Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hollywood Flight Takes Off

I arrived at Oakland International Airport with ten minutes to spare and ran to the security checkpoint. Near the front of the line a sign read "Save yourself 3 minutes" and gave suggestions on how to shave wait time at security: Take out your change and electronics, take off your jacket and shoes. I did it all except take off my shoes. I figured Adidas? What am I gonna hide in them?

"Take off your shoes, sir," barked the security lady. Of course she would tag me. I did so, reluctantly, and mumbled, "There's no metal in them."

"We look for more than just metal, sir." I couldn't argue with that. I went thru the metal detector and the alarm went off. Instinctively I lifted up my shirt.

"Take off your belt, sir."

This woman insisted on making me miss my plane. Maniacally I whipped of my belt with a crazy arm tug, which apparently is a indicator of something. The security lady, who up til now, had held her gaze downward, now looked up at me coldly.

"Can I get a male checker here?" Great. "Step aside, sir. Can I see your boarding pass?"

I whipped it out and gave it to her. "See the departure time? Eleven. That's in five minutes." She handed it back to me and avoided eye contact.

"Step aside, sir."

Right then I wished she was pregnant and went into labor thre months early and gave birth to a bloody stillborn baby. Just so I could laugh at her. That would have made me feel real good.

I had time to visualize all this because Little Matrix Keymaker dude finally came shuffling up with his Bad Stuff Detector Wand a minute after Psycho Security Dominatrix called him out. He motioned to a chair.

"Please sit down, sir." I fell into it.

"Do whatever it is you need to do fast," I told him. "I gotta plane to catch."

"Lift your right arm, sir." Wand wand. "Left arm." Wand wand. "Right leg." Wand wand. "Left leg." Wand wand.

"Stand here, sir." He motioned to some painted footprints on the carpet, like dance instructions. He waved the wand over my body like a healer. It beeped on Levi's trademark copper rivet buttons. Big surprise there.
"I'm going to lift up your shirt, sir." This was insane.

"Look, I've got no problems with whatever you have to do. I just need to catch a plane."

The man put down his wand and hastily gave me the good old-fashioned pat-down. Took 15 seconds.

"You're free to go, sir."

"Thanks," I said, and meant it. As I put my shoes back on, I took one last look at the demon slug security lady that held me up in the first place. She must have been watching me the whole time, because she was standing there with her arms folded, looking at me like Nurse Ratched. Visions of stiddbirth dripping from her uterus into a bloody pile on the carpet made me feel better, and I smile as I grabbed the rest of my things and took off.

As I rushed to the terminal I had 99% given up hope, but there was that 1 percent that said, "If you miss your flight by 10 seconds because you were too lazy to run, you'll never forgive yourself. Plus you'd make stillbirth security lady happy, and you can't have that. So I booked to the gate and saw that the sign for the gate listed the next flight, as if mine had already taken off. But I could see out the window that the plane had not gone anywhere.

I approached the check-in lady, who seemed to be busy on the phone. Instantaneously she held out her hand for my boarding pass, which I handed to her. A woman was talking next to her, explaining something about "he's somewhere, I just don't know where..." inadvertantly holding up the plane for her sake, but allowing me time to get on. The check-in lady waved me in. I made it.

Walking down the hallway to the plane, my thoughts returned to the demon slug security lady, and how I burned her. Take that. And your stillborn baby. I then felt remorse. A stillbirth, that's harsh. Delivering a dead baby, that's pretty much the worst thing a woman can experience. I wouldn't wish that on anybody.

So I wished her a Down Syndrome baby instead.


Blogger Chiada said...

Maybe she was a man-hater. In which case, birthing anything might be sheer torture.

:D Glad you made your flight. I've had to stand on the painted footprints too & get wanded down and felt up.

Then there's the time my Hubs had to have his carryon backpack searched because something odd showed up on the xray screen. Turns out it was a toy monkey with metal inside his legs & arms. You squeeze him & he starts monkey-laughing & swinging his legs & arms back & forth. The security checker guy stood there holding the laughing monkey in his hands & could only chuckle.

May 05, 2006 9:36 AM  
Blogger Meepers said...

You can't say 'BOMB' in an airport! S totally had to run back to our car because he brought (duuuuh!) a knife. My eyes almost rolled completely back in my head. Have fun in La-La land and don't inhale too deeply - the air is 10 percent plastic!

May 05, 2006 10:09 AM  
Blogger the sightspeed guy said...

I've never had a "oops, did I actually bring that on?" moment in the airport. Once, tho, in Heathrow, they randomly picked me to search all my bags, inside & out, wiping my luggage down with a swab even, to check if there was any drugs. This is why Heathrow asks you to arrive 4 hours before departure time.

Hollywood was surreal. Stay tuned for today's blog.

May 05, 2006 10:32 AM  

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