I only mention your weather cos I am blaming it for the lack of forethought that went into packing for the next leg of my journey - Denver... On second thought, the fact that I got fuck all sleep the whole time I was IN Vegas was possibly an issue.
Overheated and sleep-deprived, we head to the airport to catch our flight. It's an easy queue for our boarding passes, so luggage checked, we move on to The Security Situation. The guy checking our boarding passes and ID looks half asleep behind his big-framed glasses. He could be the long, lost brother of Chet and Napoleon Dynamite (Chet's looks - minus the mo - meets Napoleon's total lack of social skills.)
I have my Australian license at the ready, trying to be all organised and knowledgeable about how this shit goes.
'Can I see your passport?' he asks.
'Um, I didn't think I needed it to travel domestically,' I reply.
I turn to my guy and he is looking almost as confused as I am.
'Errrm...' says I.
Chet hasn't even really seemed to look at me, and gives me absolutely nothing to go on.
'My passport is packed with my luggage. Everything's been checked in,' I explain. 'Is there other stuff I can show you?'
Chet makes another non-committal noise. He looks ay my license while I start seeing what else I might provide. Contemplating my clueless, I wonder what I can do to get on this plane.
'I thought I just needed government-issued ID,' I say, while rummaging in my handbag. 'And I thought my passport was safer in my luggage... I thought I only needed it to come in and out of the country...' I think I begin to babble a bit - not a good sign. 'What do I need to do...?'
'I'm gonna get a supervisor,' Chet says. And I guess it's make or break time. Fuck, I'm tired...
He returns with a lovely lady, with kind eyes and a gentle voice.
'Let's get you over here, sweetheart. Let's see what we can do.' She takes me aside, and I'm somewhat relieved that someone sweet and seemingly capable is taking control.
'What identification do you have?' she asks, and I promptly spill a dozen bits of info onto the counter... License, Medicare card, bank and credit cards... more photo ID from my 'Working With Children' card... my pathology card, a letter from my doctor explaining what medications I am carrying. Any and everything with my name on it is there. And Nice Lady studies it all; asks questions about everything I provide; takes notes and numbers from each and every fragment of information. After what seems like too long, she is satisfied.
'Okay,' she smiles. And there's an internal swoon of relief... I look around for my guy, but who knows where he's been sent.
'Now,' she says, 'I need you to put your baggage up here and you can go through the security scanner. Once you get through, I'll see you on the other side. We'll continue from there.'
Wait... Continue? Am I not done?! Shit... I sigh, externally this time.
My bag heads off through the x-ray thing, and I do my ridiculous little star jump pose. And to think, before I left Australia, the only thing that worried me about these security checks was my genital piercings! I'm gestured through, assuming everything's all good, the security dude telling me to make my way to collect my bags. They are coming through just as I am, and again, I look around for my man, hoping he's not freaking out wondering where I am. Bags done without any drama, I start re-packing my laptop...
'Don't touch that!'
Me? I blink and turn to the voice.
'Don't touch a thing.'
A frowning customs woman, bustles between me and my bags, and I am actually quite startled...
'But the guy told me...'
'You need to come with me.'
'But the lady said...'
'Come with me.'
She takes my stuff, and I follow, trying to explain I am supposed to be waiting for the Nice Lady so she can do whatever it is she does.
'Yeah, that's me,' Frowny Bitch says.
So I follow her to yet another counter, this one stacked with devices. First, she scans my eyeball, then she asks if I want to be frisked privately.
'Here's fine,' I reply.
It was an odd experience. The whole time I was thinking, 'So if I really DID want to hide stuff on me, all I would have to do is put it there, there or THERE!' It seemed - I don't know - shallow? She only brushed lightly over the side of my boobs; what little cleavage I have could have been stuffed with gunpowder... And I found the same thing with the genital region - she didn't even feel my actual crotch! My gusset could be lined with cocaine. So why bother? It seemed a little staged. If that big-arsed body scanner isn't picking anything up, there was no way her lame feel-up was going to get anything more.
(Y'all are lucky I'm not a bad person... you know that, right?)
Frisking of (f)Risky complete, she grabbed a weird wand and rubbed it over my clothes. She inserted it into a computer. I watch the screen. 'Analysing...' Analysing? Analysing what?! The analysis is green and the wand is inserted into a small slit, exits with a clean swab. This time she rubs it over the keys on my laptop. She re-inserts to the computer. 'Analysing...' And eternally curious me is stupid enough to ask what it is she is looking for; asks what exactly is being analysed... And the look she throws me at this question is enough to let me know questions are not only unwelcome, but likely considered suspicious.
'Stuff', she replies, and I shut the fuck up from here on in. Where is my guy!?
I suddenly hope there's no small trace of cannabis anywhere near my stuff... I just want to get to my new Denver home and snuggle up and sleep with my man. Swab after swab, green light after green light, I keep telling myself everything will be cool.
But this bitch is a bitch... and I'm close to gritting my teeth. I mean really, what the fuck? Just cos I was a dick and packed my passport, surely I've proven enough to be free? I have to consciously tell myself not to fidget, or play with my hair, or tap my feet, or stretch my legs, or sweat, or BREATHE... And with an unceremonious 'You're done' which at first I was unsure how to take, she wandered off and left me standing there with my stuff.
I pack up cautiously, still thinking that being 'done' may translate to 'You're nicked'. I put on my shoes, find my guy and cuddle him close and find I am actually so done I eat clam chowder for lunch, even though it's about a million degrees outside. But it goes down well, re-energises me enough to make it to Denver.