individual since Billy Jack. And when one is talking about an outrage that veritably dwarfs the treatment of the Knights Templar by King Phillip IV, one can only be referencing a singular bubonic scourge of a company. Air Canada!

These wretched, weedy little gum boils, these effervescent stink rats of the skies, have turned once-opulent and enviable air-travel into a non-stop shit-swallowing crucible. They dispense misery and discomfort like arthritic old biddies dole out suspect meat products at Costco sampling tables.

My merry jaunt to the land of cocaine and honey commenced innocently enough but quickly turned sourer than Kellyanne Conway’s breast milk. I toiled a good (and I use that word very loosely) half hour, ensconced in the preverbal homestead, attempting to perform the pre-check-in on my computer. After filling in umpteen boxes and agreeing to all and sundry on countless screens of mind-melting nonsense, Air Canada informed me that they had no intention of processing my ticket. I would have to go to the airport to sign in.

“Well then, we’d better get there early,” thinks I.

And we did that very thing. At 4:00 PM I arrived at the check-in area to see a HUUUUUUGE line-up. “Who are those poor pathetic peasants,” I mused as I sauntered over to the self-check-in machines. Tap. Tap. Type. Tap. Tap. Type. Again, my earnest electronic labors were for naught.

“Your ticket cannot be processed. Please see an Air Canada agent.”

So, I go to the back of a line longer than the Appalachian Trail – but without the grizzled fugitives and claw-hammer-wielding maniacs (I assume).  It turns out, none of the people in that line had been able to convince the incalcitrant kiosks to hand them their requisite billet.

At 5:30, I finally bade farewell to my Briggs and Riley and received a boarding pass. It was then that I did espy my seat number had indeed been changed as requested –  at least one thing had functioned correctly as I tippy-typed my way to oblivion at the self-serve machine!

From there, we threw ourselves upon the non-existent mercy of TSA. They had one attendant and one scanner. ONE! But I’m not going to slam these miserably inept fuckers, because I didn’t pay them thousands of dollars to make my travels less horrific. Air Canada received every nickel of that.

So, after an hour of waiting to take off our shoes and have our colons rummaged for oversized tubes of Ultrabrite, we had progressed as far as U.S. customs. An additional 45 minutes were spent, waiting to prove that we were sufficiently white, so Stephen Miller would let us into the country.

By then, our flight was scheduled to have left, but luckily they had loaded our bags. A plane can’t leave with the luggage of non-passengers (remember Lockerbie!!!). Alas, and oh-so-predictably, when we reached the counter, the plane was already fervently fucking the clouds. The gate agent informed us that she had removed our zippered belongings before take-off and, surprisingly, only one other person had missed the flight.
How was that possible???

So, off we go to Customer “Service” to request much needed and deserved rescheduling succor. If ever there was an oxymoron, it is “Air Canada Customer Service.” I informed the fine people behind the desk, that, because of their non-functioning machines, we had frittered away in excess of an hour in line and missed our flight.

The Germanic-looking, but thinning of hair, fascistic fellow behind the counter picked up the phone and contacted the check-in desk. Apparently there was no line-up. When I inform him that I was actually in that non-existent line-up, he tells me that I checked my bags at 5:30. TSA made us late. While I completely agreed that TSA was a problem, I would have checked in at 4:30 and easily made my flight, if their hopeless computers-turned-objet-d’art had actually worked.

Like a thinning-of-hair Hitler, he just kept repeating that I had checked my bags in at 5:30 and TSA was responsible for our woes.

My mind zips hither and yon, to and fro, for something remedially remedial that he might be able to grasp. My seat number! That’s it! I changed my seat at the check-in machine, upon my arrival. “What time did I change my seat?” I queried, a self-satisfied smile creasing my victorious visage.

I had to ask three times. For some reason the AC employees did not seem very anxious to look it up. When they finally acquiesced, I was told I changed my seat number at 6:45. There was a small pause while I tried to sweep the gathering mounds of cognitive dissidence from my frontal lobe. Huh? That wasn’t even a good bluff. I was in U.S. customs at 6:45. Plus – the seat change was printed on my fucking ticket, that I was handed at 5:30. This logic did not seem to reach them.

“You actually send people up into the air with computer software this unreliable? I’ve seen Chatty Cathy dolls with superior circuitry.”

“No one else missed the plane,” he snooted.

“Well, that’s a complete lie,” I diplomatically retorted. “The woman at the gate told us someone else had missed the flight.”

“Well, no one showed up here.”

