EPIC FAIL = TSA PAT DOWN, THOROUGH TYPE

photo credit: TSA PreCheck secruity screeing signs in Indianapolis via photopin (license)
photo credit: TSA PreCheck secruity screeing signs in Indianapolis via photopin (license)

Here I sit in the Denver East Hyatt with two hours to kill until the last night of the Decision 2016: America in the Balance Tour (AKA the ‘Deplorables Basket‘ tour) begins. Somewhere en route to the metropolitan Denver area are Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, Mike Gallagher, Jon Voight, and Sheriff David Clark. Let’s hope they have an easier time getting here than I did.

I started packing two days ago (for an overnight trip), was in bed by midnight last night, and arrived serenely at the airport almost two hours before my flight was scheduled to leave. I strolled leisurely up to the Delta ticket counter, opened my wallet to produce my driver’s license, and nearly passed out when I realized it wasn’t there. It wasn’t anywhere. As I sit here now, I have no idea where it is. But apparently, you can’t board a plane without photo ID. And when you’re an over-planner like myself, you’ve removed every unnecessary card from your wallet—Costco, library—that does have your picture because you travel light. That’s just how you roll.

I’m not above begging and crying, but I sensed that TSA would maintain its stony heart so decided against embarrassing myself for nothing. The not-unfriendly TSA agent said, “You have nothing on you with your picture?” In a flash, I realized that my always-be-closing mind had brought each of my books along in case I ran into Oprah on the plane.“I’m an author,” I cried! “Will this work?” And I showed her the book jacket with my stylish author photo on the back. Believe it or not, she let me through. On the one hand, it’s kind of freaky that I got through TSA with only a memoir for ID, but on the other hand, I guess it’s a good bet I didn’t print up a fake book with someone else’s name just to get though Security.

When you don’t have ID, they call you a ‘1+1’. I have no idea why, but it means you get personalized attention from a TSA agent of your gender, who asks if you would like a private room or do you agree to be patted down in public. When you are late for your plane, modesty goes out the window.

She asked if I was wearing any medical devices and I said only a Spanx; she then patted me down EVERYWHERE–front, back, up, down, and lots of over. (I told my husband I have some new ideas for when I get home.) She should have had to buy me dinner first.

Whew! I thought, that was a close one. I again began to stroll leisurely until I reached McDonald’s, and in a rather unfortunate incident there, thwacked my forehead on the pointiest part of the right angle of the little table next to me. Despite it being a wallop of a head wound, there was no blood. (I’ve always said bad things happen to me in the nicest possible way.) I’ll consider using the significant welt as a conversation-starter during the VIP reception if I need to make a memorable impression on anyone.

I can recover, I told myself, and began strolling a little more briskly to the women’s restroom. When I exited, I heard my name being paged overhead so I hustled to the gate…and couldn’t find my boarding pass…or my phone. I call it ‘purse panic’ when you’re looking for something that’s supposed to be there that your frenetic searching does not reveal, and yet you have to keep looking because the bag is so cavernous. I asked the agent how long I had to board the plane, and she said four minutes. I sprinted to the women’s restroom, and sure enough, there were my phone and boarding pass. I double-sprinted back to the gate and made it with a whole minute to spare.

So far so good.

I had bought a first class ticket even though I had never flown first class in my life. They say you’re supposed to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. So I flew in the cabin I aspired to, not the one I could afford right now. I’m not sure my drooling head-droop made the impression I was hoping for, but I didn’t see anyone I recognized so hopefully no one recognized me.

My favorite part of the day so far was getting off the light rail at the hotel and not being able to figure out how to get off the platform. My rising panic was part fear that there was no way off and part fear that there was a way off, but I just couldn’t find it. I approached a very nice young man and told him not to laugh, then frightened him by asking how to get off the platform. At first I thought his hesitation meant I had asked the wrong person, but then I realized he was just extremely wary. When he pointed out the exit, I was a little miffed to realize I had passed it more than once.

Whatever. I made it to the hotel, didn’t I? When I reached my room, the first thing I did was call my husband and ask him why he ever married me. When he stopped laughing, fixer of problems that he is, he said, “Please. Just walk slowly.”

I crack myself up. I laughed so hard as I wrote this that tears streamed down my face and messed up all my perfect make-up. Gotta go.

3 thoughts on “EPIC FAIL = TSA PAT DOWN, THOROUGH TYPE

  1. Love the story. Came looking for you because I read another article you wrote in the Electoral College. You answered looming questions on why we need it and I still had just one question left that the article didn’t seem to cover. A fear really ….. important as the EC is according to your article, what if those votes are bought as I suspect now “everything” is corrupted? Would you still see it as necessary?

    Yes I know, ye of little faith …….

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

    Sincerely, John Rogers

    1. Hi John,

      Interesting question. I would have to give it a lot more thought to have a really strong opinion. It strikes me that one person-one vote is _always_ vulnerable to manipulation whereas the distribution of power across all 50 states makes it unlikely that a sufficient number can be corrupted/bought at the same time. I still think the EC would provide the best safeguard against an overall election being bought. What are your thoughts?

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