The redhead is the world's best secretary, and it shows. She has a checklist which keeps me from forgetting my extra contact lenses (after the '93 Phoenix incident), underwear (after a '91 rally trip), or my head (numerous trips).

She took the passports. I had the tickets.

We got to the departure counter at KLM after an hour in line (!), and I produced the tickets.

"Your passports, please," said the counter man in his best imitation of a Gestapo officer.

The redhead was in almost instant panic. She had her purse open, and there were no passports. Things started flying out of the purse, glasses, my tie, put in at the last minute for dinner at the Bühlerhöhe, wallet, all of the contents of the purse, but no passports.

"I'm not kidding! They're not in there!" she said with true panic in her voice. I could see the little red sports car flying away on cartoon wings.

I've never seen her in a tavel panic before. It was a scene from "Two for the Road" (Albert Finney, Audrey Hepburn, 1962).

Then she realized she was wearing her fanny pack, and in a last minute reorganization she had put the passports there.

The KLM agent didn't crack a smile. "Are these the right ones? Shall I give them to your husband?"

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