Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sorry About It, Homeland Security

The whole post-September 11 airport security scene kinda freaks me out.  I don't mind saying my goodbyes to my non-traveling companions long before I reach my gate, I'm alright with being herded through the long lines like a cow at a dairy barn, I've even learned to get over the feeling of being strip-searched when I am compelled to send my shoes through the x-ray machine while I tiptoe barefooted through the metal detector.

Any one of those inconveniences is no big deal in itself, but taken together - and layered on top of all the other stresses of air travel - well, let's just say I am always relieved when I pass inspection and win the government's approval to continue on my trip.

So imagine my emotions today when I cleared that considerable hurdle, settled my relieved self at my gate, then discovered these inside my purse:

What the potential weapon! I felt like an innocent Colombian teen trying to clear U.S. customs after being blackmailed by drug lords into swallowing a ten-pound bag of cocaine.

I slid the sharp metal object back to the bottom of my bag, pretended I never saw the lethal beast, and continued on my trip without further ado.

All the while I was flying, sipping orange juice, reading snatches of my novel, and taking pics of the clouds,  I thought about those illegal scissors lying at my feet. I felt a little like Jack Bauer, pretending to be an innocent traveler while ready at a moment's notice to break out my concealed weapon to defend the righteous.

Once I landed and safely cleared the airport, I breathed a sigh of relief...until I realized that if I wanted to get my expensive pair of top notch sewing scissors back home, I was going to have to repeat my caper on the return trip.

Umm, no thanks.

Suddenly, my brain generated a third option. I tracked down the closest Target store, bought a padded envelope, filled in my address, plopped the troublemakers inside, took the package to the post office and mailed my scissors safely back home.

I felt like Jimmy Carter leading Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin to sign the Camp David Peace Accords, achieving the unimaginable goal of ending thirty years of conflict between their respective countries.

Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin
 with U.S. president Jimmy Carter at Camp David in 1978.

And that is a very good feeling indeed.

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