Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Bits and Pieces - Part 9

The flight from Phoenix to Utah was not too bad. (Did you hear that Karma? I’m acknowledging that it wasn’t a disaster!) We went several hours early because I figured it would be a present-crowded, overwhelming, sugar-driven, Christmas Spirit, mad house. But, no line in security and only an hour delay on the flight. The best part was we found a space by the wall outlet and huddled together, taking turns charging our electronics.


However, I will disclose a few security check point incidents, just to keep things interesting.


On a very busy day, I was standing behind a lady who put her stuff just up to the conveyor belt and stood back. The highly trained TSA agents didn’t consider looking for immobile items, possibly assuming that thought the security line was enormous, they could take a much needed break from peering at the scanner. So, I walked around her, shoved her crap on the belt and pushed mine in after. “That is THERE job!” Said with an accompanying gestures towards the TSA staff, who STILL hadn’t the identified that no baggage through the scanner may mean something was up.  I was just starting a smart ass comment when the TSA agent decided they may as well screen someone, gave the protocol challenged traveler a tart, “You’re holding up the line. Move through here.”  Then, while I moved through the naked photograph machine (which I am sure all TSA agents handle with professional decorum) she was pulled out of line and moved to the luggage opening table. Moral of the story? Push your own crap because the professionals aren’t going to do it for you.


When I still lived in Utah, I visited one of my patients on the way to the airport to pick up my kids. He gave me a bullet key chain.  He made and sold them and had just whipped up a new batch. Great! Thanks! And I go on my way. I’m called out of the security line and the offending bullet is held up. Then an interdisciplinary debate starts with the TSA. A manger is called down and policy is referenced. While all of this is going on, I am trying to explain that I don’t want the bullet and they are more than welcome to confiscate it and display it proudly as a thwarted bullet on airplane caper. Finally I grab the sleeve on the nearest TSA agent. She removed the bullet and hand me my keys. They are still debating when I left to look for the gate. Moral of the story? Circumventing a policy dispute may save hours of time and is a move with contemplation.


At last year’s Christmas airport trip, a guy was trying to pass two big duffle bags through security. He didn’t even make it to the scanner.  TSA called him over to investigate and what do you know? They both are full of liquor bottles. I guess the moral of that story is do not attempt to bring a well-stocked traveling bar on the airplane.


 Actually, there was one more thing that happened on the flight down. The man behind me in the security line struck up a conversation. Being personable enough to pass for a participatory member of the social order I exchanged pleasantries. He hands me his card: There must be something about me that that screams please tell more about this Golden Plate based religion because I definitely seem to attract the LDS missionaries and other Book of Mormon advocates.  Fortunately I’ve mellowed just enough that I’m not compelled to pull out the battle fatigues.  Moral of the story? Hell if I know.

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