Friday, January 20, 2023

Even Teletubbies have to wait

Patient little girl
Winnipeg, MB
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram

We’re at the gate waiting to board a delayed flight. It’s late, and we’re still far from home. Everyone around us is frustrated and cranky, and you can both hear and feel the collective mood in this crowded space.

The lineup hasn’t moved in a while. Kids are getting antsy. Overwhelmed parents are looking for salvation. Airport and airline staff are almost nowhere to be seen.

Suddenly I realize Po the Teletubby* hasn’t had her now-traditional beauty shot this trip. So I lay my backpack down on the carpeted floor and set up the shot.

Out of the corner of my eye I notice a couple of side glances from our fellow travellers. I quietly hope the sight of a grown man taking spontaneous snaps of an old, frayed, tiny children’s stuffie is able to bring them a tiny bit of joy.

Because life is just frustrating enough that an unexpected diversion by a stranger far from home just might be enough to crack open the sky and shine a little light into the darkness.

Because we all need more light, even if it comes from a faded, tattered little doll who once made my kid smile.

* In case you’re just joining us, first, welcome! By way of background, Po was our son’s McDonald’s Happy Meal toy. He is now 28 years-old - and a husband and a dad - so the math suggests she has been around far longer than any Happy Meal toy has a right to. When our then-toddler got tired of playing with her, I scooped her out from under the couch and hung her off my camera bag with a carabiner. She’s been my little travel gnome ever since. Wherever we go, she joins us, and inevitably I take weird pictures of her in weird places. Just because. I’m odd that way, and my experiences with Po suggest that’s always been the case. I’m strangely okay with that.

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Po stares into the wind, September 2022
Office park, November 2020
Po takes on Vegas, November 2018
Teletubby news anchor, October 2017
Po takes a vacation, January 2010
Travel delay, September 2006

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