I recently got promoted at work. I was a semi-grown up and now I am a REAL grown up. Neat, huh? I agree. Part of being a real grown up is that I will need to travel some for work. To ease me into this slowly, they sent me on the first trip with another real grown up, whom I shall call C-Dizzle.
C-Dizzle is a master at the travel game, so I just did what she did and followed her around. Literally, I followed her around the airport like a puppy. She kept trying to say things to me and I would try to catch up really fast to be next to her instead of behind her. ANYway, we got to the security check point and got separated. I tried to stick with her, I really did. But when the burly security man says “YOU GO THERE” and points to the opposite line of your travel buddy, you do not argue.
So I go to the other line and put my bag, shoes, kidneys, etc. on the belt. Then I am directed to the Temple of Doom. Yes – I got sent, for the very first time, to the body scanner.
This is the part of the blog where you should click here and press the blue button (make sure your sound is up) to understand the full horror I was experiencing.
I do not like the body scanners. Even after they fixed them so they can’t see you in your underwear, I have had an unnatural fear of these for years. If Daniel and I fly somewhere, he volunteers for the body scanner so he won’t have to talk me down from the proverbial ledge for the entire flight.
But I was very good and went through it. And I got stopped. Dang it all.
“What do you have in your back left pocket?” the very tall TSA lady asked me. I do have to say I was impressed with the accuracy. I wanted to tell her so but I felt like that wasn’t the time. I might write a letter, though.
HOWEVER, I would have to include in my letter the rest of the incident…
“Oh, it’s my license. I just had to show it for the first checkpoint and there was no time to put it in my bag,” I said, cheerfully but not too cheerfully just in case this lady didn’t care for pep. Then I took it out of my pocket and the lady jumped a little. Maybe I was supposed to let her do it?
She then told me she was going to have to pat me down. Erghhhhh, no. But she was already doing it, lightly brushing my left cheek with the back of her hand. My butt proved satisfactory (it always does) and I thought I was done. Oh, how naive I was. She made me raise my left hand above my head and she brushed her fingers down my arm and side. It tickled. I giggled. Apparently giggling is unacceptable to the TSA because she glared at me.
Then came the strangest part of all: She started poking her fingers through my ponytail. I know my hair is thick but is it really bad enough that I could hide a weapon in there? Because if so, she just gave me a great idea. She tugged on my ponytail and was finally satisfied that my CVS-brand ponytail holder was, in fact, docile.
She yelled “I NEED HANDS” in no particular direction and told me to go stand in front of another lady. This one at least smiled as she wiped my hands down with something. I realized she was checking for gun-powder residue and other explosive stuff. And this is where I truly started to panic.
See, my husband Daniel is a gunsmith. A gunsmith who likes to (safely) experiment with how to make things blow up. This means that any given day of the week I am putting away guns, chemicals of unknown origin, pointy objects covered in black stuff, and tubes of something science-y. And so my thought process went like this: Oh, no. Oh, no, no, no, no. Should I tell her before she even runs the test? No, no, that would look too suspicious. But what if it turns up something? What if I can’t remember what Daniel was playing with the other day? Was it magnesium? Marbles? Mangos? Something. Something with explosives. And he had me practice shooting the pistol… would there still be GPR on my hands? Is that even a possibility? Do people still use gun powder? It seems kind of old-fashioned. Maybe it’s just a phrase. Maybe they just call it that beca –
I tuned back in to the TSA lady to see her staring at me.
“You can go.”
Oh. Well, good.
Stupid body scanners.