I do a lot of traveling. Like most people who travel for business, I hate it. Invariably I am rushing just to get to the airport with a shot at making it through security quickly enough that I catch my flight. And as I am almost always trying to pack as much business as I can into the day before heading to the airport, the stress mounts pretty quickly.
My recent trip to Nashville though, offered a pleasant change from all that. With, as the song says. no deeds to do, no promises to keep, I spent a lovely couple hours with my friend Karen and then Susan painting ceramic vases at one of those “paint your pot” places. I know, they are typically overpriced for what you get, but for me, a couple hours doing anything artistic at the end of a road trip is worth its weight in gold.
I arrived at the airport early (Vegas oddsmakers take a beating) and grabbed a Starbucks before I joined the miraculously short security line. My story starts in the “full body scanner,” which instantly tagged me as a problem. A male officer stopped me and swiped my hands with a soft brush. Then he called over a female agent and tells her she needs to take me out of line privately for an “enhanced pat down.” She in turn enlisted the help of another female agent. Apparently they had evidence of a “white powdery substance” all over my hands, so now they they needed to check my entire body.
They took me to a small room and closed the door. While respectfully asking me for permission to touch my private areas, they told me I was forbidden from handling my purse, my laptop, my carry-on. They said they all needed to be tested. The agent began sliding her gloved hand up and down my inner thighs, (it was not as romantic as you think) and the two of them told me not to laugh. But that made the scene even funnier. The lead agent gave me plenty of notice about what was to happen, but I found the TSA lingo hilarious: When she hit my most personal of parts, she shouted, “RESISTANCE!” Then, on her way back down, she alerted me with, “RELEASE!” This happened over and over, and I couldn’t help but think of ways I could work that word duet into the next conversation with my husband.
Somewhere around the third time I heard the word “RELEASE,” I suddenly realized what was going on. Any guesses? Well, the white powdery substance now found on my hands, shoes, pocketbook and derriere, apparently migrated onto my body from the pottery session I had earlier in the day. That weightless ceramic powder flies all over the place like fairy dust. Who knew?
The TSA team ultimately released me, but I had to sprint like an NFL running back to the gate. I was the last one on board, and felt sorry for the poor schmuck I sat with — who was subjected to a slightly less coherent version of this story.