For a while, I wondered why this was. Why me and not Chad? After all, let's review; I'm a tiny woman with more flab than muscle who looks anywhere from 5-10 years younger than my actual age (depending on the day, the clothes I'm wearing, and the intelligence level of the observer). Chad is a tall, large man who generally doesn't bother to shave and usually shows up at the airport unkempt. And if he's both bearded and unsmiling, he looks pretty scary. And the security people look at the two of us and decide that I'm the one who is going to go postal at 30,000 feet. Okay, then.
So, I wasn't at all sad that my husband was subject to extra investigation, twice, because if we add up all our security encounters, I still come out ahead. He does make me a bit nervous by his refusal to take anything seriously; the last time we flew through London (immediately after the London-based scare that removed all liquids from the cabin permanently, btw), the gentleman at security asked, "Do you have anything that could be used as a weapon?" and Chad answered, "Well, I have a pen." Yes, it's a stupid question, but it only takes one grumpy member of security for us to be detained for hours and miss our flight, plus whatever else they might decide to inflict upon the smart-aleck Americans.
One of my favourite security encounters ever came in Glasgow, when I was stopped for screening and Chad was ordered (yes, ordered) to keep going. The woman took everything out of my bag and examined it all
s-l-o-w-l-y and c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y. I had bought a bunch of nested boxes at IKEA, thinking they would be cute for corralling small clutter, and she took off all the lids, looked at five little boxes sitting inside each other, then looked at me and asked, "What's this?" I didn't say, "A bunch of cardboard," or "Does it look dangerous? Really?" or "What do you THINK it is?". Instead I said, "Nesting boxes." Then she asked, "What's it for?" What's it for??? It's a stack of cardboard boxes!! And once I was done sharing my interior decorating tips with her, she stood and watched me re-pack my entire bag. I had second thoughts about flying through Glasgow ever again that day.
|The scary wreath of doom.|
And that still isn't the worst of it. Many years ago, I was stopped in Indianapolis because the underwire on my bra set off the metal detector. First the woman went over me with the wand, then she asked if I was wearing an underwire bra. I said "yes" and thought that was it, but it was not. She did not actually touch my breasts, but she patted down everything else. And then I had to roll down the waistband of my jeans so she could see there was nothing hidden there (I guess the denim had been too thick for her to figure this out when she felt around it 10 seconds earlier), so she got a look at my panties, too. In any other circumstances I would have expected a marriage proposal after we got to know each other so well.
So, the Indianapolis security is not my favourite. And now it's your turn: What "fun" experiences have you had at the airport?