Monday, April 23, 2012

Airborne Illogical & My Juicy Lucy

WARNING: There could be cursing in this blog post. If you don't like cursing, it's okay. You can just not read this post. This warning may serve for all future blog posts. There will be more cursing. ALL CAPS LADY insists on this.

So, I fly a lot.
I fly enough to know what's allowed on a plane and what's not allowed on a plane.
But sometimes, we all make mistakes.

I have two kids and they are cute. I like to buy them cool things from the places where I fly. They have to miss me and not hug me and not play freeze tag with me for a few days while I'm gone, so it's the least I can do, right?

I like snow globes. And they love snow globes.
Snow globes are filled with--gasp--liquid.
As it is, snow globe liquid is not approved liquid. It is less than 3 ounces, sure, and it has boss sparkles, yeah. But it's not approved. Not even if it's a Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox snow globe.

Paul Bunyan Snowglobe
This is the exact snow globe.
Flickr Photo: Mike Fabio 
Usually I buy my snow globes in the airport. But the Minneapolis St. Paul airport doesn't have any of these particular snow globes for sale. They have moose snow globes. I ask you: what kid wants a moose snow globe? Or a loon snow globe? I mean, when they could have a cheesy Paul Bunyan snow globe instead?

I'm getting ahead of myself.
I bought the snow globes at the hotel. I packed them in my big Doc Marten boot because kickass boots like that have hollow spaces and will protect said boss snow globes. Plus, packing things in the hollow spaces of one's boot to fit four days' worth of stuff into a carry-on is just logical. And I am all about the logic, as you know.

The security checkpoint scene went like this:

I do the proper amount of clothing removal, send four things through the X-ray machine.
I walk through the metal detector and the guy complements me on my squid. I thank him.
My guard is down.
I do not expect anything to go wrong.
I have not thought deeply about the fact that there are two not approved Paul Bunyan snow globes in my kickass Doc Marten boot inside my R2D2 carry-on suitcase. I have not thought about it at all.

I have other things on my mind.

So, I'm at the area where my stuff gets spit out. First comes my leather and my shoes and iPhone and then my laptop. Then my backpack. And then I stand there watching the X-ray guy really inspect the shit out of the contents of my R2D2 carry-on and I can't tell why he's so concerned. He calls another TSA person over and she says, "I guess it's my turn. Lucky me."

I say, "Looks like we're in it together." She doesn't smile.

She takes every damn thing out of my suitcase looking for this thing that she has a close-up image of on her screen. I keep asking her what she's looking for so I can help her, but she doesn't answer. A book falls on the floor. A shirt. (They have tiny tables for this searching in the MSP airport.) And as she closes in on the only thing left--my right boot, I realize what I've done wrong.

I say, "Oh shit. It's the snow globes."
She says, "Snow globes aren't allowed."
I say, "I know. I know. Shit."
She says, "Where are they?"
I try to get control of my suitcase back from her so I can reach into the boot and get them for her. "In my boot," I say.
"Why'd you put them in your boot?" she asks.
"It's just a logical place to put them, don't you think?"
Now she's looking at me as if I'm nuts.
But isn't it logical? Don't we all stuff our hollow shoes with dirty underwear on our way home? Posse, tell me I'm not alone in this.

Anyway, she finally gets the snow globes out. She doesn't even open the fuckin' bag. She just takes them out and says again. "Snow globes aren't allowed." Then she adds, "If you want to keep them you have to check the bag."
She then explains that this will take a while and we both know security is about 40 minutes long at this point.
They cost me five bucks a piece.
I ask her if she has kids and if she wants the snow globes or knows anyone who might.
She sneers at me. In hindsight, I guess a Paul Bunyan snow globe is no big deal to a kid from Minnesota.

What she does next is what's been eating me.

She dropped the bag with the snow globes into the trash can right there in the security area.
So. My dangerous, possibly explosive and not approved items were...put right there next to a line of 100 people waiting to go next.

Look. I get it. I get that some shit isn't allowed on airplanes. And I'm not anybody special, I get that too. And I knew the snow globes were going in the trash. I gave her permission to take them away. But to toss them in a trash can seems a bit odd to me considering they were confiscated because they were potentially dangerous.

Not logical at all.
Maybe install a chute for potentially dangerous snow globes? So they can be deposited far, far away from innocent people waiting in line to get X-rayed? I don't know. It just seemed so...mean.

I even went into this shop. Who knew the Fox News Channel
had a shop? Nice HUNGER GAMES display, though. 
Anyway. I went to every store in the airport and couldn't find anything but moose and loon snow globes. I ended up buying the kids keychains instead. One of them already broke.

So then, my flight to D.C. was a bit weird.
Fact: if you ever become a pilot please don't ever mutter these words into the matter how confident your confident-pilot voice is: We got a bit too close to the plane in front of us.

