(Had to cut and paste this in after the fact.)
I’m writing this post from the airplane; I’ve never used my laptop on a plane before. I always thought those business people who pecked away during a flight were pretentious and ridiculous.
Here I am.
This same laptop caused me some trouble at the security post. After I undressed and emptied my soul into grey plastic tubs, I passed through the machine without beeping and breathed a sigh of relief. It was a short-lived moment, as the female security officer told me that she decided to inspect my laptop. It seemed random and harmless, so I wasn’t worried. I know for sure I’m not up to any trouble.
So I get pulled off to the side and she puts my computer on a metal desk. I waited for her to open it and turn it on, but I don’t think she ever did. Suddenly, she looked very serious and barked to the others, “We’ve got an alarm here!”
I probably rolled my eyes but obeyed their commands to step aside and put my personal belongings back into a grey bucket to be rescanned on the conveyor belt. They took my carry-on bag away from me and began to “inspect” it. While the woman took out every single item in my bag and wiped a tiny white cloth all over the inside, another security person asked me some questions.
“Have you used any lotions or hand creams today, ma’am?”
You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. I’m a girl, aren’t I?
What came out of my mouth was, “Yes, of course I have. I have creams all over my face and my body.” I guess my tone was a little irritable, since he reminded me that if I did not cooperate, they would not be able to let me board my plane.
I’m still not sure what my body lotion had to do with the alarm on my PC, or why my bag had to be emptied out entirely, or why I had to be frisked in front of everyone with my legs shoulder-width apart while everybody passed by with a relieved look on their faces, thinking, “Thank god it’s not me.” But I finally made it through the ordeal in time to catch my flight.
That’s when I get pissed about 911 – every time I have to empty my pockets and walk around in my socks at the airport and have some uniformed stranger looking through all of my things. I hate the government for letting the terrorists win this round.
Once I was on the plane, I looked around and was pleasantly surprised to see some very nice-looking men. Maybe my middle seat wouldn’t be too bad – it gave me two chances to sit beside someone interesting. Instead, I found a quiet older woman on the aisle, and a Jersey Girl clad in a black velour sweat suit at the window who had no sense of personal space. She smelled of cigarette smoke and sniffed wet sniffs.
I felt packed into my seat with my arms pinned against my sides. I looked across the aisle at the man in the pin-striped shirt who was sprawling with his newspaper into the aisle in a commanding way. I decided I needed to apply that sort of attitude in my own row, so I bullied my way onto the arm rest beside Miss Velour and held my ground. She eventually backed off and leaned against the window.
I can’t wait to get there.