So, I got to Chicago.
Alas, my luggage stayed in Paris.
As I waited (and waited) for my bags in Detroit, it became more and more obvious that they weren't on their way. I looked for a representative of the airline (thank you, Northwest) but no luck. they were hiding.
After annoying a customs guy into helping me, a NWA person found me and said that I was one of thirty bags that had been left in Paris. They could have got the bags on board, but that would have made for a late departure, so the Captain took the decision to leave the bags behind. Great.
On the flight from Detroit to O'Hare, I was sat in First, next to a pilot.
"Where have you flown in from?" asked the steward of the pilot.
"I just captained the flight from Paris" said the pilot.
It was too good to be true. This was the very person who had decided to leave my bag behind.
"Excuse me Sir", said I. "I wonder if you can lend me some underpants...?"
He looked very uncomfortable.