Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Safe Holiday Travel

With the TSA, pat-downs, and full body images being prevalent in the news, I'm reminded of an airport security incident we had.

Five years ago, my son, Jordan, graduated from Army basic training in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri.  Graduation is a special time for the family to attend and see what their soldier/son has accomplished and what he's learned.  There were 4 of us who flew to Missouri to witness this occasion; My husband, our daughter, Jeanette, and son, Jacob and me.  We had a great time.  It was good to see Jordan again after 10 weeks.  He looked stronger, more alert and very happy to see us.  
We had a lot of fun on the base.  We went bowling, to a movie, and shopping.  While shopping, 14-year-old Jacob saw a belt buckle in the shape of a hand grenade.  He HAD to have it.  He bought it and replaced his Metallica belt buckle with his new purchase.  (I've learned to choose my battles)

After spending a few days with Jordan and witnessing the graduation ceremonies, we bid him farewell as he boarded a bus and headed to Mississippi to complete his training.  With heavy hearts we hurriedly made our way to the airport.  
After checking in, we proceeded through security.  Shoes, nail clippers, keys, watches and anything else that would set off the alarm were put in bins to go through the x-ray machine. I was a little nervous to go through the scanner since I had been wanded at the Salt Lake Airport and then, while driving on to the base, they flagged us down to let us know we had set off the radioactive alarm.  After trying to figure out why that would happen, we determined it was because of a thallium stress test I had had a few weeks prior.  I was ready with my schpeel to let the authorities at the airport know why I "radiated".  I went through first without incident.  Jeanette came behind, then Jacob, then the Hubs. Soon, the officer looking at the x-ray screen called other officers to look at the screen.   By this time I was concerned about what they were observing and then it hit me.  The belt buckle! 
Before I could say anything, the officers very slowly and carefully advanced the bin containing the curious object.  They stood back a bit as it came out of the machine.  The supervisor, who looked like Carl Winslow from Family Matters,  reached in the bin and retrieved the contraband.

He sauntered over, with device in hand, looked at Jacob and said, "Hey, Slick!  Is this yours?"  
Jacob sheepishly answered in the affirmative.  
"Carl" then barked good-naturedly, "You want to give us all a heart attack?"
After boxing up the device and putting it through the luggage scanner, we proceeded to the departure gate. 

If you have to travel this weekend, be sure to leave your hand grenade at home!

To all my wonderful friends,
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!



Garden of Egan said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
Stay warm.

Kelly said...

That is a great story! I am not sure which I would choose for my son the hand grenade or the Metalica belt buckle. Seems like a lose lose to me... Just kidding with you : )

Joanie said...

Connie, I remember hearing this story, and loved it just as much the second time around.
Have a wonderful relaxing holiday

Amy said...

Cute story! I hope that there aren't many delays for all those passengers that just want to get home for the holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Teachinfourth said...

It sounds like some great advice to follow, Connie! Glad it wasn't a worse situation...

Barbaloot said...

I love that the security guy looked like Carl from Family Matters:) I love even more that he seemed pleasant. Seems like now, they are all ornery power-trippers.

Life is good! said...

sounds like folks might as well leave their cloths at home also. hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving day!

gigi said...

Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Cute story. Hope you made it through your Frozen turkey run this morning and you are finally warm :P

M-Cat said...

LOL - that is a GOOD one! And at least he was allowed to keep it. These days, I think they would chuck it just to be mean

Jenny said...

My dad did the same thing when he went to Chicago to visit my Brother a year ago with a bullet casing on his key ring. LOL these are those moments that we talk about for ever at Thanksgiving dinner.

Yvonne said...

Laughing--great story.

Valerie said...

Oh my Hannah! That is a GREAT story! I would have loved to see this happen!