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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Gonna Fly Now (The Tickets are Nonrefundable)

*This first ran when I contemplated hopping across a few states to drop in to the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop.  But now, as the saying goes, the tickets are nonrefundable.)

I’m contemplating taking a trip.  It doesn’t look that far on the map.  A few states up, maybe a little to the left, give or take a few fast food restaurants and a national monument or two, but stopping short of making a pass over scary bodies of water if you don’t count the restrooms on the Interstate.

But I’d have to fly.  I’m not afraid of flying; I did it in quite a carefree manner before I got married.

In 1982.

Thirty years ago we didn’t have to take our shoes off to get permission to board the plane.  As a matter of fact, we didn’t have to take ANYTHING off to board the plane.  We checked our luggage for free and got clever little bags of peanuts for a snack at naptime.  It was better than kindergarten.

The nice people at the gate set my pocketbook on a little conveyor that ran through a box that looked like a tiny carwash without the water or me screaming where nobody could hear me, and sent me on my way.  They figured out I had no money or authentic signed Elvis photographs and wished me well.  We parted as friends.

These days I’ve heard so many horror stories, I’m afraid to approach the airport without hiring Chuck Norris to serve as my personal bodyguard.  If I can’t get Chuck, I could make do with my husband before he's had his morning coffee. But that seems cruel, although not unusual.

I’m not afraid of flying, I’m afraid of TSA.

I’ve heard ugly stories about patdowns, and I don’t want to get my Spanx in a wad over how much Preparation H I’m bringing on board. Beauty pageant contestants use it to tighten the skin on their assets and I might need more than the allowed amount to look my best.

Also, I have trouble with shoes.  Sure, it’s no problem to kick off my orthopedic oxfords in the spirit of goodwill to protect our national safety, but at my age it could take the entire Olympic gymnastics team and a couple of off duty Air Marshals to get them on again.  Here agility is the key.  Even terrorists can’t increase flexibility in something that hasn’t exceeded a twenty-five degree angle in 35 years.  These hips don’t lie.

All in all I’m a trooper about anything that will keep folks safe.  But the fluid limitation is going to be a problem. Everyone is allowed a quart-sized carry-on baggie to hold personal items totaling no more than 3.4 ounces of fluid. I’m 54 years old.  I retain more water than that when I brush my teeth.

And if I’m going to have to bend over to tie my shoes, somebody needs to be holding something larger than a quart-sized baggie.

Those Interstate restrooms are looking better all the time.



dysfunctionalscrapbooking said...

I, for one, am very glad that you are flying to the Erma conference! I'm looking forward to meeting you in person. I don't know if you remember that we "met" maybe 3 or 4 years ago, when you sent me a nice note after I had a piece turned down by a site you were involved with. It gave me the confidence to keep trying!


Amy Mullis said...

I've never forgotten. I voted for your piece because you had such a way with putting the words exactly right. I've kept my eye on you ever since, and I understand you're doing well! See you at Ermas!

Amy Mullis said...

Okay, that sounds creepy. I meant I've kept up with you! :)

Rajean said...

Looking forward to meeting you at the Erma workshop. In the bar. Where everyone afraid of the TSA gathers. For war stories. I shouldn't have said that. You'll be fine.

Amy Mullis said...

That'll be grea. . .wait. War stories! What?!