Yesterday I participated in a seminar on English teaching in China. One of the presenters did an exercise to demonstrate an oral activity, called "Fortunately, Unfortunately," in which 3 or 4 people stand and tell a running story. The teacher starts off by telling the opening of a story line, such as, "Yesterday, I left my home as usual and set off for work…." The next person must say "fortunately," then continue the story. The next person says, "unfortunately," and continues the story, and so on. It can be quite humorous to see where the story line goes.
As they were doing the activity, I was reminded of my own "fortunately, unfortunately" story from last month. I was flying to Seattle for the weekend to speak at a conference. I was scheduled to fly out Friday morning, and back Sunday morning. Since my conference wasn’t until Saturday, I decided to rent a car and head up to Everett, WA to take a tour of the Boeing plant. Before I left I went online and booked both the tour and a cheap rental car. Here’s where the story line picks up….
Unfortunately, when I arrived at the Northwest ticket counter (what else, I’m in Minnesota!), I discovered that I did not have my drivers license—it had fallen out of my purse at home.
Fortunately, the ticket agent said there were procedures for this and not to worry, I would be allowed on the flight.
Unfortunately, that meant having to go through extra scrutiny at security. When I arrived and told them of my situation, they escorted me off to the side. They put all my stuff into a red bin (STAY BACK, THIS WOMAN MAY BE DANGEROUS!!) and told me that I was not allowed to approach my stuff until I was told to. I was escorted through security and hustled off into a corner where they went through everything of mine.
Fortunately, they were very polite and friendly about it all.
Unfortunately, now I was flying to Seattle to pick up a rental car and had no drivers license. Fat chance on that one, folks!! As I sat on the flight I pondered the fact that I was going to miss out on the Boeing tour and wondered how in the world I was going to get to the conference site. Super Shuttle anyone? Needless to say, I was bummed, and quite annoyed with myself.
Fortunately, as I entered the baggage claim area, I heard my name!!! Who knows I’m here, I wonder? Well, it was one of the conference coordinators who was meeting others coming in! Glory be!! I won’t have to use Super Shuttle! But first, out a mixture of curiosity and stupidity, I went over to the rental car counter to see if they’d give me a car even though I didn’t have a license (I knew the number and expiration date).
Unfortunately, the agent looked at me as if all of my brain cells had died.
Fortunately, the conference coordinator was still waiting around.
Unfortunately, though, I still had that ticket to the Boeing tour which I thought I would have to forfeit.
Fortunately, when she heard that I was trying to get to the tour, she decided that she wanted to go as well. And what’s more, the driver of the van (someone else, of course) lived close to the tour site and he said he’d be happy to drop us both off there!
We did the tour, then did the conference on Saturday, and all was well that ends well.