Vacation (part 1)
The wife and I are going away on the first real “get out of the house” vacation since our honeymoon. We’re heading to Hawaii for 9 days. She won’t let me take my computer so there will be a gap in my postings. I’ll blast you with the lot of them when we return. I am taking a note pad so that I may write down ideas as they come to me … while on vacation.
We’re at PDX airport and we’re both excited. I’ll admit that I haven’t flown in a while and in the late night, after a long shift of work, I may not have packed well. I took my clothing and anything else that I might need while away in a checked bag. I took my medicines, a few snacks and a magazine into my carry on bag. Anyway, I had forgotten, how silly the TSA can be about what it will do in the name of keeping us safe. I came up to the first of the “screening agents”. I got out my boarding pass and my drivers license. The agent looked at my photo ID and then at me. He gave me the stink eye as if I was an ISIS imposter. As it turned out, when I had moved to my new townhome, the DMV, instead of giving me a new drivers license, they simply gave me a cheap sticker to place over my old address. The agent said, “do you have any other picture ID sir? This is faded.” I frantically searched my wallet. I pulled out my hospital work ID and gave it to the man. “Nope, this won’t do, how about something else.” Really?… How many “official” government issued pictured ID’s does anyone carry? I went through my wallet, all the time my wife was starting to get irritated, (at me). Then I saw it. A sinking feeling hit my stomach, but what could I do? It was the only picture ID that I had remaining in my wallet. I reluctantly got out my concealed weapons card and closed my eyes as I handed it to the agent. He took it and handed it back saying, “you can go.” I thought, “whew!” But why should I be fearful for going through the FBI background check to get that permit? Is it because I know that the all controlling government hates those who think that they can protect themselves? “Hey, come on” was the call from the next level screener agent.
After I had emptied my pockets, taken off my shoes, placed all my belongings into a little soup bowl, and placed my bag on the x-ray machine, removed my coat and belt I shuffled over like an ex-con on “release from prison day” and went through the x-ray machine for my whole body scan. It made a whirring sound and then I was on to the frisking level. The agent patted my legs with his blue gloved hands. “Do you have any implants?” I nodded no, and he said, “well, it’s just something funny on your x-ray… I gotta check.” Then just as I got through the “pat down” phase of our security, a lady yelled out, “Frank, we gotta a bag check here!” as she was holding up my blue carry on. I followed it to the end of the ramp where they put me into a plexy-glass box and proceeded to dump out my carry on bag on the table. Eventually they found, in the side pocket, a fingernail clipper. “Frank” the bag inspector agent, held it up for everyone to see as if he was saying, “here’s the stupid law breaker, the one who is plotting to hijack an American airplane, the home-grown terrorist, groomed from the crazy teachings of the Tea-party has now been caught… Yeah!” I was embarrassed and my wife was looking rather pissed as she, by now has made it through the line and was already in the process of putting her clothing back on. (belt, shoes, and personal items).
What could I day, “I didn’t know it was there” or “someone planted it on me… it’s not mine!” But I looked as sheepish as I could and apologized. After a thorough scolding for what was considered contraband, the head Agent confiscated my clipper and then let me pass.
I eventually got up with my wife who was indeed pissed. Yep, what a way to start a vacation. I know the rules and I truly didn’t realize I had it in the bag. And for the record, anyone that has the ability to hijack an airplane with only a fingernail clipper… well they could certainly hijack that same airplane without that fingernail clipper.
What I am saying is, a fingernail clipper is hardly what I would consider a lethal weapon capable of giving anyone the upper hand… or even a slight advantage for that matter.