Yeah. Keep that shit to yourself.

But here's the kicker.

This guy. He came onto the tiny propellor jet that took me from D.C. to PA. He was a run-of-the-mill camouflage hat-wearing dude. Jeans. Construction boots. He got on the plane last on a standby ticket.

He sat in the very first seat, and then for some reason, three minutes after he got on, he was asked to leave the plane. I don't know why. It all happened in the middle of a nasty rainstorm and I don't know why they ask people to leave already-boarded planes. He got up, took his bag out of the overhead and called back to his friend.

"Dude! They're not letting me on. You gotta come with." He turned to the flight attendant and explained that the other guy was his pal. Then he turned to the whole plane--12 rows of us and said, "I'm a terrorist!"

And I repeat. Keep that shit to yourself. I don't care how pissed off you are. Or how great you think you are at sarcasm. I don't care how long of a day you had. I don't care about anything. You don't say "I'm a terrorist" to a planeful of people strapped into a propellor jet in heavy rain. There were two kids on the plane, man.

At times like those, I want to quote the squid from EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. "The world is full of assholes. What are you doing to make sure you're not one of them?"


I got to dine with Andrew Karre and Brian Farrey and in so doing, I discovered Hells Kitchen's ham, cheese and pear sandwich.

I got to finally visit the Flux offices in Woodbury and had an absolute blast with the amazing people at Flux. I'd been wanting to do that for 5 years, so it was great. Marissa and Steven and Brian and Sandy and everyone else who came out to see me, I really appreciate it. Also, on the record, Marissa is the best parallel parker I've ever met.

I got to meet the one and only Adela Peskorz and the awesome teens at Teens Know Best, who ROCK.

I got to read at The Loft on Saturday. I have this picture of Becky Davis reading from Chasing Alliecat.

I think someone posted a slightly blurry one of me on Twitter....oh yeah. It's here. With huge thanks to Anne Greenwood Brown for the shot!

After this, I ate the best hamburger I ever ate. And if you know me, you know I don't eat hamburgers. We went here and had a Juicy Lucy:

End of way-too-long blog post.
Now I have to go write a book between school visits until Rochester Teen Book FAVORITE PLACE ON EARTH...coming May 19th.

Rock it.

Addendum: My good friend from the way back machine has informed me that the trademarked spelling for a Juicy Lucy is: "Jucy Lucy." Either way, it was gorgeous. 


Kristen Pelfrey said...

You are not alone. I would put that in caps but I have total respect for ALL CAPS LADY.
Maybe the guy got kicked off the plane because he was not nice about the TSA getting rid of his snow globes.
Maybe he had Lewd Snow Globes, and that really made them mad.
What kind of person does not want to give a Paul Bunyan/Babe snow globe to kid?
It should not be that hard to be nice.
And you are right. If snow globes are so dangerous, there should be some kind of haz-mat bio-level 4 protocol.
How come loons and moose are okay but not Paul and Babe? I sense me some Tall Tale discrimination.
I get pulled over by TSA almost every time I fly.
And I don't own any snow globes, or carry them.
Maybe we can MAIL some snow globes home from California in June.
And you did meet cool people and ate a good burger. So that's good.

Susan Adrian said...

Just have to say-- I'm with you on the snow globe/plane stuff. I understand why they do it, but it just makes NO SENSE.

*shakes head*

And the guy who got kicked off might have found himself in a security interview after his comment!

Matthew MacNish said...

I grew up in Minnesota. Apparently that TSA lady forgot how to be Minnesota nice.

Now, have you ever had to bring human remains on a plane? After my father died, and was cremated, my sisters and I divided his ashes up, so that we could use them to do weird things with, like plant trees, roll joints, and throw them into every ocean in the world.

So anyway, I had this giant bag of my father's ashes with me, and I sure as fuck wasn't going to check them, but apparently you have to DECLARE when you're trying to carry such things through security. It was the craziest scene ever. The supervisors all came over, and apparently they are not allowed to x-ray the item, so that have to visually inspect it, but aren't allowed to touch it.

It was pretty nerve-wracking, and the attention was stressful and embarrassing, but probably not as embarrassing as being the poor guy who was still on the plane after his friend claimed to be a terrorist.

Anyway. The Jucy Lucy is the burger with the cheese on the inside, right? There's actually this big war about who invented it in Minny.

Andrew Karre is kind of my hero.

Valerie said...

i don't know how many pairs of nail clippers i've been asked if i want to have mailed to my house or thrown away because i forgot to keep them at home. why didn't they give you that option? man, nail clippers and snow globes - together they could create some sort of nuclear device i guess.

Maya said...

I had my hand lotion taken away at an airport. The expensive kind that was vanilla scented. I think the security guy put it in his bag for his girlfriend or wife or something. Jerk.

Can't wait to see you at TBF, Amy! I'll be one of your minions. :D