How many times a day can you lie? It depends on whether you are dealing with governments, businesses, or both in this case.

The problem started in Mexico. “It should be easy at the airport,” he told his wife. “Who will leave Cancun on Monday?”

Well, it seems that this was the case for everyone on vacation in Cancun, and 17% of the locals. I have never seen such a hellish crash. I have a nightmare about to go to the airport and something gets in the way. Baggage that has been reduced to the size of a cigarette pack and squeezed by an eagle, a boarding pass that turns into a banana, and so on. But my subconscious has never come up with something as scary as the sight I faced in Cancun. There was a line.

“So?” You say “There is always a line. Do you mean a line that meanders the rope to reach the bag drop? Pshaw.”

No, it’s not.This was the line to get Into airport.

Even better: there was 2 Route to enter the airport. Let’s say you didn’t even merge the elegant zippers. It’s like a giant anaconda snake trying to drag luggage with 1000 arms into one entity to cite another nightmare. I took enough time to build it, so I wasn’t too worried and the flight was delayed.

However, two hours after the wait, I received another notice of delay. I was supposed to leave at 7 pm, so I left at 8 am.

We stayed in line thinking we might get a crib or a bucket of warm porridge vouchers. Hah! no. A Delta clerk explained that this wasn’t the airline’s fault. It was because of the shooting and the explosion.

Oh well, if you put it that way …

Wait a minute. what? He explained: There was a shooting at the airport, something exploded, people were pushed out of the terminal an hour ago, and what was crushed was a chaotic return to check-in.

Oh, I do because the airport and its constituents seem to be reluctant to tell anyone what’s going on.

As the days went by, the official description of the airport nightmare changed.

Lie 1: A man running to catch an airplane defeats the three poles used to form a line, and people mistake the sound for shooting.

Well, that’s plausible. People hear three rattling sounds of poles hitting the marble floor, then nothing, assuming “automatic shooting”. Then they scream and run away all at once.

This has changed as follows:

Lie 2: A man knocked over the Bubba Gump Shrimp sign. This somehow simulated the sound of multiple rounds being emitted. I saw the signboard. It is lightweight and has a weight on the base. You’ll have to hit it at full speed, and people will still think that a large bag of moist flour has knocked down a fern in a pot.

Lie 3: The X-ray device exploded. Yes, because it always happens. People hear the car flashback and wonder, “Is it an exploding X-ray device?” I tend to think it won’t explode at all, but the next time I go to the dental office and wear the jacket while taking a picture, I’ll ask if it’s Kevlar.

Also, is this supposed to reassure us? Will the X-ray scanner explode? It’s like saying, “Don’t worry, it wasn’t a shootout, it was just a carry cart that exploded in a metal shower.”

What should I do? I booked a hotel visible from the terminal and joined Refusenik for Minnesota in the process of dragging my luggage and looking for a bed. That night, sitting around the airport hotel pool, other Minnesotas explained their experience. Some spent time hiding in the kitchen of the restaurant. General consensus: shooting.

At that time, I was sending a text message to Delta to see if the required COVID test results were valid the next day. (That’s right.) When I asked him why he was 13 hours late, he said it was due to a “mechanical problem.” As we learned later, the plane had to land on its way to Cancun due to reports that the Baba Gamp Shrimp sign had collapsed, and the crew timed out.So It It wasn’t true.

Fivefest aside, it was a great vacation, and I have no worries about returning. Just to hear their explanation the next time it happens:

“It wasn’t a shootout. The gate agent was waving popcorn in the microwave next to the PA system.”

james.lileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858 • Twitter: @Lileks • facebook.com/james.lileks