I arrived in LA five days ago, and have had three fairly intense experiences with Uniform People Just Doing Their Jobs... :P
No. Not the place. The Customs dude.
I disembarked at LA after a fairly average flight. As if not; it's a very long time to be sitting pretty much in one spot. Thank god for dozing, movies, and a baby I could steal away so it's single parent got to go to the toilet and eat with some modicum of peace. Suffice to say I was EXTREMELY excited to be getting off that plane, and not only to breathe some real air, stretch my legs, and not BE ON MY ARSE... I arrived in America to get my man. And get got.
I tried to get the the baggage claim pronto, even power walking those conveyor belts that people seem to think is some neat ride. Waiting for luggage is a pain. The quick flutter of excitement when you see your bag, and the disappointed angst when you realise it's just like twenty others. Luckily I have MrMustard accompanying me on this journey - he is easy to spot. But the Old Grey Lady of Luggage was much more difficult with only her frayed pink ribbon to identify her. It seemed to take forever. And I'm not sure what I did while I passed the time; tapped my feet, stretched my legs, shook my hands... who knows, but it was enough to get me 'noticed'. Awesome, right?
Suitcases dragged oh-so elegantly behind me, I begin making my way towards the security check stuff. Enter Dallas, a gorgeous, young man who asks me to 'Please come this way...'
'Ooo', says I. 'Are you going to take me through the express lane?'
'Something like that', he replies.
I knew what I was in for. Lucky I also knew I had nothing to worry about seeing as though I'd not packed anything dodgy. Well, maybe some dodgy stuff, but nothing prohibited. Before Dallas opened the cases, he asked me what he could expect to find.
'In the grey case, clothes. In the mustard case, mostly sex toys and shoes', I said.
'It is.' (And it WAS!) I continued, advising him he would also find a taped-up box that someone else had packed... Yes, the 'stuff' box. ('Stuff' being MORE sex toys and Australian culinary treats.)
He unzipped and started to rummage, which in some circumstances could actually be a bit hot, but not when it's happening to a suitcase. And yes... here come the sex toys... and the corsets, and the stockings and the drugs (prescription, people, prescription).
'Are you usually so jittery?' he asks.
'Is that why you grabbed me?' I asked. 'Cos you thought I looked all nervous and jittery?'
'Pretty much', he said. But he did smile.
Jittery? I dunno. Nervous, exhilarated, semi-delirious from lack of sleep? Yep. Absofuckinlutely... but 'jittery'. Meh. Not my MO.
'I don't think I'm "jittery",' I replied. 'This is the first time I've travelled by plane alone. The first time I'd had to go collect bags by myself. This is the first time I've been through international customs as an adult. And this is the first time in my life I've flown half way across the globe to be with someone I'm in love with.'
He nodded, or threw some equally non-committal body language at me, and continued studying my stuff. He was quite intrigued by my spreader bar, and even more fascinated by how many different things you can use to bind people. The whole time he was doing this, I was dreading the fact that he was likely going to unpack the Box of Stuff (which you can now see has it's own capital letters...) It wasn't so much what he would FIND in the box. It was more the fact that I was there when it was packed and know what a job it was to fit all those treats in. My brain was so fried already, I really didn't feel like I was going to be able to Tetris everything neatly into place, even though it's one of my favourite games.
He gave only the most cursory attention to the taped-up box that I didn't pack (I did watch the packing process though...) which at the time was to great relief, but in retrospect is really kinda scary. Why would you NOT check the taped-up box that wasn't packed by the person actually travelling...? Isn't that in the How To Be A Customs Person 101 guidebook?! (Answer: Yes, it fucking is!)
Generally speaking, I love to turn the tables and dob on a Uniform when they've fucked up. Lucky Dallas was personable and cute. Lucky Little Ole Moi was delirious and distracted by simply wanting to go get wrapped in my man. Not sure if it was me or Dallas who was lucky I didn't get pissed off and preachy.
'Now, go search my luggage more EFFECTIVELY, dude.'
'Now get the fuck out of our country, chick.'
Dallas and I parted ways amicably - me with my suitcases, and he with some new ideas of fun things for grown-ups to play. And all was well in the ways of the luggage until 40 minutes later when I forgot to put my carry-on backpack in a friends car. Nah well... You win some. You lose some. I got my guy. I lost a bag. Care factor: ZERO And the whole win/lose thing was of course good preparation for the NEXT flight I would take later that day... to Las Vegas.)
STAY TUNED... IT'S COMING SOON!
Part 2: Why It's Not A Good Idea To Put Your Passport In Your Checked Luggage.
Part 3: How Many Cops Does It Take To Check A Rego...?
Over and out. Roger that.