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Husband left for Oamaru this day last week to catch the last weekend of duck shooting and partake in some serious alcohol abuse with the Outlaws.

I did not join him because my friend, Helen, was over from Dubai. She had asked me to accompany her on a three-day road trip to visit her friend in Tokoroa, and then to Turangi. Kind of like Thelma and Louise, only without the attempted rape, murder and mutual suicide pact; and if I spotted Brad Pitt I was resolved to tell him to wipe that self-satisfied smirk off his gob, although the gay cowboy theme rather suited him.

On Tuesday night, I returned home tired and grumpy after the 350km drive from Turangi. I unloaded the mountain bikes, fed the dog, unpacked my bag. I was scheduled to fly to Dunedin on the 09:55hrs Pacific Blue flight the following day.

Then disaster struck; although it didn’t STRIKE so much as creep up gradually like tentacles of doom as it gradually dawned on me that the door of Jed’s travel crate was missing. I mean, at first I thought it was just hiding playfully. When it did not respond to my summons, I searched the house and determined it was temporarily misplaced. Finally, I resigned myself to the fact that the door had vanished from the face of the earth without a trace.

Although Husband provided telephone support, he was – and it pains me to admit this – he was of limited use. He had no idea where the door might be. He had no recollection of putting it anywhere in particular. He refused to consider leaving Jed with the Other Outlaws. He was unnecessarily negative about the possibility of hiring a crate at 22:30hrs. He looked up Trademe to see whether there were any large crates for sale with a ‘buy now’ option. He suggested I send him the crate dimensions and he would ‘make a door’ and courier it up to me the following day

So instead of leaning on Husband when the pitch of panic reached critical levels, I called Pacific Blue.

Since I had purchased a budget ticket, they would neither reschedule my flight nor refund the fare.


And so my average success rate with catching public transport has dropped to 42%. I take comfort from the fact that this is the first time I have missed a flight due to a disappeared door. Give me some credit: my usual style is to turn up at the airport and THEN realize there was no door.

At least I didn’t have to worry about packing. I went to bed instead, where I had nightmares about turning up at Auckland Airport with a makeshift door constructed of welded paperclips and chicken wire affixed to the crate with baling twine and hardened Wrigley’s Juicyfruit.

The following morning, I awoke dark and early and formulated a cunning plan.

Well, I did not want to hire a crate because upon his return, chances are Husband a.k.a. ‘Sniffer’ will walk into the Twilight Zone that is his garage and find the missing door lying in the middle of the floor, or surrounded by hundreds of lit candles in a grotto in the center of the bench – in much the same way as he solved the Mystery of the Missing Marriage Certificate, which was not really that mysterious in the end – or, for that matter, missing – although it was indeed a genuine marriage certificate (although issued in Ireland so you never really know).

For much the same reason, I did not want to purchase another crate.

And so I did what any sane, rational person would have decided to do under the circumstances


Comments on: "The Invisible Grotto of the Travel Crate Door" (4)

  1. Cian said:

    …. you decided that the readers here should feel your pain too. So you stopped telling us the end of the story. (I’ve even read it twice to make sure that the irish ‘stupid’ gene inside me was not in overall control).

    You say that you did what any sane, rational person would have decided to do. Yeah Right you did! I think that you followed your nightmare – baling twine and chicken wire and then Jed refused to travel in it. Well if you did not do that you must have stolen one. I’m off to check the NZ newspapers to look for stories about stolen crates.

  2. deadlyjelly said:

    HAHAHA! No, I didn’t follow my nightmare; in fact you might say I actively ran away from it. Tune in later 😀


  3. Dammit, if I hadn’t been traveling, I wouldn’t be reading your story backwards. This is pretty much … no fun, but brilliantly told, as always.

  4. deadlyjelly said:

    D’you know, it was SO frustrating. Stymied by a piece of mesh 3′ x 2′.

    Chances are we left it on the pavement outside the airport last time we returned from a journey. There is an equal likelihood Husband will find it when he gets home, and beat me with it. I was so exhausted and panicky, I might even have walked over it a couple of times.

    In the end, the cost of driving to South Island was equivalent to hiring a crate and paying for another flight (apart from the time factor).

    And I have to admit, I hugely enjoyed the trip with my puppy. I have snapshots of moments I will always remember. And Jed was the ultimate travel companion – I was so proud of him, he was so good.


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