- I was "flagged" in Duluth because me being a fucking idiot, switched my driver's license the Monday after our wedding not realizing my actual plane ticket had my maiden name on it. We flew out Wednesday after the wedding, so yay! I was flagged immediately.
- This meant nothing on the way to Florida because I'm assuming Duluth, MN and Detroit, MI don't take the threat of terrorism as seriously as Tampa does. And I get this- Duluth is so tiny that really, the biggest threat you have is the guy running the Avis car rental counter and in Detroit you should be more afraid of the nut jobs who hang out at the airport for fun. (And as a side note, flags should go up with flight attendants give you the "low down" of the Detroit airport. Such as, walk against the wall, don't look or talk to anybody, use the buddy system, and absolutely hold on to whatever you are carrying like your life depended on it)
- On the way BACK however was a different story. In Tampa I was flagged immediately and was told to get in the line with the red cones. Sure. So being the genius I am, I made Matt carry my purse and carryon. Because there is nothing suspicious of a young 20something male carrying a bright blue and green jelly purse. Totally normal.
- Keep in mind, I'm in the special line being headed up by a woman who I swear to god looked like Mimi from the Drew Carey show. And ahead of me is a 18 month old child in an umbrella stroller, who like me, has been "flagged".
- At this time it was 2004 and that was when all the new airport security junk was just coming out and they were REALLY searching you. So I was told to get into "the booth", which fine, no problem. I'm thinking I'll have to get the pat down which you know, is fine.
- NO. I will not speak of all that was um, searched, but let me tell you- it's a dark booth with a cheapy lamp in the corner and two female searchers. Are they cops? I have no idea. But they weren't gentle. And they give you no time to reassemble yourself.
- After a 5 minute search, you are literally shoved out of the booth so the next person can go in. I walked out of there and what Matt saw was me standing there, clutching my belt, my shoes, my sweater, hair accessories, jewelry, my pants undone, my shirt all messed up and kind of rolled up in the back and my socks on wrong. I just told Matt I didn't want to talk about it.
So fast forward 5 years. Thankfully I can personally attest to the fact that The Booth has improved. I know this because again, I was flagged in Tampa. I believe it is because I had a sweater on again. I can't be sure because other people with sweaters and jackets were going through just fine. So I get to the guy and he asks me to step into The Booth. Now, I must have had the look of fear because of my last booth encounter, so I'm sure that didn't help me. So I get into this see-through tube thing that kind of looks like one of those time transport tubes. Keep in mind, in my hand is my license and boarding pass. He tells me to put them in my right pocket. Okey-dokey. So you stand there in a bizarre stance, then turn to the other side and hold your arms like an idiot. Then you wait until the mysterious voice through the earpiece says you can go. And the guy goes, "Ma'am- we have to get a female here to search you- you appear to have something in your right front pocket." To which I respond, "And that would be the items you just told me to put in my pocket." And the look in his face was enough to make me almost wet my pants because I again, am thinking of The Booth. So this lady comes over and tells me the procedure of a pat down no less than 3 times. And she's speaking to me so slowly that I can't help but wonder if she thinks I'm deaf, can't understand ebonics, or if I'm a retard. Either way, it's annoying. So she gets mother fucking tongs to get my boarding pass and license out and the guy is like holding his holster thingie. I mean COME ON. Do I look like a terrorist??
Fuck you Tampa.
On a dumb ending note, we bought $30 worth of stuff from the store in there (and for those of you wondering what $30 gets you in Tampa that would be: 3 pens, twizzlers, m&m's, water, 2 coloring books). and my bag is totally degradable. Weird.
I also think this is the most ridiculous list of things to reuse this for. Really? Only one muddy shoe? What do you do with the other one? Judging by the size of the bag (the size of a Target or Walmart bag) you could put like 2 pairs of shoes. Or like 10 diapers. And no, I would never use this as a shower cap. I'm pretty sure every other plastic bag I've had explicitly tells you not to put bags on your head because they can be choking hazards. But maybe I'm just an idiot.