Friday, August 20, 2010

In Which Brodi Takes a Stand Against the Airlines...

Do I look like a terrorist? Tell me the truth.

When I was packing for SCBWI in L.A., I painstakingly put all my liquids in the stupid 3 oz or less bottles, because that's the kind of citizen I am.

I went through security, and at the "put your shoes back on" place, the red lights go on, and the t.v.-watcher-guy motions someone over.

This young man- fresh out of high school- in a blue uniform comes up, pulls out my 3 oz bottle of contact solution, and says, "Ma'am, I'm going to have to run some tests on this."

I'm thinking, Kid, you're like twelve. What kind of tests are you gonna be running? 

Seriously, was he going to take it back to the laboratory (lah-bore-uh-tory) throw on some safety goggles and some gloves, and conduct experiments? 
Yes. Yes, he was. With a gloved hand, he transports the container back to his makeshift lab, and out come the droppers and vials. 
He came back a few minutes later to deliver the bad news.

Him: "I'm afraid I've got some bad news. I'm going to have to confiscate this."

I'm all for airline safety, but this was ridiculous! I hoisted my bags, all the while muttering "Fine! Fine! The world's a safer place because this guy who can't even grow a beard has passed judgment on an innocent bottle of contact solution."

When I got to my gate, I plopped in a seat next to Bree Despain, and started grumbling, saying really stupid things like, "Congratulations, everyone on my flight! You're all safe now!"

I found myself unable to stop saying red flag words like "bomb" and "fire", and then, in an act of dramatic defiance, I ripped the old baggage check tags off my suitcase and threw them to the ground.  I littered to make extra work for the custodians.

I'm all, "They may take our contact solution, but they'll never take... our FREEDOM!"

Bree's all, "Um, those baggage tags have your name and address on them."
Me: "Right. Good point." I picked the tags up and threw them away.

So much for my chance to raise an army against The Man. 

Anyone else have airport stories?


  1. very good blog, congratulations
    regard from Reus Catalonia
    thank you

  2. hahhaha my sentiments exactly. Apparently when I'm traveling overseas for a month, it's absurd for my suitcase to be over 50 lbs. I forgot I should only pack one outfit lest my bags be overweight, and I get fined.

    Pure absurdity. I believe in airline security, of course, but I can guarantee I'm not hiding bombs in my flip flops, and I really should have to strip down to my knickers to make it through security.

  3. I remember almost getting stuck in London, when you were 6 months pregnant, because of a ticket snafu from our travel agent. That was awesome.

    I remember mailing my little swiss army knife for like 5 straight flights because I forgot to take it off my key chain every time that I got to the airport. .

    Now I just show up with no bags, books, very little clothing and just walk on thru. Security appreciates me...the people on the flight wish I were wearing more clothes though.

  4. Reus- Thanks.

    Melissa- I love the word "knickers"! I know, the weight thing drives me nuts.

    Sam- I can't tell you how many times I'd get a FedEx envelope with your swiss army knife inside every time you went on a business trip. It was like a little present.

  5. once when we were travelling, i had on a sweatshirt and sweat pants (to be comfy in, you know? 4 hour plane ride and all)

    the guy asked i could remove my sweatshirt. i looked at him like he was an idiot, proclaiming that my sweatshirt was "ALL I HAD ON" and he was KA-RAZY if he thought i was removing it so he could get a peep at my saggy post breastfeeding boobs (4 babies for the love of all things holy!)
    and rolls of fat.

    he promptly blushed and moved on to the next person!

    (i told him, right? right?)

  6. Dorien- You totally told him! "She's not takin' it off, suckah!"

    Next time, say, "I'll show you mine when you show me yours..."

    Or just start singing some really bad stripper music, and then have Kyle come in with a low, Barry White, voice, "Oh yeaaahhhh, You know what time it is... It's time to get naakkkkeeedd..."

  7. When I was little, airport security took my kiddie scissors which I was going to use to make friendship bracelets for my cousins. It was tragic.

    I just have to say, your blog is one of my favorites. I read every single post (not to sound like some crazy stalker or anything). They always make me laugh :)

  8. Kate- Okay, that sounds devastating! And as a kid, those memories stick out so much more, don't they? Like those are the ones that are gonna fuel the therapy bills.

    Or maybe that's just me.

    Thanks for the kind words on the blog. I love regular readers!

  9. They really took your contact solution? That's just ridiculous. The worst thing I've been through was at La Guardia. Out of all the people going through the airport, I look like the one who needs to have my baggage rummaged through and to be patted down. Have you seen New Yorkers? I think they look more like terrorists than I do. Maybe, that's why I singled out. ;)

  10. Jenni- Maybe they were all, "She looks to pure to be a terrorist... so she probably is one. Great disguise!"

  11. The only time I ever had a problem was when I put a metal desklamp in my carry on so it wouldn't add to my baggage weight. I guess it looked suspicious because they had to check it out. Luckily they let me keep it, though!

