Standing 5’7″ tall and weighing 130 lbs., I, apparently am the threat of the month at TSA San Diego International Airport. Denver’s airport as well.
The Lobster and I were invited to a friend’s wedding last weekend. This would mean a trip to Colorado.
I was excited to meet my husband’s friends and pleased to be out of the office and away from home for the weekend.
It would be a very short-lived weekend though. I knew this before embarking on our misadventure. We would depart on Saturday morning at the ungodly hour of 3 am and return on Sunday at midnight.
I don’t care who you are, that’s fucked up.
When my eyes peeled open reluctantly on Saturday, I decided that comfort would be of the utmost importance for traveling purposes. I made the decision to forgo the sequence evening gown and feather boa I had laid out the evening before and begrudgingly threw on a pair of loose-fitting overalls. My trusted Chuck Taylor’s would complete my look.
4 am San Diego International: The Fun’s About To Begin.
Lobster and I approach the gate and show our photo ID’s to the TSA agent. Step one: complete.
We proceed to take our shoes off and place them in the cat litter boxes. I don’t know why no one has ever called those containment boxes out for what they are – they’re either “never used” or “gently used” cat litter boxes. Get comfortable with it, people.
The agent calls me to step into the whirlpool machine and “assume the position.” I’m fairly certain he doesn’t mean for me to grab my ankles. I imitate the little non-binary drawing on the glass in front of me. I’m feeling saucy and want to ask if this is the little stick-girls’ whirlpool or the little stick-boys’ whirlpool? The drawing is unclear and it wasn’t marked “gender neutral.”
Turns out I’m a dumbass and only I find myself humorous.
Deborah with the man hands pulls me aside and asks if I mind if she pats me down right there or if I want her to take me into a private room?
Wait, what just happened?
Yeah, apparently overalls have too many pockets and clasps for their “sensitive tech” and she’ll need to make sure I’m not a threat. So…can she feel me up here in front of everyone or should she take me somewhere private?
Listen, Deborah, unless you have a table covered in cocaine and glasses full of red wine back there somewhere, right here is fine. I’m fucking tired and a drink sounds real good, but you’re probably not gonna hook me up, so can we get this over with?
Deborah does her thing – telling me everywhere that she intends to pat me down before she actually does it. In fairness, if she wasn’t such a beast, it’d be pretty hot. I thought we were done but just then, she started to pull out these little cloth strips.
Are those pore cleansing strips? Alright, I know I don’t use a foaming cleanser at night but you can’t tell me I have deep-set blackheads and that you’re going to rectify my skin predicament right now. What is this bitch doing?
My husband informed me that she was testing me for explosives. Ain’t that bout a bitch?! I liked her better when she was talking dirty to me.
Inside the airport, we take a seat just outside our gate and wait for the plane. This is when all fresh hell breaks loose.
I decide, moments before boarding begins, that I should use the restroom. I don’t want to use the toilet on the airplane; that’s fucking gross. There’s always piss on the floor and although I’m not a large person, still, I always feel like an ogre in those toilets. I feel as though I’ll come crashing through the doors like Hulk – like the Hulk with someone else’s piss and toilet paper stuck to the bottom of his shoes.
I return from the regular person sized stall, in the regular person sized bathroom and prepare to board the plane. Others’ have already begun this process. I grab for my ID that was in my top pocket of my adorable Americana “TSA gonna fuck with you” overalls. It isn’t there. Panic.
It occurs to me that the sound I had thought I heard in the stall, the sound of something hitting the floor, was most likely not my overall clasp at all, but probably my ID. With terror in my veins, I run back to the bathroom, telling my husband to wait for me; like maybe he was gonna say, Nah – fuck her…
To my great dismay, that shit was gone. Someone snatched it up. I told my husband, “Someone is doing nefarious shit with my ID right now, I guarantee it.” Somewhere, someone is chalking up fat rails of dope with my face. God knows they can’t get apply for a loan with my information.
We rushed to TSA; it wasn’t there. We tried contacting Lost and Found but it was still too goddamn early – they weren’t open. It was shit or get off the pot time. Do I board with him or go home?
It was a 2 hour flight but I didn’t have to piss once.
Getting home would be fun.
I’ll spare you the detailed account of the phone calls to foreign customer service representatives named “Derek,” me losing my shit repeatedly on our trip, & how The Lobster held shit together and was ultimately correct in the end about the outcome. What I will say is that this was not the only pat-down I would receive on this trip.
I made it back through Denver International with a passport I had in my possession. Sure, the last name didn’t match what was on our ticket, but who really looks at those things anymore, right?
What TSA seemed to care about was patting me down again! This time I wasn’t wearing my overalls either. I was wearing jogging pants and a t-shirt. Now, I know that chick just wanted to get between my legs. I should be honored, but again, she was a big woman with “healthy” hands. Where are all the Portia de Rossis of the TSA world?
The wedding we attended was lovely, I still have the mosquito bites to remind me. I may write about that at some point, too. For now though, I’m busy nursing a resentment. If you’re going to put your hands between my legs and touch my tits, you’d better be ready to finish the job.
TSA San Diego and Denver – zero stars!