Monday, August 25, 2008

So on the one hand, it really sucks, but if you're not actually a terrorist, it does seem to have its perks

My flight to San Diego was out of Dulles at 8:23 on a Saturday morning.

I'd checked in online the day before, and got to Dulles about 7:10. The line for people who had already checked in but had to check a bag was only marginally shorter than the other line. And it crawled. Which makes you feel like really, what's the point?

Usually I try to only bring a carry-on, but this time I'd simply packed too many shoes. The price of vanity.

The line was painfully slow. I zoned out and shuffled along as the line progressed.

There was a thin, blonde, twitchy woman in front of me with her thin, blonde, bored teenage daughter. The woman kept craning her neck and scanning.

"Do you see Daddy? Where did they take him?"

You could tell they'd had this conversation before. The daughter had very calm responses.

"I don't know."

"I just can't believe they have him on that terrorist watch list."

"It's because of his name."

"He doesn't have a terrorist name. It's not like he has a Middle Eastern, terrorist-sounding name."

"No, Mom. You know it's because he has a totally cheesy ordinary name that terrorists like to use as aliases."

"I know. I know."

I was itching to ask what Daddy's name was. But didn't.

Time passed. The line barely moved. The woman looked around every few seconds.

"Here he is!"

Daddy - an innocuous looking white guy - appeared. Empty handed.

"Where are your bags?"

Daddy replied, "They put them through."

"Well, clearly it's a better deal to be on the terrorist watch list."


  1. i bet his name was Joe Smith... or Cat Stevens

  2. "He doesn't have a terrorist name"...that is like "he doesn't LOOK gay".

  3. Airports make me nervous.

  4. But he has to go through that *every time* he tries to fly. He can *never* check in online. He can *never* check in at the curb. Ugh.

    I'm not on any watch list - at least not yet - but being a big brown guy, I get 'pulled aside' for extra screening quite often. It's annoying... and being patted down regularly is just plain uncomfortable.

    blah. :-\

  5. I would SO have asked her what her husband's name was. and if my 17 year old daughter was with me, she would have almost fainted with embarrassment.

  6. Well, putting his bags through is the least they can do, after what they put *him* through.

    But good for them, for finding some good in the situation.

    I can only manage a carry-on if it's a one-night stay. Any more than that, and I have to check bag(s), so I'm thinking you're probably not as vain as you think. :o)

  7. notsojenny - I was really wondering what his "cheesy ordinary name" was.

    Lemmonex - I know, exactly right! But don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are gay terrorists...

    HKW - Me, too, and I hate time in airports but I like to have enough time for everything, because the rushing makes me even more stressed. I just barely had time to buy my water, trash magazine, and big bag of M&Ms before it was time to board.

    VVK - As you know, I just don't believe a lot of these things make us safer. And I am sure you always get extra hassled.

    LJ - Yah, she very clearly did not want to be having that conversation. And I know when I was a teenager, in that situation I'd have passed out if someone asked.

    Jessica - No kidding. Plus they probably took it aside to take apart entirely. I think the mother was more pissed about our eternal line. As for the packing, I have had enough delayed/lost bags to have gotten really good at cramming everything in. I hate the uncertainty of whether or not stuff will arrive.

  8. Also... your shoes are a lot smaller than mine. If I take any shoes, other than the ones I'm wearing, I have to check bags... my shoes just take up too much room.

    Yet another disadvantage of being tall... :-\

    (okay... I'll stop whining.)

  9. Um, no sympathy on the height and shoes. You know I buy the tallest shoes I can! 5" wedges take up a lot of room!

  10. Ha, I haven't flown in a while but should maybe consider changing my name so it's less of a hassle?

  11. My father in law is on the terrorist watch list as well, gets stopped every time.

  12. My father in law is on the terrorist watch list as well, gets stopped every time.

  13. My father in law is on the terrorist watch list as well, gets stopped every time.

  14. My father in law is on the terrorist watch list as well, gets stopped every time.


Tell me about it.