Thursday, February 08, 2007

How To Get Searched At The Airport

This past weekend I ventured to Houston to attend Queen Mystic’s Super Bowl Party. K procured tickets for me from his adorable boyfriend who is employed at a major carrier and could get me a good price on the ticket (i.e. FREE).

Saturday morning I got up at the obscene hour of 4:25 am to shower and get packed (oh like you don’t wait until the last minute also) and be ready to leave casa de Karmically Challenged at 6:45 am to arrive at the airport by 7:15 am. Moments before we left I had this brilliant idea to put the things I needed into a new purse instead of cleaning out the old purse that contained many extraneous items that probably wouldn’t make it through airport security (as in the small bottle of vodka – Absolute I think, (oddly enough it came from an airplane and was gifted to me by D after one of her many trips abroad), the cute pink flask of tasty loki with my name on the front of it (Judypooh), the various packets of ketchup, jelly and taco sauce deposited there by my offspring, I’m sure there is probably a knife – possibly plastic, possibly metal -, a spork and the makings of some kind of explosive with detailed instructions any 5 year old could understand also deposited there by my progeny). Part way to the airport I discovered that my brilliant idea might have been really great if I had actually put things in my purse that I’d really need – as it was I only had my driver’s license, $15, lipstick, a book, house keys, some mints and a Starbucks card – because, come on, who really needs a debit card when you have a Starbucks card with $15 on it??? That’s like 4.5 lattes!

K deposited me at the airport and I kissed the family then waved them off as I headed to catch my flight. First stop, the ticket counter to collect my tickets from Will Call. I approached the counter and told the clerk that my tickets were in Will Call and gave her the confirmation number K had passed along to me. She tapped something in the computer and stared at it asking me if I had my tickets because she had my reservations but I needed tickets. I looked at her and considered panicking but decided not to as K had informed me on the way to the airport that he had left his phone at home so hopefully I wouldn’t have any problems. BASTARD! Fine. After 5 minutes of exchange and bewildered looks, I again mentioned Will Call and my tickets being there (actually it was the third time I mentioned it) her mental light bulb went off and she said “Oh why didn’t you say so. Will Call is different.” And before I could give her the bitch slap she deserved she disappeared behind a door to search for the tickets. Ms. Clerk took entirely too long to find the tickets but finally did reappear all smiles and sunshine and directed me to head for security.

And now the real fun part happens! I followed the other passengers to the security line like grazing cattle and presented the first security person with proof that I should be in the line at all – my ticket and my driver’s license. The security person looked at the ticket and then at the license, then looked at me then back at the documents. I smiled back, anxious to get through this and get on my flight. Then she said “Do you have up to date identification?” I said no and wondered how in the world she knew that the address was incorrect on my license (yes I am blond at times). She said okay and told me to go to Lane 1. Lane 1 was a shorter security line so I was happy to go there. I followed a couple of other people to that lane and casually looked down at my license to compare it to my ticket and at that moment I realized that my damned license is expired! Shit! I shoved everything back in my purse and put it and my boots, and my coat into the plastic bin and put my luggage on the belt next to the bin. Then I proceeded to prove to airport security that I’m a total ‘tard because I can’t go through the metal detector right. After my second walk through the metal detector I was told that due to my license being out of date I had to be searched as well as my bags. Oh FUN! How was I to know that an expired driver’s license is a sure sign of being a member of Al-Qaeda?

I stepped aside with two security officers and got politely felt up by the female officer while the male looked on and prepared to paw through all my belongings. Dude, it’s all good – I hadn’t had a date in a couple of weeks so it was like a double date for a moment. As I watched them go through my belongings I was hit with a pang of regret that I hadn’t packed anything more interesting than a couple of books and some lipstick. I suddenly wished I had a bag full of batteries, vibrators, whips and hand cuffs so I could smile knowingly and mumble “business trip” to their curious looks. But no, nothing so exciting as that – not even garb as I chose not to garb because I didn’t want to have to deal with the extra weight in my bag. Bad planning on my part. And then it was over, no phone number, no thank you, no ‘call me sometime’, just ‘have a nice flight’. I’ve had dates like that before, just not usually felt up in public at an airport nor has it ever happened so quickly. Bastards.

After my encounter with the security people, I raced to my gate having realized that all this fun left me with a mere 10 minutes to get to the gate. No worries though, I got there and on the plane right away then I text messaged K “I got searched!” and turned off my phone. I figured that would give him something to think about for the next hour.

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