The tragic plight of a Mexican lost in space.

There are many things today that move our emotions. Fires, internments, the prospect of Chelsea Clinton having plastic surgery.

But there can surely be no greater tragedy than that of Marisol Luna, a girl who was sucked out of a Delta Connection flight and is lost, feared dead.

Gravity took Marisol shortly after her plane took off from Chicago’s Midway airport. Despite a frantic search involving thousands of rescue workers, no trace of Marisol has been found. Not even her wig.

Marisol Luna is a doll. She was born in 2005, her parents being the American Girl Place chain of, Good Lord, I am not sure I know how to describe those stores. A cross between a doll’s house and an outhouse.

Marisol has rosy cheeks and is Hispanic. When she came into the world, American Girl Place announced in a book that she had moved from the Pilsen area of Chicago to the leafy green suburb of Des Plaines because her parents were a little worried that she would not be safe in Pilsen.

You will have an epileptic fit when you discover that Pilsen is an area that has a soupcon of a reputation for gang warfare.

Yesterday, Marisol was, as many Hispanics before her, stowed in a light-blue duffel bag in the cargo hold of her Delta Connection from Chicago to Atlanta.

Until she fell to her certain doom.

It has been instructive to see how different parties involved have reacted to this most tragic of situations.

Abby Ann Telan, Marisol’s 9-year-old girliemomma from Florida, expressed sadness and fear. That’s living in Florida, for you.

” I don’t know where she landed and if she’s OK,” added Abby Ann.

Her mother said she was appalled that no one, not one sniveling little person from Delta, came up to sweet Abby Ann to offer their condolences.

The children of Chicago, at least those contacted by the Chicago Tribune, immediately offered to have their old Marisols refurbished and shipped (No! No! Not by air! Not by Delta!) to Abby Ann.


The child-adoring folks at American Girl Place, smelling PR points like the Amish smell trouble, immediately offered to ship a brand-new Marisol to Abby Ann. Even though, may the Lord bless them, Marisol has already been sent back to Tijuana as her production line was stopped a while ago.

And no one asked this question:


Forgive me if that sounded emotional. But the deep feelings of the Pond are well known.

Over 1 million bags were lost, damaged or delayed at US airports.

No, not in the last year. In June and July of 2007.

More than fifteen thousand bags a day.

Could it be that, each day, ordinary Americans are subject to a meteor shower of golf clubs, suitcases, pushchairs and even Marisol the Dolls, raining towards their heads and houses, without realizing the massive risks they take even stepping beyond their threshholds?

Could it be that many of those walking into ER with concussions and head abrasions have been struck not by meteorites but Samsonites making a highly irregular Delta Connection?

This is not merely an American problem.

I am grateful to for the story of someone who was flying to Paris. British Airways lost her luggage on the way there. She was booked on British Airways for the return flight. The airline, in a signature moment of consistency, lost her luggage on the way back. It was full of all the things she’d had to buy in Paris because of the lost luggage on the way there.

Perhaps some grateful Newfoundlandress is, at this very moment, enjoying this passenger’s underwear.

Meanwhile Marisol Luna is lying somewhere in a flat field in Illinois, starving, with serious injuries to her head, neck and screws, begging to be found by some kind apple-picker.

I wonder if that apple picker lives in Pilsen.


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