“Perhaps he died of hunger.”

We were getting nowhere. A common happenstance, when one attempts to travel on Air Canada.

Sick of being bold-face lied to – we farted in their general direction and departed for friendlier waters.

One giant shitfit and three whisky sours later, Judith was massively pleasant to some AC employee on the phone and succeeded in rescheduling us for a flight the following morning.  Thus, we soldiered back to the gate to suss out the location of our disgorged luggage.

“Oh, it’s already been checked into the system and will be on your morning flight. If you try and get it now, you’d have to wait for an hour or so at baggage claim.” Just like the previous airline stooge had blithely let fly with the porkies, this was also a patent prevarication. In fact, our luggage (at least one bag) had not been removed from the plane. It was winging its way to L.A.

So we trekked on over to the hotel, bitchy and bagless.

That night, incorrigible cockeyed optimist that I am, I attempted to cajole and inveigle Air Canada’s software into processing my ticket. Predictably, ‘twere for naught. I’d have had more success shoving a sturgeon up my ass and trying to shit caviar.

When we arrived at the airport, upon the morrow, I jumped in line and Judith trotted over to the self-check-in machine. Astonishingly, it did not work. Why, you could have knocked me down with a Denny’s Authentic French Crepe!

This time, the TSA wasn’t too Bataan Death March but U.S. customs was so slow and indifferent, would-be travelers were backed up out of the U.S. processing area and crushed into the TSA room so tight, there wasn’t any room left to walk through the metal detector.

Even though we had arrived ridiculously early, we only alighted at our gate about 40 minutes before take-off. Immediately, we double-checked on our portmanteaus. “They’re already on the plane,” some dolled-up dishrag cheerfully beamed.

They, of course, were NOT. One was already Paddington Beared in L.A., in the baggage office, with a please-come-find-me handwritten note hanging off it. The other?

When our worldly goods inevitably failed to come rolling down onto the carousel, we sauntered wearily over to the baggage claim room to face our newest and freshest hell. I looked through the glass door and saw one of our suitcases! Huzzah! I trotted right in and took a gander at it. The woman behind the counter became very agitated and asked me to leave so she could finish up with the customer she was talking to. I left. I checked the door. There was no indication whatsoever that only one customer at-a-time was allowed in the room.

Upon his exit, I triumphantly returned to claim my bag. Another gentleman entered. She became very agitated once more and asked him to leave.

“You know, if that’s your policy, you might want to put a sign on the door telling people that only one person at-a-time can be in here.”

“I know,” she smiles. “I don’t know why they don’t do that.”

Could it possibly be that you work for the most fucked up company since Ford set fire to its last Pinto customer??

My other bag – and you don’t have to be The Amazing Kreskin to prognosticate this one – it ain’t there. It was not on the plane they guaranteed us it was on. Yet another lie!! Did Air Canada suddenly get taken over by the Trump family?

They asked us to give them a phone number, so they could call us when it eventually found its way to The City of Angels. But, if we missed their call, we couldn’t call back. After another 45 minutes of giddy back and forths, we concocted a master plan. We would give her our hotel address and they would ship it to us, when it arrived on the four o’clock plane. Needless to say, we didn’t get our wayward belongings for another 24 hours.

In Conclusion:

Please, strive with all your heart, in whatever way you are able, to make this world a better place. Love thy neighbor, regardless of creed, color, political affiliation or sexual orientation. Feed the hungry. House the homeless. Offer up the untold concupiscent riches of your naked and dew dappled body to a comedy writer (I have an address and available times).

But, a favor, if you will.

Save your urine. Gather up your kidney nectar. Amass your Molson micturation. Place your willy and woohoo waters into in buckets, flasks and old Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo DVD cases. Then, I’d like you to donate these rancid reservoirs to the fire department. So that, in the event a maniacally outraged customer predictably sets Air Canada’s CEO’s house ablaze, our brave and noble first responders will douse the flames and all his treasured belongings with the collective pewey piss of his victims.

Because, this abominable airline must be taught, in no uncertain terms, that their sickening treatment of those of us who are forced to travel in their flying contagion incubators is unacceptable and way more importantly…. “THIS WILL NOT STAND…er, man.”


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DBAWIS_ButtonDarrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at

One Response to “The Vickers of Darrell Take a Jaunty Journey”

  1. I do like this part very much: « In the event a maniacally outraged customer predictably sets Air Canada’s CEO’s house ablaze, our brave and noble first responders will douse the flames and all his treasured belongings with the collective pewey piss of his victims. »

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