Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Smooth sailing

So I lost my driver’s license about a month and a half ago, when I got a speeding ticket coming home from a Hawks’ game and was going the shocking speed of about 45mph on Western. I know, the horror. Good thing I don’t drink that much, because every time I’ve had to buy alcohol since then, I’ve had to pull out this scrap of paper that I was given as a driver’s license substitute and proffer it rather sheepishly. I of course sent in my money right away, but alas, the wheels of Chicago justice turn slowly. Very slowly, apparently. Because I’m still without my license, and I needed to catch a plane to Boston early this morning. Oops.

I didn’t worry about it, however, as I knew I had my passport to fall back on. Whew! It was only this morning at 5AM that I suddenly remembered….my passport expired in September. Shit! First I started thinking about what other forms of ID I could use, because according to the Googles, I could use any form of government-issued ID. Hmm. Tax bill? Voter registration card? Not that I knew where those were anyway. I did learn though that apparently one does NOT need an ID to check in. It’s true. If you don’t have an ID, you’re marked for “special” handling with a code on your boarding pass and are searched more thoroughly. Yes, as always, useful information from Miss Tasha.

The cab arrives, and I get to the airport and go to wait in line. Now, to recap: I have a titanium collarbone, I’m wearing the Fuck Cancer hat, I spent a decent amount of time in the wee hours googling “how to sneak onto a plane without ID,” I have an expired passport, a crumpled piece of paper instead of a driver’s license, and oh yeah, I’m wearing sunglasses because the bright lights are bothering Blurry Eye. What could possibly go wrong?

And, the verdict? Well, the United ticket counter woman doesn’t even notice the expiration issue until I point it out to her: “But wait, lookie here, it’s expired! How will they let me board with an expired ID? Did I mention that it’s EXPIRED?”

UTCW couldn’t have cared less, and told me to let the TSA person handle it. Okay then. I’m waiting in line, eyeing the TSA woman, trying to assess my chances of getting by her using my winsome charm and eloquence. My chances look slim to none, quite frankly. But I get to her, hand over my passport, she looks at it….and hands it back, wishing me a happy Thanksgiving. What ho? I feel a little cheated, and debate pointing out the expired passport thing to her as well, but realize how asinine that would be – so I just walk off, holding up my hands in the “V” for victory sign - but completely nonchalant otherwise.

To celebrate, as I transfer planes in Philadelphia, I decide to take advantage of the well-known maxim that food eaten in transit is calorie-free. I mean, your weight in one location certainly can’t be held hostage to foodstuffs eaten in an entirely different location, now can it? That just wouldn’t make any sense at all. Those cheesesteaks were certainly yummy, all the more so for being eaten with a clear conscience.

To cap things off, there’s almost an altercation at my next gate. Translated, I almost had to beat the crap out of yet another asshat populating this earth. You see, as usual people were hovering near the gate so that they could get on early and stuff all their worldly possessions into the overhead bins. Me, I only had my purse, since I had checked a bag, so I didn’t really care. But when they were about to call my gate, I got up to stand near the line, and because of where I had been sitting, I wound up closer to the gate than a guy who had planted himself there early on. So they call our group, and I’m about to graciously tell this guy to go ahead, since I’m in no particular hurry, when he barrels past me, elbows akimbo, practically shoving me into the gate barriers. Well. I never! I fully intend to exact retribution, but am distracted by a shiny glint of light, and when I return my attention to the boarding process, the asshat is no longer in sight. Wily bastard. But is this really what we’re coming to? Ready to knock people down to get some overhead bin space on a plane? Seriously??

Luckily the huge-ass margarita I had tonight made all of that just a fuzzy, distant memory. Or maybe that’s the head injury talking. Or Blurry Eye. Whatever. All I know is that I am SO going to start drinking more…..


Anonymous said...

Funny, a similar thing happened to me, I had checked in online so I was able to go right to security, they ask to see my boarding pass and some id, I was ready for this and gave it to them, but being 5AM, I was not my usual alert self and failed to recognized that they didn't give me back my driver's lic. As soon as I retrieved my bag from the x-ray machine, I discovered it was missing and went back to ask if I could have it back, staff had been rotated around, on breaks, etc and could not tell who had or where they had put it.

I paniced, I went to my gate and asked the agent, what if... and although she did not give me a straight answer, she did not say they wouldn't allow me to board.

I've also travelled extensively with a expired passport and no one cared/noticed...

t-odd said...

You said, "akimbo." That word makes me laugh. Although I don't really know why.

What's going on in Bean-town?