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The Eleventy-Thirteenth Reason I Can’t Go Anywhere

February 12, 2010

Note: before random people yell at me-I do realize that terrorist attacks are absolutely horrific beyond words and that ANY attempts necessary should be taken to thwart them. And I mean ANY. Don’t believe me? I’m a Republican. And I write funny, not serious so consider that.

Some of you may not know this, but the TSA is NOT my friend. We don’t get along, had a bad breakup, whatever you want to call it-we don’t communicate well.

This unhealthy relationship started years ago and has progressively gotten worse, as bad relationships tend to do. They have ruined shoes, clothing, stolen my Swarovski crystal encrusted cell phone, made my child cry, and just generally been a pain in my ass.

I spent years flying alone as a child-little did I know that the wicked, wicked TSA was just trying to lull me into a false sense of security. The relationship started to wear a few years ago when my absolutely fabulous Swarovski crystal encrusted phone “got lost” while they were rifling thru my belongings. It proceeded to become downright abusive when they recklessly assaulted my favorite pair of pony hair, zebra striped, high heel thong sandals. They were testing for bomb residue. I explained to them in advance that their chemicals would harm the delicate pony hair but my cries fell on deaf ears. I tried to reason with them, explaining if I was smart enough to create a bomb, wouldn’t I also be clever enough to wear different shoes to the airport? To this day, bitterness rises within me when I look at these shoes that are no longer a matching pair.

There was the infamous snow globe incident of 2008 that did actually result in change in their rules/postings after I took on the local airport folk, their manager, and sent letters/wrote emails/called the headquarters. My poor husband was even a little concerned about just how far I was prepared to take this…but they made my kid cry and they couldn’t show me the rule that prohibited a 1.5 ounce snow globe AND the people at the check in counter had checked the rules to make sure it was okay. Arbitrary and asinine-that’s what  I told the supervisor. I must admit the 900 signs prohibiting snow globes in the John Wayne airport this past week did make me feel a little smug. Because really? No one EVER tries to take snow globes home from Disney so this is a huge call for alarm. J made me tell them we had it, I just wanted to sneak on thru and am convinced they would have never known.

I have had my pants partially pulled down in airports and metal detector wands shoved down them all because of a teeny Ann Taylor security sensor in the seam. I’ve gotten less action on better dates… I spent YEARS travelling with matches and those all metal box cutters that not a single TSA person EVER found. But my asthma inhaler? That’s clearly a weapon of mass destruction. As is Smashbox lip gloss. But them releasing their ENTIRE manual, aka a how to of how to commit a crime? Totally okay. Also? Lighters. Really? Lighters are actually allowed on flights-cause crazy people deciding to set random shit on fire wouldn’t be problematic?

Anyway, I digress.

My trip out to Anaheim was totally and utterly uneventful. Other than the TSA agent in Huntsville trying to explain to a lady the difference between liquids and solids. She had FOUR little plastic baggies with the most random assortment of items and could not comprehend the difference between a liquid and a solid. I actually hung back and watched this for a little bit-it was awesome. But other than that? Easy peasy, flights even got in early. I didn’t get stuck next to anyone who sweated all over my thigh or was batshit crazy. Pleasantness. So this should have absolutely been a giant, red, on fire flag that shit was NOT going  to work out well on my return. Period.

First off, ever flown out of John Wayne airport? Lemme just say, 6:45am flight? Not so much. It seems nothing, NOTHING leaves that airport until 7:01am no matter what time your ticket says. And then there’s like a little free for all as everyone plays bumper cars to get to be the first in line on the runway. Odd, and slightly troubling to say the least-especially for my anal, slightly rigid self. So that already had me pissed off-as did getting up at 4:30 am. Had I not still been high from a succesful shopping trip with my friend Marie, I would have been downright homicidal at this point.

But then, THEN they start boarding and it’s a-well, it’s a clusterfuck. Twenty drag queens grappling for the last set of faux eyelashes on the planet would have been more subtle. And all because the asshole gate announcer says: “If you’re an Angels fan, you can board whenever you want so come on up.” Obviously, regardless of who the Angels were-I was getting on that plane. Since I actually pack reasonably sized carry-ons I get screwed by the people that bring on bags large enough to transport a family of illegal immigrants world-wide.

