So, anyone who knows me well knows that not only do I register on the Woo Woo scale, but I in fact tip very heavily on the side of Crunchy Lady. No fluoride on our toothpaste; water filter on the whole house; I only put a cell phone next to my head when I absolutely can’t use speakerphone, etc etc. I prefer the term “careful,” while others choose “weird.”
So when I get the spinning scanner machine thingy (yes that’s the actual name of it) at the airport, I usually opt for the pat down. Hashtag Because Sonni. Because Weird Sonni.
That’s what happened Saturday morning. Andrew is usually very gracious about this and finds a little spot to tuck into while I submit to the public groping—-errrrrrm, pat down. And this time, same deal. He got our bags from the belt and waited on the other side.
And I also waited. And waited. Five, ten, almost 15… and then it was my turn.
A slide down my arms, a pat of my butt nd a swipe of my underboob later, it’s over, and I wait.
And I would love to say that that’s where it ended–with an annoyed look from Andrew that he had to loiter in the corner near the airport tram a little longer than normal while I was fondled in public–but alas, this is not the case.
When the agent came back saying that her gloves had tested positive for traces of explosive material, I… well… I kinda puked in my mouth a little bit.
Now I’m certain that I carry regularly on my person a bevy of strange germs and kid-related fluids, but explosive compounds are not one of hem. So, what do I do? Oh, nothing. Because I can’t. Because all of a sudden the TSA agents surrounding me are sizing me up and down like the menace to society I apparently (don’t know) I am.
Guys, I do NOT recommend being double-screened by TSA on a holiday weekend. It takes forever. It requires lots of concerned-sounding exchanges between agents on walkie talkies. And most of all, it is just très not cool. And when I say “not cool” I actually mean it is kinda, sorta, very heart-attack-inducing.
Next thing I know I’m being ushered into a big plastic cube in the middle of the security area with two agents, this time to undergo another pat down. And this is where the agent confirms two things that we now conclusively know: One, I’m not a bomb-packing terrorist. And two, pat downs–while being the McDonald’s fast food drive-thru equivalent of a massage–are not worth the inevitable humiliation you will experience when and if you test positive for explosives.
Which brings me back to the first sentence of this blog post. You know, the one where I was so nervous to be flagged by security that I asked for a strip search to prove my innocence.
Moments after that, this, from the agent: “You know, it’s probably your body lotion. This happens all the time.”
Jaw —> floor.
Wait. My grooming habits did this to me? And here I am thinking there’s no way my clean and green routine could hurt me.
Because it wasn’t. Not st least that way
Nope! My body lotion is craftier than that! It wasn’t going to kill me by seeping into my pores one chemical-laden drop at a time…
It was trying to get my ass thrown in jail.
I did, of course, get through security and get on the flight.
And Andrew and I did end up laughing about our half-hour detour. But not before I learned some important lessons.
Take the radiation; go through the scanner.
Book a massage; no pat down is worth that amount of stress.
And the strongest argument in favor of a simple beauty routine (sans lotion) can be found in the long and winding lines of the airport security area: Take the dry skin. Slather up at the concourse if you must. Because it is no fun when people think you might be a terrorist, not even for a second.
Oh, and take this free advice. Your body lotion is maybe trying to kill you.