“Smoking Gun…or Knife”

Posted by mwallach on August 10, 2012 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere |

Dear That’s Life,
In the interest of full disclosure, I would like to reassure everyone – including members of the TSA – that I have no additional travel plans for months. The longest journey I expect to take for a while is from Long Island to my office in Jersey City, and even that I do not have to do every day. Wouldn’t you know it, however, that even with one flight remaining, a return trip from Orlando to New York, something was bound to go wrong.

As avid readers of this column know, the checklist of things I will no longer take on an airplane spans anything from my Swiss Army Knife to rugelach to body butter. The knife makes the most sense and needs no explanation – if the other items do not make sense, feel free to read the last two previous issues of this column. The one constant in all of these situations, however, is that my husband has always been the responsible adult in our relationship, ensuring that anything important is handled. He does not make the silly mistakes I do. He remembers everything, has check-lists with their own check-lists and programs my Blackberry with dates and times so that I am actually where I am supposed to be. Who knew, however, that despite his superhero like characteristics, he was still human?

Such was what we discovered after checking in at the Orlando airport, but before we approaching security. While I am usually the one forgets something, this time it was my beloved who had reached into his pocket only to find that he had not packed his own Swiss Army Knife. Holding it in his hand like a smoking gun, I did what any wife would do: I began to dance.

Starting first with some simple dance moves, I eventually broke out into a full merengue, holding my arms as if I had an actual partner. People stared, but I did not care. It was not the first time someone looked at me like I was crazy – but it was certainly going to be the last time my husband made this mistake. I was going to milk it for all I could, grinning from ear to ear as I danced around the airport, until he got annoyed. Shooting me a death stare, I stopped my public audition for Dancing With The Stars, but started it again when he turned his back and returned to the check-in counter. Just because he wanted me to stop doesn’t mean that I was done.

Upon returning to the Delta agent who had helped us initially, he learned that our bags had already gone through. Rearranging our items took a few minutes but he successfully checked one of our carry-ons, the knife securely located inside. I had toned down my excitement and enjoyment by this time simply because he no longer found it funny. While the repacking of the bags took a little time, we had arrived early to the airport and were not in a rush. His annoyance was not because of the inconvenience or the time it took to straighten things out, but simply because he had pulled a “Miriam” and that alone was killing him.

Having returned home late that night, we left unpacking until the next morning. After removing all of the various Mickey related items which had been purchased, I realized my Swiss Army Knife was nowhere to be seen. My suitcase was completely empty, as was his, and the knife was still missing in action. I asked him if he had noticed it anywhere, but he said he had not. We both remembered his handing it to me in the hotel room as we packed, but after that, neither of us had a clue as to what had happened. He reassured me that the room had been thoroughly checked before we left, so we were confident the knife had not been left in the hotel. It helped eliminate places it could be, but shed no light as to where it actually was. Needing to get to work, I decided to finish looking for it later.

Gathering my things, I started putting my keys and various other items in my purse. Reaching into my bag intending on pulling out my bag of make-up, I felt something else instead. Out came my knife which had been under my make-up the entire time, including while I was on the flight from Orlando to New York, as my purse had been located under the seat in front of me for the duration of the journey. My jaw dropped.
The knife was not visible to the eye should I, or a TSA agent, have looked in the bag. It should, however, have been clear as day upon x-ray. Standing in my own kitchen, I held out my own smoking gun as if just committing a federal crime- which I did. The tables had turned and my husband began to smile wildly. Guess who was dancing now?

Right before going through security in Orlando the day before, I had joked with a friend as to what he thought the TSA would confiscate from me this time. Standing in my kitchen, I called him immediately after discovering the knife in my bag. Horrified, he told me that I could have been arrested. I reminded him that the bag had been scanned and passed through security. Surely, the agents on shift that night could have been held responsible as well. Of course, I also reminded him of the obvious: the same people who took away my body butter allowed for my pretty large Swiss Army Knife to safely get on board a plane.

I think I should just stay home for a while.

As Seen in the South Shore Standard

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