Monday, November 23, 2015

Pride Goeth . . .

Greetings, WYMOP fans!

Constant WYMOP readers will know I’ve been out of town for a while, visiting with SB in Colorado. Last week I chronicled my little jaunt through Logan International Airport in Boston, where I narrowly managed to escape without marrying one of the TSA agents. If you missed it, you can check out that little adventure in my post, Safe and Secure. Suffice to say I think it was fun for somebody, but not for me.
That was last week. Last night I came home.
Now, I won’t tell you all about the boarding agent at Denver International Airport who stayed on the PA system giving friendly—but non-stop—digs to all the Patriots fans on the flight until even us non-football fans wanted to kick him in the squackbag. I won’t go into detail about the tiny Chinese woman who sat next to me on the flight, shouting to her husband in the next row in Cantonese (or was it Mandarin? I get those confused) who managed to whack me in the face with her big, puffy jacket when she took it off. Then when she put it on. Then again when she took it off. Then again when she put it on to deplane. I developed a twitch that looks a lot like a duck-and-cover, but I’m not here to tell you about that.
I’m here to tell you about going through security.
With my last experience with airport security having been so much fun (See? You really ought to go back and read Safe and Secure), even after trying my best to give the TSA agents nothing to worry about, I was more than a little concerned. I was still wearing cargo pants (they’re the most comfortable pants I own, dammit!), and though I went through my pockets time and again, putting everything I could into my checked bag, I couldn’t help but notice I was approaching DIA security in much the same state I had been in on my way through Logan International. In fact, it was identical but for the nervous butterflies beating the crap out of me from the inside.
I said goodbye to SB, flashed my ID and boarding pass, then lined up my two bags and three trays—one for my belongings, the others for my laptop and chromebook (yes, I’m one of those asshats)—on the conveyor belt for the X-ray machine. I assumed the position in the bio-scan booth, the scanner whirred around me, I stepped through to the other side . . . and was promptly asked to step aside with one of the TSA agents.
Oh, God, I thought. Here we go again!
But no! Unlike my last journey through an airport security process, which included a fair amount of testicular discomfort, this patdown was brief and professional. There was nothing either over-friendly or assaultively invasive about it. Before I knew it, I had been pronounced explosives-free (yet again) and was striding over to claim my belongings!
Also unlike my last trip through the TSA two-step, I wasn’t the only one being randomly checked. Three other people had been pulled aside, though they had apparently opted for the “private” screening—if you believe “private” constitutes standing about fifteen feet away from the rest of the crowd, in full view of everyone.
Ha, I thought, slipping into my shoes and threading my belt back through its loops. I think I’m really getting the hang of this! I kept one eye on the three still being patted and prodded and questioned as I stuck my wallet and phone back into my pockets and quickly stuffed my chromebook and laptop into their sleeves within my backpack. I envisioned walking past those three looking cool and collected to their flustered and sputtering; the experienced and in-control jet-setter to their obviously novice travelers. I shouldered my pack and started for the stairs that lead to the terminals, choosing a route that would bring me, strutting just slightly, right past the trio of poor bumpkins.
A sudden whistle cut the air, sharp and loud as any big city resident flagging down a taxi in rush hour traffic. I stopped, surprised, glancing in the direction of the sound—to see SB, standing on the upper level, leaning on the rail overlooking the security checkpoint. Seeing she had my attention, she thrust a finger back toward the end of the conveyor belt . . . and my carry-on, right where I’d left it, alone and abandoned-looking.
When I sat down to write this, I checked the thesaurus looking for a better word than the one that occurred to me at this part in the narrative, but I really couldn’t find one; I slunk back my lost and lonely bag and, with all the casualness I could muster, hooked it up and offered a wave of thanks to SB. It was with a decided lack of strut that I made my way past the other bumpkins to the stairs leading down toward the terminals.
I do this two or three times a year; maybe, someday, I’ll get it right.

Talk to you later.

Black Friday? Black NOVEMBER!
Insanity Tales II: The Sense of Fear is on sale until midnight on Nov. 30th, so go a little mad while you still can!
E-book: $2.99
Print: $9.99

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