The Pilsbury Doha Boy

“Everything is funnier in retrospect, funnier and prettier and cooler. You can laugh at anything from far enough away.”

— Chuck Palahniuk


An individual sporting the trademark maroon uniform of Qatar Airways and holding a handwritten sign saying ”Paris” was vacillating wretchedly not far from the exit ramp as we “de-planed” at Doha’s Hamad International Airport just after midnight on Wednesday, December 27, 2023. Upon spotting this writhing airline underling, red flags sprouted like ripe radishes on steroids for weary travelers about to embark upon the second leg of a voyage to France from Bangkok via Doha. Once having gathered the seven Paris-bound travelers in a semi-circle around her, the harried employee announced tersely that our connecting flight had been cancelled and peremptorily handed us boarding passes for a flight scheduled to depart over seven hours later. She then seemed prepared to melt out of the party, but the confused and agitated passengers who had just been slapped with a rather nasty unexplained surprise began to raise a ruckus. Where are we to wait? Are we eligible for compensation? What really happened to our flight? One stranded passenger, who turned out to be a lawyer, suddenly bolted from the scene of the crime with another maroon-clad employee in tow, and our nonplussed minder pointed to the pair scuttling far down the corridor of this surreal airport and told us to follow them.

When, huffing and puffing, we finally caught up with the lawyer and the bespectacled official in the maroon sports jacket whom she had collared, we were told to wait as he went off for “instructions from his superiors”…and we waited…and we waited…in a miserable clump, seven bone-weary travelers, including four “seniors”, my wife and I at the head of the geezer brigade. More maroon-clad officials kept drifting by, averting their eyes at the necessary moment, as we implored them for guidance and support. After what seemed an eternity, the first maroon lady resurfaced to offer us hotel accommodations in Doha City… after we had completed visa applications and gone through a stringent security check. Realizing that the entire security clearance procedure would take at least the six hours left before boarding the next Paris flight, all of the bedraggled victims of circumstance demurred and implored Madame Maroon to let us keel over in one of the numerous lounges that dotted the Doha airport like oases in the desert. She informed us that the lounges were out of bounds to regular passengers, the peripatetic plebes; we were, so to speak, well and truly marooned. A din ensued as we forsaken travelers begged for lounge asylum. Off scuttled Madame Maroon, once again evanescing behind a security screen like a magician’s assistant in a vanishing act. Just as we were about to crash land in a heap on the floor of the airport, convulsing with fatigue, another maroon-clad gentleman emerged to announce that as luck would have it, we could hole up in the Al Maha lounge located beneath the iconic giant airport teddy bear. Therein we spent the rest of the night.

Until our Christmas trip to Thailand to visit our precious younger son in his beautiful, adopted country, I confess having only vaguely heard of Doha, and to my eternal shame I kept forgetting in which country it was located. Was it a United Arab Emirate? Ah, right, I was reminded, it is the capital city of Qatar…the Persian Gulf nation that Wolf Blitzer always referred to as “Cutter” when covering the Gulf Wars of 1990 and 2003, no doubt from the comfort of a five-star Doha skyrise hotel. Did Wolf ever face the weapons of mass distraction wielded by the maroon brigades of Doha’s Hamad International Airport?


Robert McBryde Author: IndieReader Approved, nostalgia, hippies, pop music, 1960s, 1970s, psychedelic, blogging, social media,  CBC radio, literary non-fiction, tales, short stories, vignettes, immigrant experience, Quebec anglos, living in France,  childhood and animal stories, creative memoirs, satire, autobiography, family relations, fathers, raising children, aging, facing death, travel, social commentary, love and marriage, translation: English-French; French-English

Publisher’s Note:  Funny, manic, and wistful… self-deprecating creative nonfiction…The author, Robert McBryde, a professional translator, has been compared to David Sedaris for the sometimes-snarky autobiographical satire characterizing his literary sketches. Many of the stories in his new book, titled My Time with You Has Been Short but Very Funny, have been featured on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio network.

Author’s Note:

I’ve written a new book of creative non-fiction titled My Time with You Has Been Short but Very Funny, recently published and now on the market. The book is based on stories that I told over the years as a writer/ broadcaster and host on CBC radio based in Quebec City, Canada.

The book is available via my website. The purchase links are at the bottom of the home page.

Normally I will post at least two morning blogs per week. Stay tuned!

If you purchase a book via the platform of your choice, please leave a review!

Here is an excerpt from my IndieReader review:

“[This] memoir is… an enjoyable and touching read. Radio listeners in Quebec are already familiar with the wit and wisdom of Robert McBryde. The non-fiction collection, MY TIME WITH YOU HAS BEEN SHORT BUT VERY FUNNY, gives the rest of the world access to the author’s inimitable style.”

“Please note that [this] book received a rating of 4 stars or above, making it “IndieReader Approved”, a designation we created to make it easier for readers and booksellers to identify quality indie titles. Post the sticker proudly, knowing that your title was judged by top industry professionals—not as merely a great indie book—but as great book, period.”


Here is a link to a cool group book review blog:

My Time With You Has Been Short But Very Funny, a review by Di


And this is a link to Goodreads. A great place to learn about new books and to read reviews.

Di’s review of My Time with You Has Been Short but Very Funny


And, finally, a review from Amazon…


A Spirited Dive into Life’s Laughter and Tears (


You can follow me on Instagram:

Happy reading! 😊

Your friend,