Friday, May 28, 2010

surrendering my weapons and other airport stories

After spending 5 hours in airports so far today (with a few more to go), I headed through security at the Pasco airport. In case you didn't know, Pasco houses the teeniest tiniest airport there is. Period. End of discussion.

I was one of 25 people in the airport when I landed, and 3 of them were working security, 2 at the rental car counter and 1 in the gift shop. They didn't need anybody to man the vending machines. Nobody was checking in. Only the people on my flight were leaving. And I've seen Elementary School parking lots with more complex pickup systems.

So on the way back, I wasn't in any hurry to get to the airport and I certainly didn't need to give myself an hour to get through security.

Or so I thought.

I arrived at the airport at 4:35 and my flight left at 5:00. Plenty of time to get through all 100 square feet of the airport.

Or so I thought.

They were positively swamped. After watching all 35 people ahead of me go through the metal detector I was anxiously waiting my turn.

Can you believe that guy in front me who didn't take his keys out of his pocket before walking through the metal detector?

And that lady actually thought her kid could take a Nalgene bottle FULL of water on the plane?

Helloooo don't they know that's how people die?

After they put my purse through the x-ray machine for the 3rd time, I started to review it's contents in my head. Homemade cookies? Check. Keys? Check. Wallet? Check. I had already dutifully removed my tiny deadly lotion and hand sanitizer because I am a pro at airport security. Were they scanning it over and over because they wanted to see how cute my bookmark was? Were they trying to figure out why one person needed so many feminine supplies? Was he giggling over my change of clothes? Or was there an actual problem? Did they realize that with 1 pair of glasses and the power of the sun I could melt the entire aircraft?

Finally at MY suggestion they dug through my purse to find the offending item. The Nazi in Laytex Gloves (NLG) cleverly disguised as a Nice Mom Lady yanked my keys out of my purse and thrust them in the air victoriously. "Aha!" she said abandoning her Nice Mom Lady voice in favor of her Robot Nazi voice.

There on my key ring, where it always is, was the pocket knife keychain my boss gave me for Christmas 2 years ago. Dang it.

NLG: "What would you like to do about this weapon." She asked me with a scowl on her face.
Me: "Ummm.....weapon?" Note to self. Do not sass Airport People. They're a jumpy breed.
NLG: Silence while giving the stink eye.
Me: "What are my choices?"
NLG: "Well. You could check your bag."
Me: Bag? That is a PURSE. It's not even in LARGE purse! You should see the purse my sister in law carries! That is a BAG.  
NLG: "But each bag checked costs $35."
Me: "Mmmhmmm.... do you have any ideas that are free?"
NLG: "You could return it to the party who dropped you off at the airport."
Me: "Oh, you mean the party that left me here with you psychos to fend for myself? The party who is already at home in her living room eating fresh homemade cookies with her beautiful daughter? The party who didn't have to stand in your 35 person line for 20 minutes? That party?" Oh wait. That was actually in my head. The words in my mouth were: "Oh, she's long gone."
NLG: "You could go to the post office and mail it home."
Me: "Can I just throw it away?"
NLG: Marching over to the x-ray man. "This woman would like to surrender her weapon."
Me: Surrender my weapon? Are you serious? That weapon has a blade that isn't sharp enough to open a bag of ritz crackers and a nail file. Do I look like a person who could take down a plane with that kind of a "weapon"? Really?
NLG: "I'll have to take samples of the interior of the bag for analysis before I can let you go."
Me: "OK."
NLG: Suddenly lost the robot voice and has donned her clever Nice Mom Lady disguise (including the voice) again. "This is a great bag."
Me: "Um...thanks."


I will do anything to avoid an airplane lavatory. ANYTHING. Of course that requires great planning and the phrase "are you SURE you don't have to go?" running through my head roughly 10 million times during the 30 minutes immediately preceding boarding.

I'll tell you this about the San Fransisco airport. Their toilet paper is worse than cruise ship toilet paper. Now you know.


I think that guy who invented the Dyson airblade hand dryers did not realize that people would probably put tiny bits of food and dirty and sticky things on their hands just to see if the air would blow it off. And it does. And then it sits in the bottom of the dryer thing until someone presumably comes to clean it. Gross.

Also I think that guy took the idea from airplanes. Because when you fly in the rain, the windows stay dry because the air is moving so fast.

If only that guy could figure out how to get a pocketknife through security.


There is a round restaurant called "Just Desserts" in the middle of the food court at the airport. They have some lovely desserts on display around the outside of it.

They also have a section of food. Salads, sandwiches, soups, and snacks.

I want to burn the dude who thought of the name of the restaurant.

Also their cheesecake was really really not great.


If you have a kid, and you're in the airport, the stupid stuff at gift shops looks less stupid.

However, if you have a kid and you're in the airport, you're still dead broke so it doesn't matter how cool that stuff looks.


  1. lol, I'm so grateful you went through all that to spend 5 hours with me :)

  2. Hahahahaha! Oh man... I am so glad I know you. Seriously...not many people make me laugh like you do! Thanks for the birthday lunch and more importantly the blessed concrete! Yep polished that baby off in about 10 I am sick but that's when you know it was GOOOD and well worth it! You are the best...lets play again soon!

  3. Hold on. They didn't take your pocket knife, or even see it for that matter, until you were flying HOME? Doesn't that mean you got it through security at the Salt Lake airport, AND walked all around the SF airport with it?


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