Friday, January 8, 2010

Tales of Terrorist Toothpaste Transgressions!

Now, I know (now) that some idiot terrorist nincompoop tried to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day but I grow weary of common sense being so... well, uncommon. On Dec 28th, I tried to fly to San Diego to see my Mom, and visit my Tribe. It took me 13 hours to fly a 2 & a half hour flight. I certainly made two large mistakes:
#1 I told the truth
and #2 I don't watch television, so I knew nothing about the idiot with a bomb.

Because I just HAVE to find the sunny side of every shadow, I figured I'd write about it. There's plenty of laughter in the tale, much of it in a keystone cops kind of way :~D Much of it at my own expense.

Picture it, if you will. Our heroine blithely approaches the airport, little knowing that she is about to step into: The Twilight Zone.

Since 9/11, I have flown five times with the same "personals" bag in my luggage. It's a three-fold bag which hangs on the back of a door. VERY handy for traveling! It's filled with clear, see-through plastic pockets where you put ungents and potions, lotions and whatnots, toothpaste, shampoos, & conditioners. You know, Grrrrl stuff. So why on Earth would I even think that any of these ungents and potions and toothpaste might NOW be considered dangerous weapons of mass destruction?

The Security Cop fellow is hollarin' about everyone having to place their ungents and potions and whatnots in a plastic Ziploc baggies. I think this is retarded, since there's all these clear plastic windows in my well-traveled personals bag, but I've learned to shrug and follow instructions, so I do this thing.

When I am checked through with my boarding pass, I get told my toothpaste is too big. I have, you guessed it, Terrorist Toothpaste. Right alongside the Terrorist Toothpaste is my Biosilk & Pantene hair conditioner. Those of you who know me, know I have fairly long -middle of my back- quite curly fine hair, and if I don't use superior hair products it gets brittle. And man, there is little in this world more embarrassing than to go around town looking like a frayed Q-tip. The folks say "Just throw it away", but who the heck has about $50.00 bucks extra to spend to replace this kind of stuff in this economy?? They say bag checks cost $15.00 bucks, go back and check your bag.

OK, fine. I hobble off to the baggage check in, and as I hobble, I call my ride, who has walked away a mere THREE MINUTES earlier, dagnabbit, but he does not answer. I wonder still, just what he thought about those 5 frantic phone calls (and a partridge in a pear tree!) The ga at the baggage check-in recognizes me, but tells me it's too late for her counter, hurry inside. I hurry inside, stand in a hurried line, hobble hurriedly, and get told "Well, you should have come here first." riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. It's too late to check my bags, I'm told, the line didn't hurry hurriedly enough. I ask them to call the gate, cuz I'm a'comin', and she says she will. So I hurriedly hobble to the post office right next to the gate, and mail my Terrorist Toothpaste and Companion Potions back to myself, and re-enter the boarding line. I go through security for the second time, hobble to the gate, and I MADE IT! with 7 minutes to spare!

But Lo! & Behold! The lady at the baggage claim did NOT call the gate, and they will not allow me to board. *sigh* I get told that there's no flights out until tomorrow ! I actually grabbed my lips and squeezed them together in order that they not drop copious and illegal F-bombs about. I suppose I looked as if my head were going to pop off, because after about 20 minutes, they found me another flight... with three connectors.. Puddle jumper. From Portland, Oregon PDX to San Jose, from San Jose to Los Angeles, and from Los Angeles to San Diego, arriving at 11:30 pm. It is 10:30 am, and I have been at the airport now for an hour and 45 minutes.

I am NOT a good flyer, I'm a white-knuckled take-off-and-land OMG I hate this kind of flyer. This is NOT a roller coaster, this is NOT a Disney ride, we are all thousands of feet up in the air and even the elephants look like ants ... if I had a magnifying glass that big .....

But the silver lining was, at least I was in Portland. Because those OTHER three airports are, well, not as nice as PDX. On PDX, they have live music. Every time I've been there, there's someone plugged into an amp, playing music. Steel drums, pan pipes, acoustic guitar, violin, it's all beautiful. So if you ever have to spend 7 hours stuck in an airport, I hope you wind up stuck in Portland, because at least they're civilized.

In San Jose, you have to go to an entirely different airport to change planes, consequently ensuring you get to go through customs, errrr security, errrr jail... or whatever they call it now yet another time. You get to go OUT of one airport, catch a bus, and go IN through more security, strip ... and hurry and wait. In L.A., well, what can you say about L.A. except their airplanes all look like great white sharks in a feeding frenzy with brightly colored fiesta fins.

The puddle jumpers did make for lovely lights. Since most folks still had their Christmas lights up, it looked like someone had spilled chests filled with jewels across the dark velvet landscape, jewels lit from within by luminous fireflies of loveliness. The skyscrapers and office buildings were festooned with garlands of rubies, diamonds, sapphires and emeralds cascading down their sides. It was quite beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that I almost forgot to be scared! In San Diego, I get all sorts of excited when I land in San Diego, because I know I'll get to see my Family and my Tribe. That makes it all sweet.

When I finally got into San Diego, picked up by my little sister Laurie, may angels sleep on her shoulder, I learned why #1 was so incredibly foolish of me. (You remember reason #1, don't you??) There, in that personals bag, was a 6 oz. brown glass bottle, unmarked, unlabeled, with about an inch of clear oil in it. My friend Greig makes this WONDERFULLY scented oil which I use at the ends of my hair, and on my arms and legs. It mixes well with lotions, and has a lasting and lovely fragrance of herbs and essential oils. In my purse, I also had a small nail knife, you know those Swiss Army knives for nail care? about 2" long. Can you imagine the mischief I could have caused with that dangerous weapon? Stewardesses threatened by pedicures at knife point! Film at eleven! So if I had just left my toothpaste and ungents and such in my personals bag, I'll betcha I would have had NO problems at all.

Teach ME to be honest and forthcoming ! *bah*

Till the next great adventure ! Onward to the next star and to the right !


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