What’s the French for “AAA” Battery?

There I was in Upper Class on my lovely Virgin-Atlantic flight and ready to use my fancy-schmancy Bose noise-cancelling headphones. I pulled them out and inserted the cable and the battery, which I had been very careful when packing to be sure was brand new.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Oops! Obviously, a AA battery does not fit where a AAA battery is designed to be used. When I asked the flight attendant if he had an AAA battery, he looked astounded and said No, and that he’d never been asked that question before. I collected points for originality but still feeling incredibly dumb, I managed somehow to survive the flight using earbuds. Packing Lesson of the Day: trust but verify – insert the new battery, switch on, and test! P.S. Yes, of course I was able to buy the right battery at the local 8 a Huit store near my hotel in Paris.

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