We all love a great combination – ham and pineapple, Bogie and Bacall, the all-conquering NSW State of Origin rugby league team.
But combinations don’t seem so great when you can’t remember them.
Take the combination to your suitcase lock, for example.
Two hours out from a formal “do” at a swanky hotel we’d travelled interstate to attend. One man, one woman, one roadblock to fashion actualisation.
Now for some people (read “a man”), a suit is all that’s required, and it was hanging in the cupboard, courtesy of carry-on luggage, ready to go.
For others, a lot of thought goes into an outfit, and even more into packing that outfit into a suitcase. You can only take so much on the plane. And I mean so much.
There’s accessories, hopes, dreams, shoes, jackets etc – all compressed into what they call “baggage”, and it can reveal a lot about a person.
Particularly when it’s locked in that bag. Because clothes maketh the moment, but they don’t maketh anything if you can’t get them out of the stupid suitcase.
But there we were. Two hours out from showtime, make-up kit at the ready and a soothing shower just a bathroom away – cue the suitcase calamity.
Freak out hadn’t been in the plan. But it was now.
Instead of chilling, we suddenly had the Hurt Locker with all the attendant stress as thoughts focused on defusing a catastrophic fashion bomb. But what chance?
Last time we forgot the combination, it took multiple hours of home-baked safecracking endeavours, reminiscent of Oceans 8 through to 13, before our suitcase lock popped open, miraculously, courtesy of a YouTube video that finally worked!
This time round we didn’t have the luxury of going through all the stupid YouTube videos that didn’t work before enjoying, what has to be said would be highly unlikely success.
The time bomb of tension was ticking and it’s fair to say the numbers weren’t lining up.
In situations like these you hope good things happen to good people, but that didn’t seem apparent and the thought started to loom large that we were a distinct possibility of missing the entrees, no matter how many bobby pins and pens we poked in the mechanism.
I wouldn’t call it panic, but there were definitely beads of sweat as questions were bandied: should knobs turn clockwise or counter-clockwise, my god are these blisters, and are jeans OK at the Hilton?
Contingency plans involved cutting open the suitcase with scissors, Stanley knife or acerbic comments about why the combination lock was engaged in the first place.
As it turned out, salvation came in the form of a pair of pliers.
Note to Schappelle Corby – suitcases can be got at, just like boogie board covers. You just need desperation and desire.
Lock that in for next time. Or better yet, just remember the combination.