Airport Security and Smelling Fabulous
By Kelly Dean
I’m back. I know that people are always complaining about airport security, but you know, sometimes it just defies logic – these folks are bloodthirsty for power and obviously have designs on a career in proctology.
So long as you’re through the gate, you could buy nuclear waste and get it onto an airplane. But try to get an innocuous tube of toothpaste through security before the gate and you are suddenly D.B. Cooper with a chainsaw.
I purposely picked the security line with the sweetest-looking old lady I could find at the airport in Punta Gorda, Florida. I weigh 260 and I’m 5’4” and hardly a threat to anything more dangerous than a double quarter-pounder with cheese. I’m more worried more about fitting my ass into the skinny airplane seats than my carry-on contents. But on this day she eyeballed me as some sort of portly serial killer.
I was already embarrassed because my feet stunk and I had to take my shoes off for security, but when she got to my toiletries, nicely displayed in a Ziploc bag, she stopped everything. She makes me open the bag and asks, “What’s that,” pointing at my well-labeled new $70 bottle of cologne.
“It’s my smell good.” I said. “It’s my cologne.” I smile.
“They won’t let you take that on the plane.”
I said, “They who? Why? I’ve taken it before. I mean, I promise not to dance around and spray it all over myself. I’m not from New Jersey. I know how to wear fragrance in moderation.”
She said, “It’s 4.3 ounces and the limit is 3.4 ounces.”
“Ah, there, you see … I’m dyslexic.” I lied with a politically incorrect chuckle. Nothing. “No really, that bottle of cologne cost me 70 bucks plus shipping and it’s almost full and it’s clearly embossed on the front in the glass with the name of the fragrance.” Nothing. “It’s brown-colored … and refreshing.” Silence.
“Just sniff it!” I blurt in anguish. The burley guys start walking up after that “sniff it” comment. And like me, they also look like they’ve have a hard time pushing themselves away from the table most days. I could probably distract them if I had a Twinkie. And the reason it’s an issue is because I fly budget airlines because the one-way flight itself cost about 70 bucks!
“You can’t have this toothpaste either. It says 6 ounces. Same limit.”
“Yeah, but that tube is more than half-empty.” I shook my head. “Uh, half-full?”
Now, the toothpaste cost me about a buck-fifty. I could slowly absorb that financial blow over time, but the cologne thing was breaking my heart. I may not look like an underwear model, but I freaking smell like one.
“Also, your computer cables should be in a gallon plastic bag.” She says. I’ve lost my feign-humor by this time.
“In case I should surf the internet under water? You know, I want to make your job pushing little plastic tubs 12 inches to the right – all – day — long — a bit easier, because I’m sure that’s incredibly taxing, but don’t you think your being a bit Machiavellian?”
“Do you wish to surrender voluntarily?”
“Wha, wha, What? I’m going to jail?”
“No, do you wish to surrender the cologne and toothpaste voluntarily?” She asked.
“You’re forcibly asking me to quasi-voluntarily relinquish 70-dollar cologne to you for no good reason as if you’re officially asking me to pull the respirator plug on a dying relative?” I hyperbolize.
“Fine. Great. Bombs away.” When I said “bombs away,” I could visually see the words coming out of my mouth in slow motion – eyes crossed, reading the letters tumbling in the air space in front of my nose – but I couldn’t pull them back in, no matter how hard I sucked – gasped — whatever.
Future note to self: never say the word “bombs” in an airport.
The burly guy then blinks real hard, cocks his head to the side with his mouth agape and tells me to “please repeat that again, sir” as if God didn’t hear it the first time. So I did, without the “bombs” part. I pause. Then I giggled like a little girl. I pause again. I felt like running, but I was still in my socks. I’d just be running in place like Scooby Doo.
And just like that, they snatch my toothpaste and fragrance and send it off to toiletry heaven.
It’s no wonder people stink in the airport. They can’t use cologne, or brush their teeth and they get all stinky-pits over stupid plastic baggies.
And Punta Gorda, Florida is well-known for its terrorists — World War I, of course — as the average resident is about 124 years old!
So I disembark for three weeks and end up back in the same airport when I trudge back through town.
And I smell just like everyone else.
As I walk into the terminal past the gate desk, a teenager is leaning on his elbow, wearing an orange vest and a ball cap and flirting with the cute female greeter at the desk. He’s obviously a baggage handler.
Walking by him, I get a good whiff of his cologne and the fragrance is unmistakable. You guessed it. It’s my cologne. The same nerve gas, pandemic-causing, napalm, flesh-eating acid-pee they couldn’t allow me to take onto the plane!
“Nice fragrance,” I say to him, in a half-scoff, shaking my head.
“Yeah, can you believe some dude had it in his carryon a few weeks ago and it got taken away? You know, this stuff costs like 70 bucks! I’m goin’ like, yeah, dude!”