  12. Hi Brodi! We had a very similar lab experience on our last flight. They put their little litmus strip in my water bottle. I'm guessing that they let me carry water through security because of Spencer, even though he doesn't take formula anymore. I was scared to drink it afterward, so I gave it to Jono. I also found myself on hands and knees in the middle of the airport removing items from one suitcase and putting them into another so we could make weight. I'm not really embarrassed at what's in my suitcase, but more the fact that when I unzip it, clothes pop out and go flying across the terminal. Our seats were also all changed (it was the entire familia - 3 little ones and all). We were stuck in the LAST ROW of the plane. And not only were there no windows, but there was the outline of a window like it was teasing my kids. The actual window was all boarded up. The little ones nearly blew a gasket when they realized they would not be able to look out the window. And then Spencer pooped twice mid-flight and I had to change his diaper in that sorry excuse for a bathroom airplane poo chamber. Needless to say, it was very unpleasant. The good part was that I wrote a letter of complaint to this airline that rhymes with shelta and I got $50/person worth of flight vouchers, which I'll never use. Jono told me as were deplaning that he's never going to fly again. Ahhh man.

  13. Not long after 9/11, security confiscated my travel alarm clock "because it could be used as a timing device."

    Most clocks are, dude.

  14. Lulabell- Not many people say they pack desk lamps in their carry-ons. Well done.

    Kristi- My favorite is the outline of the window. As if the previous window had committed suicide, and you got to sit next to the chalk outline.

    p.s. I hate traveling with kids.

    Nomadshan- Ha ha! Too funny.

  15. I have to add my comment to the security scene at the airport. I carefully packed my carry -on for my travels to Russia in June. However, instead of packing my small jar of vaseline, I put in my medium jar (4 0z.) I made it through several airports but in Helsinki, they confiscated it because it was over 3 oz. So frustrating -- I had to suffer chapped lips for the rest of the trip!

  16. Congrats on your new agent, Brodie. I'm excited for you. I meant to comment before, only I didn't. :)

    And sympathies on the airport hassles. Forgot to take the chapstick out of my pocket last year and got snarled at by a terrifying airport security woman. Terror is what they're after,right? Find it or create it, whichever, just so somebody feels like they're doing their job.

    I must look like a good candidate for terrorizing, because I was also singled out for a special pat-down/crotch scan in an American airport last month. Yes, I look threatening. Grrr.

    Then in Korea the security people took away our water bottles--which we bought in the airport after going through security--immediately before getting on the plane.

    Granted, security consisted of asking us (!) if we had anything sharp and opening up all suitcases containing shaving cream. Oooo, we felt safe after that. At least nobody could blow up the plane with orange juice or Edge.

  17. Margaret- I feel your pain. I'd rather go without contact solution for a week than suffer chapped lips for a day!


    Elena- Thanks for the congrats. We missed you in L.A. this year!

    As for your story, we totally could've blown up the plane if we combined your Edge with my contact solution. I think I learned that in Chemistry at one point...

  18. Back in about 2004(ish), I was on a business trip in Tennessee. I worked like 19 hours straight the night/day before I left (had been working 12-14 hours through the night for the two weeks prior). By the time I got to the airport, I had had like 3 hours of sleep in the previous 38 or so hours. So I was a little grumpy. Going through security, they confiscated my half full jar of peanut butter, saying it was a "cream". I pointed out that it was crunchy peanut butter. The security guy said he still had to take it. Then, I think to try to lighten the mood (did I mention my lack of sleep and general grumpiness? Apparently it showed.) he asked if I had any crackers. I did, in fact, have crackers (peanut butter and crackers were going to be my whatever meal you eat when your days and nights are completely buggered up and you haven't really slept in two days), but I wasn't going to tell him that. And I just moved along.

    I still want my peanut butter back. Well, okay, I don't want MY peanut butter back. But I do think that the guys in the Nashville airport owe me half a jar of peanut butter!

    Also, inexplicably, had a spread my peanut butter on my crackers before going through security, I would have had no problems. It's only when the peanut butter was all together, in the jar, that it was a security threat. Airport security is yet another thing I just do not understand.

  19. Rue- That is crazy. I'd think the nuts in the peanut butter would make it not a cream. You should've told him, "You can have the creamy part, but leave me the chunky part."

    Course, then they'd probably arrest you. Thanks for sharing!