From Wal-Mart Walkway to Botox Exit

Winnipeg’s Richardson International
Airport will soon become the first in Canada to sell the namingGarage
rights of
terminals, gates and parking garages. –- Winnipeg Free Press, Dec. 16,


It was -30C on a blustery December morning in 2010, but
I felt the warmth of the city as I stepped off the plane, strode down Wal-Mart
Walkway and saw a sign that said, “Ronald McDonald welcomes you to

Though I had been gone only a couple of days, it felt good to
be back. I whistled softly as I entered the Triaminic Terminal of Richardson
International Airport through Gerber’s Gate C, pausing briefly to admire the
Metamucil Mural. I suddenly felt regular and had to make a stop at the Western
Union Washroom.

It was a busy day at the airport and there was a short
line at Uniroyal Urinal. But I was relieved to find a vacancy at Safeway Stall.
I need to buy safer tires, I said to myself, as I sat down on Tostitos

After washing my hands at Subway Sink and rubbing them under
Domino’s Dryer, I walked briskly to the Boston Pizza Baggage Claim Area. My two
suitcases were already on the Canadian Tire Carousel and I was pleased to see
they hadn’t been damaged by any of the People Bank Workers.

I put my
luggage on a Taste of India Cart and pushed it into the Electrolux Elevator,
suddenly feeling the urge to fill the vacuum in my stomach with some rice and

I got off at the Gmail Ground Level, pushed the cart down
Chester Fried Chicken Concourse and went through the American Express Automatic
Doors, which reminded me that I needed to send an email to my American friend

As I approached the Plastic Surgery Associates Parking Garage,
I tried to remember where I had parked my car. Was it in the Rhinoplasty Section
or the Hippoplasty Section? I decided to try Rhinoplasty and was lucky enough to
spot my car at the end of Tummy Tuck Row.

After loading my suitcases, I
drove to the Botox Exit and paid for the parking at the Liposuction Pay Station.
It gave me a receipt and, as I drove away, I turned it over and smiled. It said,
“Your ad here.”

(This piece appeared, in slightly different form, in the Winnipeg Free Press.)

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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