My phone rang at 5:50 this morning. It was “Lego.” A call that early in the morning from a friend is usually an emergency of some sort, so I picked up the phone. Here is the best reconstruction of the conversation I can offer, given my sleepyheadedness.
LEGO: It’s Lego.
LEGO: Did I wake you?
LEGO: I need a huge favor.
LEGO: My flight is leaving in an hour. I have to check a bag, which costs twenty-five dollars.
LEGO: I don’t have any money with me, so could you lend me twenty-five dollars?
LEGO: My flight’s taking off in an hour. Can you lend me twenty-five dollars?
VDV: There’s no way I can get any money to you in an hour.
This was not true, but I was barely awake and I forgot that the airport is only 45 minutes away, so I think I can be forgiven. Even so, I almost definitely wouldn’t have gotten the money to him in time anyways: you have to factor in wake-up time, popping-in-the-contacts time, extra driving time due to grogginess, the boarding time as opposed to the departure time, etc.
I’d forgotten another possibility, which Lego immediately raised:
LEGO: Can you give me money over the phone?
LEGO (addressing clerk at the airport): Can he give you his credit card number? Will that work?
VDV: I’m not giving anyone my credit card number.
This may make me seem like no friend at all, but there was no way I was giving this guy anything even vaguely resembling access to my credit card.
LEGO: Oh. [Back to the clerk] I don’t have any money.
CLERK (whose voice was surprisingly clear for being in the background): Sir, it’s twenty-five dollars to check your bag.
LEGO: I understand that, but I don’t have any cash.
CLERK: Do you have a credit card?
LEGO: I didn’t bring my wallet.
CLERK: I’m sorry, sir, but it’s twenty-five dollars to check your bag.
LEGO: I get that. I don’t have any money.
CLERK: You didn’t bring any money?
LEGO: I bought the plane ticket. If I bought the ticket to get on the plane, why can’t I just get on the plane?
CLERK: Because you need to check a bag.
LEGO: But I bought the ticket already. How–
CLERK: Sir, the ticket does not cover the cost of checking a bag–
LEGO: I don’t have money. I have a plane ticket. How can I get on the plane?
CLERK: If you don’t–
LEGO: I don’t have cash. I don’t have a credit card. I need to get on that plane with my bag. I NEED A SOLUTION.
His tone suggested a belief that it was the airline’s fault he didn’t bring money. At this point I think I laughed, and he realized he hadn’t hung up the phone.
LEGO: I’ll call you back.
He hung up. He didn’t call back. I have no idea whether he made his flight.