Airport Security and the Absent Minded Boy
I find the pressure of getting on a plane and being flying a very minimal thing as compared to the angst of going through airport security. Why? It's such a high pressure situation. An, 'am I doing everything correctly so as not to piss anyone off' task. Believe me, there are a LOT of people you can piss of. To name a few, The security personnel (there's a lot of them), The people in line behind you (a lot of them too!) and sometimes even the people in front of you (don't accidentally push their things around, they'll snap at you like hungry gators.) I ALWAYS try, maybe too hard to be as amiable as possible... Let's face it, I'm a people pleaser and people who make a raucous horrify me.
So, there we are heading out to California, going through airport security. Since my son is a bit too old to have his mom fishing through his pockets to make sure he's emptied them of all paraphernalia, I trusted him to 'know what to do.' However, we are talking about the classic example of 'The Absent-Minded Professor' here... A boy who is very often completely detached from the circumstances surrounding him. So, this is what it looked like:
Security Guy to Son: "Step forward please."
Son: *steps forward*
*beep* *beep* *beep* *beep*
Security Guy to Son: "Son, do you have a belt on."
Son: "Um, yeah.... Uh, wait... I think it might be my PDA."
Me off to the side, safely through security: "Are you kidding me?"
You see, I just couldn't believe that he would go through all the measures of placing his lap-top in a bin, removing his shoes, placing his back-pack on the conveyor belt and then FORGET he had an electronic device IN HIS POCKET!
Why should it bother me so? It's this lingering sense of responsibility, that I know I really should let go but just can't because I'm such a control freak.
Fast forward to 10 days later when we're at LAX getting ready to go through security. I tell the boy to have his i.d. ready and ask him if he's taken his PDA out of his pocket.
Son: *feels pants pockets and says* "Uh, yeah... yeah I did." *feels jacket pockets* "But wait, I didn't take my extendable fork out of my jacket?
Me: *with a great sense of horror* "YOU WHAT?... Are you freakin' kidding me?"
I mean, I could only surmise what they might do to you if you're carrying around a projecting fork? Couldn't you put out a pilots eye with something like that and take over an entire airplane? They've pulled people out of line for nail clippers... What would they do to someone carrying an extendable fork?
So the boy gives me that 'Don't have a cow Mom' face and begins to empty his pockets of the nefarious fork and a screwdriver/wrench thing he carries around... And after that, I just quite watching... And I'll just quickly mention that he DIDN'T have his i.d. OUT of his wallet and ready like I told him, which resulted in a 15 minute argument about what having your i.d. OUT really means.
Screwdriver Wrenches, Extending Forks, PDA's and any other symbols of possible terrorist activity aside, the boy obviously made it through security and safely home but I swear I have seen at LEAST 16 new gray hairs as a result.