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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Traveling to the Con! OR Stuff Happens and I've Got to Make Comments! Snarky Comments! Part 1

The Failure of the Underwear!

Recently I attended the Hampton Roads Writer's Conference.  Yes, I know. I have mentioned it before.  But let me tell you, nothing ever goes the way you plan it to go, just as a general rule.  Never.  Nopus mopus.  Not going to happen.  Fret not.  I shall explain.  I shall illustrate.  Also I shall caption photos for I had my Droid and was happy to use it in a nonlethal fashion.

Day one.  HIM and I dropped the kid off at school and then he dropped me off at the airport.  The Huntsville International Airport is not a large airport.  In fact it has three (3!) baggage areas for those times where tons of passengers will be plying for their luggage in an unruly, impatient, I-haven't-gotten-to-smoke-a-cig-in-3-hours-sort of manner.  I quickly dropped off my bag.  I paid Delta Airlines $25 for the privilege of doing it this way and I've got something to say about that later.  (This may be a long blog.  Possibly it could be a two parter.  Possibly it could be longer.  I can wax prolifically when I'm so inclined.)  Then I got to go through security.
Let us briefly contemplate the word security.  I believe that folks need to be able to travel safely.  This means that we all must go through the metal detector and whatnot.  Our luggage must be checked.  Thanks to the shoe bomber dude, our shoes must be checked, too.  So okay.  I totally get that.

But these full body scanners?  Well, I'm somewhat ambivalent about.  When I came into the security area and saw they had one, I went, "Well, that's special."  I did everything I was supposed to do.  Took off the shoes, jewelry, wrist brace, et cetera.  I waited my turn.  Then I went into the thing.  It's kind of like a space capsule.  It's got little footie prints at the bottom to show you where to put your footies, little or otherwise.  Turns out that you have to spread your feet pretty wide to get your feet where the footie prints are.

As soon as I did that, the elastic in my underwear failed.  (Catastrophic failure, friends.  They fell.)  (Too much information?)  Fortunately I wasn't wearing a skirt but jeans and jeans are GOOD in this situation!  But I was imagining what the guy looking at the screen image of me was seeing.  So I raised my arms like the other guy told me to (There was also a graphic image on the inside of the space capsule 5000 so you couldn't mess it up unless you happen to be blind, in which case, sorry) and all I could think of was "Failed elastic!  Failed elastic!  Failed elastic!"  (This is the story of my life.)  (Fat Woman: A Tale of Failed Underwear.)

Here's an image from so you can imagine what it looks like, if you haven't already experienced this thrill.  (I couldn't find one where someone's underwear decided to go south so oh well.)
There was a guy with a gun watching me.  Not a lady who looked happy.
I can only assume that she had elastic that did not fail.
And here's an image of what the person at the computer sees.  (I couldn't find one of a fat woman, but I found a woman with a gun and a little plumpness.)  This is from
I totally did not have the gun or whatever else this woman's got.
I'm so sorry but this woman looks completely funky.  She's
like a mix of zombie, ghost, and freaky character who was once
dipped in heavy-duty acid.
I was so mortified that my underwear's elastic broke that when the TSA agent said to walk out, I walked into the wall of the scanner.  (If I wasn't beat red enough before that, I quickly made up for it.)

Then the other TSA guard stopped me because in the scanner image there was a suspicious black thing running down my back.  I don't know what they thought it was but it was my braid, which was still wet.  (People, I've got hair that goes to my tushy and I don't blow dry it because it would take forever.  Yes, the braid was wet and yes, the full body scanner sees something wet as something black and they will check it.)  (Yes, the TSA actually felt that it was necessary to examine my braid to see if it was a deadly weapon.  I'm not making this up.)

So the TSA people had to determine whether or not my braid was a deadly weapon.  Haha.  I wasn't laughing at the time.

After a certain length of time (no pun intended toward length of hair) I was allowed to go and stock up on Starbucks and run into the bathroom.  Fortunately the people at the full body scanner said nothing about the catastrophic underwear failure.  But then I hadn't gotten to my first stop at the Atlanta International Airport.

This requires another moment of contemplation. 
 At the Atlanta International Airport, failed underwear is nothing special.  I'm telling ya.

Part 2 to come.


Lauran Strait said...

I want MORE!!

Linda said...

Geez, it's like flying is a punishment and not the enjoyable experience it once was.

Anonymous said...

Poor you, and people wonder why I prefer to drive back from Mexico instead of flying!

Jerrilynn Atherton said...

Tell me Part Two is coming tomorrow!! I can't wait!!

jeaniemac said...

Egad! Next time, go commando?

R. Mac Wheeler said...

u haven't flown in a while, have ya

I became a writer so I didn't have to travel any longer.

Call me a wuss. I'm okay with that.

Andsetinn said...

The worst airport in the world is in Nice, France. At least in the undeveloped world, where the airplane has to take a pre-run over the (recently plowed) airfield to scare of the animals that have wandered out of the forest, the airport personnel will make an effort to understand you, they will smile, they will be polite and they will be helpful.

Carwoo said...

I absolutely love reading comments from people all over the world. It reminds me that it can always be worse, because I could be doing what Andsetinn is doing. (Flown how many times already this year? Twenty something. OMG.)

Anonymous said...

I've flown several times with my husband this year. Each time they put me through the x-ray machine. All I can say is that I hope their eyes didn't burn too bad! Btw: I live you' re blog.

Anonymous said...

At least you didn't have to walk out of there with the undies around your ankles. But if that happens please let us know. FUNNY!

Jeanette Cheezum