Live! At the Whiney-A-Go-Go!

June 19, 2006

Luggage holding

Filed under: life — letslucky @ 9:22 am

Thanks to MT I recently got a nice little rollaboard suitcase, which is the perfect size for a weeklong trip. I packed it all up and plan to use it as checked baggage, but on the way to the airport JN pointed out that it works as a carryon. Sure, I'll try that, so I did express checkin and I was in the security line with plenty of time to make my flight.

Of course I'm flagged for baggage search. Of course it's the bag I thought I'd check.
Did I forget something verboten in there? I was going to bring the 250-piece hacksaw set for my friend, but I thought I'd left that at home. The little gift of C4 that I'd cleverly wrapped in a package of colorful wire hadn't fit, so I left it at home too. Maybe it was my security-blanket Bowie knife that I always keep nearby?

It was TSA training day or something, because I had two screeners going through my luggage. Thoroughly.
With the ginger care shown by competitive builders of houses of cards.
Each item was carefully removed from the suitcase and placed on the table: my shoes efficiently stuffed with socks, the extra toothpaste I tossed in at the last second, the giant stack of books I always somehow travel with even when I try to pack light.

At least this time I didn't have a suitcase stuffed full of vibrators. Not like some trips.

The bag is now completely empty and has been inspected and swabbed and felt up for hidden pockets. Am I done? Not hardly.

As each item is replaced in the bag it is thoroughly unfolded, patted down, massaged, sniffed, and held up to the light. If Tshirts had tea leaves, mine would be read. By now 45 minutes or so has gone by, and my flight is just about finished boarding. And yet the search continues.

Finally I pass muster, and everything has been piled back into my previously-tidy bag. I shoved it back together as best I could, zipped up, and sprinted to the gate, where they're calling my name. Of course the flight is full. Of course there's no space for my rollaboard. Of course I have to check the thing anyway.

As I'm shoehorning myself into my middle seat (ugh), the flight attendant comes by, talking with a maintenance worker. She points out that some of the armrests are coming apart, and can he fix them before takeoff. Mr Maintenace pulls out a roll of duct tape (of course!) and cuts a length from the roll with the Leatherman tool that he pulls from his back pocket.

A Leatherman.

With giant blades and pointy things.

In his back pocket.

Past security, in an area where people saw at steaks with plastic butter knives. So that he can hold the plane together with duct tape.

I feel much safer now.


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