Monday, April 11, 2011
Fight or Flight
So I'm taking Inara through airport security in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday morning and the crack staff of the TSA is being especially difficult.
As I haplessly juggle a toddler, a folded-up umbrella stroller and two carry-on bags -- all while trying to re-dress myself after my virtual cavity search -- an irate agent is demanding that I give her my undivided attention while she runs some kind of Ghostbusters PKE-meter device across a pouch of Caprisun fruit punch she's removed from our luggage. Another agent has already informed me that it was apparently impertinent of me to assume that I could get an 8-ounce bottle of shampoo past him, so needless to say I'm not in the best of moods -- especially not since a sign at the beginning of the line declaring that printing toner cartridges are now forbidden on planes lets me know in no uncertain terms that potential terrorists are still dictating the terms of the game and no part of this little dog-and-pony show is keeping me any safer in the air.
After collecting the now scanned and TSA-Approved Caprisun, I bend down to make sure Inara's boots are zipped up -- still trying to balance the unopened stroller with one hand while making sure our bags don't fall off my shoulder -- when a large female agent who happens to be casually strolling by looks at me and huffs with snotty condescension, "See? Now you know what it's like to be Mommy."
At that, I stop cold, affect an expression of shock and contempt and scold, "Her mother," gesturing to Inara, "died in a car accident last year."
The look of absolute shame on that woman's face -- I'm telling you, it's the little moments.