Lady taking tickets is not so nice, fusses at me because they are boarding zone 3, not 4. After speech by Angel-man I was annoyed. So I stuck out my belly, arched my back, and said: “That’s fine. I’m just exhausted and pregnant, tired of being jostled around, and really want to sit down.” She looks at me and says: “Well only because you’re pregnant.” I was actually prepared to be all indignant if she denied me because hey, pregnant ladies should get to do whatever the hell they want. And no, it didn’t seem odd to me that I was mentally preparing to throw a hissy for her not allowing a poor, pregnant lady to board-it didn’t matter than I wasn’t pregnant. Bonus to missing the last couple sessions of boot camp? I can feign pregnancy at convenient times. Color me happy.

As I’m sitting I happen to notice we are almost finished boarding and the seat to my left is empty. I am…beyond excited. I LOVE not having people on both sides, talking to me, leaning on me, breathing on me, bringing their stinky food on-board, etc. Well, lo and behold the very LAST man to board is, of course, beside me WITH the most massive carry-on I have ever, EVER seen. Seriously. It could have easily held the corpse of a very large man. We stand for ten minutes while he unpacks a monstrous piece of electrical equipment-looks kind of like a desktop computer but larger, clunkier, and more homemade looking. This, he insists, absolutely must be underneath the seat in front of him which results in the man practically straddling me so his feet don’t touch this “equipment”. Oh, and I haven’t even described him yet. Scrawny, sketchy like a drug addict detoxing with sores all over his body. As he bends over I can see weird boxes and wires thru his shirt. I realize, this man is a terrorist and is going to blow up plane. Automatically feel as though I am being punished for pretending to be pregnant earlier.  He keeps sending simple, yet ominous texts: “On the plane”, “Boarded successfully”, and “About to depart”. There are no I love you’s/see you in Philly/bring the kids. Nada. As we start to taxi, the man PANICS. We are bouncing along and he is spazzing about this box being jarred. He pulls out what is basically the egg crate foam you put on your bed and wraps it around the box. He sees me watching him and says: “I don’t want to chance it bouncing” to which I reply, “Yeah, it would totally suck if you blew up the plane before you meant to.” He looks at me weird and goes back to cradling his box.

We take off and I am most relieved when we don’t immediately explode. I should NOT have been allowed to watch Final Destination. His behavior is increasingly weird, he’s constantly up and down, hounding the flight attendants, hanging out in the back with them, demanding ridiculous amounts of water, spending thirty minutes in the bathroom. Very convniced he is creating chemicals with tha water and whatever he has in his Spanx and the box on  his back. I mean, really? I have a stomach condition and I’ve never spent that much time in an airplane bathroom. In fact, that’s one of my greatest fears and I practically OD on Imodium prior to ever flight I have ever taken.

At this point in our journey,  I have practically whipped myself into a panic attack. I was planning on a leisurely flight, reading my Kindle, seeing if I had a nice seatmate who would let me practice my vagina on him, and maybe a snack or two. I had NOT scheduled time to be blown up. So, I decided I should talk to a flight attendant who, I am pleased as punch, to say did not think I was a lunatic. I explained to her my reasons, she nodded and said she could see my concern (and not in a how fast can I get her medicated/in a straight jacket way but a wow, this could really be a problem way). I may heart her a little for that. She conferred with the other flight attendants and then they approached the man and asked him some questions. I was a trifle appalled at this direct approach but hey, they’re Professionals and trained and shit-I’m just some overly observant chick from Alabama. They talk to him in the back for awhile, he pulls out some papers, lifts up his shirt. Turns out? He has some medical condition and all the equipment was for that. I AM OFFICIALLY worst person on planet. Also figure he will not be interested in hearing my vagina monologue for the next three hours. *sigh*

As further punishment I spend FOUR hours trapped in the Atlanta airport, threaten to assault a woman with my Kindle, and end up making it to The Vagina Monologues a whopping five minutes before we start. AND all of this is completely the fault of the TSA because since they spend so much time fixated on my lip gloss and various accoutrements, there is no way they can have enough time devoted to catching actual, real terrorists.

© Amy Lloyd Mayfield and Amy’s Blam, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Lloyd Mayfield and Amy’s Blam with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2010 7:39 AM

    Your posts always tickle me. Thanks for the story. 🙂

  2. February 12, 2010 9:31 AM

    Man, I get the vagina monologues every day (I am surrounded by women, two sisters, three daughters, my wife, her sister, her mom…)

    Thus I give you…

    THE VAJINGO MONOLOGUES: Because I’m around women so often they forget I’m there. And thus I get to be the proverbial ‘fly on the wall’. My wife and sister-in-law freely talk, and one word that makes a common appearance is ‘vajingo’. Example, “I still can’t believe a baby ever came out of my vajingo.” (I stopped calling my penis ‘Bob’ after I graduated from high school.)

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