Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Episode One!

Offending Hair Barrette

On Wednesday I will be at home in Ireland for two weeks. As per usual, my journey turned into a stranger than fiction drama of assorted delays.

The day was sunny when I left the house at 10AM. The drive to Minneapolis airport went without a hitch. Boarding pass in hand….getting the bag check went like a breeze. Husband left me in the security queue. TSA passport examiner looked at my passport, I smiled and he scowled. He proceeded to scan my passport with his little flashlight thingy and looked at me again. Maybe I should stop smiling was the thought that ran through my mind. Finally he waved me on. Whew!

I began the removal of shoes, cardigan, laptop, etc. and  walked over to the friendly looking white haired TSA man. With a friendly smile he beckoned me to walk through the metal detector. Horror upon horror, red lights began flashing and the whirring of a siren silenced the hum of chatter as all looked in my direction. Nice grandfatherly TSA man said, “Do you have keys or change in your pockets?” “No” I replied. “Maybe it is your watch or earrings. Why don’t you remove them?” I did as requested and walked through the metal detector once more full of confidence, sure this time I would pass through without incident. Not a chance! Red lights flashing, buzzer shrilling through the air and Grandfatherly TSA man beckoned me back again. “Maybe it is your cross and chain” he decided. I went back to the rolling assembly line and put my cross and chain into another one of the little bowls. I walked through the now intimidating metal detector holding my breath. Why…well maybe breathing was setting the damn thing off. Nope it wasn’t the breathing. I really hate that sound!!!!

Grandfatherly TSA man looked at me sympathetically bringing his walkie- talkie up to his mouth and requested a female agent for a search. The female TSA Agent looked me up and down as she donned her white plastic gloves, asking if I had a metal hip or knee… and then if I agreed to a body pat down. Well I thought to myself…do I have a choice! “If you must,” was my reply. Sure what else could I say! She patted me down the front as other passengers passed by craning their necks to get a good look at this suspicious traveller. Finally she moved around to my back. “Oh,” she said, “It must have been your hair barrette that set the detector off. Of course you had a man at the station you came through…he wouldn’t have noticed that!” I wondered why if she had discovered the culprit she continued the pat down. Giving a small nervous little giggle I replied, “I totally forgot about that. I will make sure to remove it at the next airport.” Pat down finished, she wished me a pleasant journey. I walked barefoot over to the multiple bowls containing my belongings and began putting myself back together.

Oh there is more to this journey, much more……

29 comments:

Talli Roland said...

With a start like that, I can only imagine... :)

Old Kitty said...

Oh noes!!! Oh dear!! Oh Ann!!!! Stop it! LOL!!!

I just hope you get to Ireland safely, soundly and well patted down-ly! LOL!! Take care! x

Theresa Milstein said...

Such a pretty barrette! I'd be stressed over the flashing lights and pat down too.

I thought you got to stay in Ireland longer than two weeks last year. Enjoy!

Brigid said...

Poor you, Ann. I used to have a silver bracelet that set the things off all the time, not nice being put through that humiliation, hope you enjoy your stay.

KarenG said...

A hair barrette? Gah! Looking forward to more adventures by Traveling Ann!

Hilary said...

Hi Ann .. how many episodes?!! I hate those things at the airport .. and I can't wear a barrette - thin hair!!

Just hope the home visit is happy .. but episodes .. oh oh ... cheers for now - Hilary

Karen Walker said...

Ann, oh my gosh - a barrette - I wouldn't have thought of that either. Save journey, my friend.
Karen

Madeline Bartos said...

The last time I went to an airport was before they tightened security. I'd be so embarrassed! It is a gorgeous barrette, though. :)

Ellie Garratt said...

OMG. I would have been mortified, so goodness knows how you felt at the time. But at least it will be a flight to remember!

Ellie Garratt

Scheherazade said...

Well, it sounds like you had a reasonable experience--not like the humiliating and totally unreasonable one the 95-year old woman and her daughter had. Still, flying isn't much fun any more. It used to be something one looked forward to. Now it's like taking a Greyhound bus or worse--a cattle car.

Susannah said...

Oooh Ann, what an ordeal! lol

I am looking forward to more 'adventures'. :-)

Liza said...

Oh dear...not sure if I dare to read more...but I will.

Emily Rittel-King said...

Ha! Airport security has given me so many stories to tell. The last time I went they found a pocket knife in my make-up bag. I forgot I even had it! But oh, did they give me the evil eye. Have a fun trip!

Words A Day said...

Beautiful Barrette. Look forward to Episode Two!

Tracy said...

UGH!!! It's amazing the crap you have to go through just to fly!

Trisha said...

I really hate airports sometimes... Gah!

Kris Yankee said...

Hi Ann. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Goodness, it sounds like your trip is off to an interesting start. If I'd been in your place, I'm sure I would've been shaking in my barefeet. Looking forward to reading more!

Danette said...

Don't we all feel safer knowing that hair barettes set off the alarms. OMG! And they couldn't find that with one of their metal detector things without a pat down? Geez!

Rosalind Adam said...

How embarrassing. Mr A always sets the alarms off. We think it may be something that a dentist applied but it's never gone as far as the disposable gloves.

Jemi Fraser said...

SO frustrating!! I had the heel of a boot set it off once - there was a screw inside the heel. Who knew??? :)

Mary said...

Oh Ann, how awful for you ... on a positive note lots of great material for blogging!!!! Extreme lengths to go to though :-) I have a bangle which travels through the detector system before me now due to a similar incident!

Arlee Bird said...

Hope you have a wonderful trip. Flying is so annoying anymore, although my most recent experiences have been surprisingly smooth and easy.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

What a scary experience! I hope the rest of your trip has only good surprises.

Jan Morrison said...

I'm always singled out and I try to fly naked. Well maybe not entirely naked but as close as I can. Jan Morrison

Misha said...

Aw that sucks! I'm glad you got through it without getting stuck too long. :-)

Theresa Milstein said...

Just stopped by to say hi. Hi!

Michelle Fayard said...

Oh my gosh, you just made me feel so good about not planning any flight-related traveling in the near future!

I’m delighted to be a new follower and have left a response to your comment on Bird’s-eye View at http://michellefayard.blogspot.com/2011/07/getting-blog-comments-to-work-for-you.html.

Tracy Jo said...

Hello Ann! I just found you and am looking forward to reading more. That is one of my worst fears...the pat down. :-) Glad you made it through. ~Tracy

www.evolvingsoul11.com

Arlee Bird said...

Hope your journey went well. Looking forward to hearing about it.


Lee
Tossing It Out