In spite of assurances by the people at the Daley Center, I did NOT get my driver’s license back 2-3 weeks after the supposed court date that I never knew about. This means that when I went to the airport yesterday to escort my enfeebled but insanely stubborn 92-year-old grandmother back to California, I knew I could look forward to whatever tomfoolery the TSA people would pull out of their collective hats this time. And certainly, they did not disappoint.
But first, I’m happy to report that this time at least I wasn’t subjected to the whims of the folks at Crazy Bitch Air, aka AirTran. Nope, this was JetBlue, aka Airline to the Stars. Because the rock$tar treatment began as soon as we pulled up to the curb: the baggage check guy eagerly offers to carry our bags in – and he didn’t even work for JetBlue, but rather neighboring ATA. No line at the counter – I didn’t even have to use the electronic check-in, as the JetBlue guy did it for me, with a smile. A pleasant girl with a wheelchair for my grandmother suddenly appeared. And the best part – there was a super-long line stretching down the length of the terminal to get through security, and I was ready to trudge to the end of it……when Wheelchair Girl just took us right to the front. Sweet!
Then it got fun. Or, “fun.”
Because TSA guy looks at my passport, keeps looking, looks at me, turns the passport upside down (seriously), shakes it, fans the pages, looks at the back of it, rotates it, keeps peering at it…..then makes his proclamation.
TSA guy: This is expired.
Me: I know.
TSAG: I can’t let you through without a valid picture ID.
Me: The passport is good for a year after the expiration date.
TSAG: No, let me repeat - I won’t let you through without a valid picture ID.
Me, gritting my teeth: I don’t have any other form of picture ID…….no, wait, I’ve got it – my Costco card!! (I pull it out triumphantly.)
Okay, so I’m not quite sure why he didn’t think that was a grand idea – after all, if Costco isn’t basically the infidel class’s homage to capitalism, i.e. a place a terrorist would NEVER belong to, then what is?? At least that’s how I look at it.
“I’m calling my Kommandant!” barks the TSA guy, though he might have said “supervisor,” even though it came out sounding like Kommandant.
O-kay then. One of the other TSA guys off to the side gives me helpful advice while we’re waiting.
Nice TSA guy: Do you have anything else that you could use as ID? With your name on it?
Me: Sure, tons of stuff! Look, credit cards that speak to my embracing of capitalism! Yet there’s also my car insurance card, which shows that I’m a responsible American consumer. Ooh, and here we go – health insurance card! If my giving money to the asshats at BCBS every month doesn’t say “I’m not a terrorist because terrorists would blow those infidels up” then, well, I’m at a loss.
He’s looking at me a bit strangely, but luckily just then the Kommandant/Supervisor shows up. And looks at my passport. And the first words out of his mouth?
KS: This passport is still valid – it’s good for a year after the expiration date.
Me: Ha, I knew it! And see, I have all these other forms of ID! Take your pick! Crumpled Piece of Paper! Credit cards! Insurance cards! Costco card!
I have since learned it’s probably not a good idea to gloat thusly in front of the TSA guy who originally thought he was saving the world from terrorism by trying to prevent you from flying to California. Because he seems a little peeved.
TSAG, glaring: Fine. But you’re getting special handling. Your bags, hand them over.
Uh oh. I hand over my purse and watch as it’s carted off to places unknown. My grandmother breezes through security, but me? I’m escorted into a glass booth, and a female TSA agent is called over for the big pat down. As she’s feeling up the Boobages, I can’t help it, the absurdity of this all leads me to start snickering, and I’m thisclose to a) telling her that I’m packing titanium in my shoulder, and b) asking her helpfully if she’s looking for the Exploding Boobages of Death…….but some small semblance of a self-preservation instinct kicks in, and I keep my mouth shut.
In the meantime, my shoes have been inspected to within an inch of their lives, and when I see my purse again, it looks completely discombobulated. My grandmother’s big metal walker? Yeah, that’s walked around the security gate that people walk through. What, like grandma can’t be a terrorist? Sheesh.
We finally make it through and head off for our gate. And I leave the powers that be with this final thought:
CAN I JUST HAVE MY FUCKING DRIVER’S LICENSE BACK?? GIVE IT TO ME! GIVE IT TO ME NOW!!!