There was a pretty bad storm in West Virginia last night, which is why I find myself at 5:10am waiting at my gate in Yeager Airport, Charleston for a flight leaving in 50 minutes. The flight I should have been on would have had me arriving at 11:52pm last night.
If you’ve done any flying since 9/11, which you’ve probably done at least once, you know the drill.
Watch off. Belt off. Pockets emptied. Laptop taken out of backpack and placed in plastic bin. Step into the enclosure, place feet on yellow footprints and lift arms above head. Finally, a TSA officer of the same gender strokes your sides sensually, and you’re pronounced ready to fly.
What I didn’t expect was the little addition at the end. A female agent pulled my backpack off the trolley.
“I need to inspect this.”
She frowned when she turned up something.
Please, God, I thought. I hope no one planted crack while I was sleeping.
She held up her prize, a can of Red Bull.
“I’m sorry, but you can’t take this in with you. You can either throw it away or go back out and drink it.”
“So I can’t drink it here?” I asked. I knew the answer but I asked anyway.
“No.” The frown deepened.
“Throw it away then,” I said. No point going back out, taking off my belt… Actually I wouldn’t mind all that. I just don’t like being patted down, all the while hoping your pants don’t fall down.
As I zipped up my backpack, a thought occurred to me. I’d actually gone through security last night with three cans, two of which I consumed during the night.
“Is there any reason I was able to get in with these last night?” I asked, unable to resist the question. I hoped I didn’t sound like a terrorist on reconnaissance.
“I wasn’t working last night,” was her reply.
I believe she looked quite smug and there was a bit of a swagger in her step as she walked away.
And that, my friends, is the most arrogant line I’ve heard from anyone in 8 years.