I left home for the Erma Bombeck Writers Conference in Dayton, Ohio; and from the outset, the experience is designed to determine one’s readiness to fly.
How are your navigational skills? Have you any talents in the areas of interpretive sign analysis?
Do signs that advise you to both go up and go down worry you?
Do men in uniforms, no matter how wide their smiles, asking you to remove your belt and shoes cause you concern? Are you accustomed to partially disrobing in public? If the answer is “yes”, is aforesaid disrobing done while sober?
If the answer is “no”, how much would beer would it take before you would voluntarily disrobe and where can I get those pictures?
You aren’t carrying more than three ounces in liquids, creams, or salves, are you? What about that new Clinique powder – you know, the one you tell yourself was totally worth the cost, the one that brings down the levels of your freckles just so? It’s 4.5 ounces, one and a half ounces more than the three-ounce limit on the rest of your cosmetics. You don’t think it will qualify in someone’s mind as something that might possibly be made to explode, do you?
Speaking of which, I have 11 cigarettes saved for just such an occasion and four matches. What is the carry-on status of a lighter?
After determining that my shoes were harmless, my belt not likely to be used for felonious purposes, I sat at Gate C16, a lovely bit of property in the Delta terminal where the three-year-old of an angry man on a cell phone ran a tiny truck up the right side of my body more than once.
It was nothing personal – I’m sure I look like a roadway to a lot of three-year-olds – and honestly it’s the closest I’ve come to a massage in a long time.
But I cannot be stopped by inconvenience! Confusing signage? Shoes and belts? Weeding out the moisturizers and mouthwashes that may lead to in-flight incidents? Acting as the dead-end on a tiny truck thoroughfare?
It’s just part of what I do.
I’m a patriot, people.
A Meeting in the Meeting
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