I never got his name.
Nor was I able to take down his number.
And that suited his purposes perfectly.
After all, he was trying to get rid of me, just like my frenemies.
Good thing I was armed with a low-maintenance–and low-tech–handheld called (take note, iPhone and Samsung fanatics) the Blackberry.
I pulled it out and threatened to take his picture using its phone camera, however admittedly embarrassing that was.
No, I didn’t want a selfie taken with him.
All I wanted was an explanation–and perhaps even an apology–why he did what he did that Wednesday evening at Terminal 3 of Ninoy Aquino International.
The Man in Black–a member of airport security–escorted a stout, middle-aged woman to a waiting taxicab that sped off as quickly as it arrived.
Nothing wrong with that, right?
Except that the woman, assisted by the Man in Black, jumped the queue of more than 30 passengers–including myself–who were all raring to go home that night.
Since it was no use running after the cab, I settled for the second-best option, given the current circumstances–I pursued the guy while clutching my Blackberry.
“Excuse me sir,” I called out to the MIB.
He ignored me, choosing to cross the street on the way to the airport’s departure area.*
I called him out again and I got brushed off just like the first time around. There was nothing between us but dead air–the same kind of substance that materializes whenever I approach women in bars and ask them A) their names, B) their numbers, or C) whether they come there often.
It was exasperating.
Being ignored two times in a row was too much, even for someone like myself who gets the cold shoulder from waiters, taxi drivers, and call center professionals.
So I took matters in my own hands.
Brandishing my Blackberry, I confronted him and gave him a grilling that would make Senator Lito Lapid proud.
He was easy.
The Man in Black told me that he was instructed by his boss to escort his wife to the nearest available cab (which meant avoiding the queue at all costs).
Then he asked me to forget about the incident, adding that his job was at stake.
“Can you consider that as your Christmas gift to me because I would really appreciate it,” he pleaded.
Unfortunately, at that time, I wasn’t feeling particularly generous.
After all, I left my knapsack–the only piece of luggage I carried–to hold my spot in the taxicab queue. To make things worse, nobody seemed interested to look after it, except for my imaginary travelling companion.
That was when we both decided to cut a deal.
In exchange for my forgetting the whole thing, he promised to make a public apology for what he did and help dispatch cabs faster.
Moments after his apology, as if by grand design, the terminal was deluged by taxicabs, all waiting to haul ass from the airport to any point in Luzon.
Was that coincidence?
I didn’t know.
If it happened to me one more time, would I do it all over again?
Yes. As long as I have my Blackberry handy.
*FROM THE JET SET DEPT. When arriving at the NAIA Terminal 3, it’s best to catch a cab on the departure area, one floor above the arrival area.