I hadn't had any peace until my trip to Arizona that is. I found having my own motel room positively magical. It stayed tidy and even better- the bed was made by someone else every day. I had the television all to myself and could indulge in back to back episodes of Law and Order for hours without interruption. One night I stopped at CVS for lip gloss and Doritos. I then spent the night watching hard boiled detectives interrogate perps and ate Doritos without having to share with anyone.
One of the stops I made out in Arizona was to World Market. My east coast friends and I are deprived of this great store which can best be described as the love child of Pier One and Trader Joe's. It has all sorts of fun things and it was there that I found the perfect gift for the girls- Giant gummy bears.
My kids are already gummy bear lovers, but these gummy bears were special. Each was about four inches tall and encased in plastic; I knew that my kids would go bananas for these delights.
Once Monday morning arrived, I left my hotel room bright and early. My flight was scheduled for 12:10pm, but left to my own devices I was allowed to indulge in over-preparedness without any complaints from traveling companions. It was thanks to this foresightedness that I was on line for my scan (not probe) by 9:30am. Everything was going swimmingly. The car was dropped off. I had a pack of lifesavers and a murder mystery. All I had to do was get my carefully packed gummy bears through the scanning machines.
You can see where this is going right?
I submit to the scanning. All clear.
My luggage goes through the scanner and I am informed that they need to search my bag.
The TSA agent pulled out the gummy bears and asked me about them. "They are gummy bears for my kids." The TSA agent considered that. The problem seemed to be in deciding whether they were a gel or a liquid. In all fairness, the TSA agent was very nice.
"I have kids too," he whispered apologetically. "Let's check with the supervisor," he suggested.
It was here that it became clear to me that the TSA is run by underemployed people on a power trip. The TSA god of gels insisted that the gummy bears were both a liquid and a gel and therefore, would not be permitted on board, unless I wanted to check my bag. I made the point that if I had a big bag of gummy bears, it would clear without incident. He would not budge. I said, "Look, I don't mean to be a jerk, but human-to-human, you know that these gummy bears are not dangerous, right?"
Readers, his only reply was, "No exceptions!" and so, flustered and embarrassed, I surrendered my contraband to the TSA weenie, who most likely ate them.
I was two hours early for my flight. I was so early in fact, that my flight wasn't even on the board yet. I was alone in a red state without gummy bears for my children. It was a sad time for me. At least it was until I discovered a seat at the gate next to a power outlet and then logged into the airport's free WiFi. I spent the next ninety minutes watching Law and Order, which I think we can all agree, is a soothing balm for the weary soul.
Once home I was smothered in hugs and noise from the children. I was happy so see them, but I confess I sorely miss the maid service.