I've been looking forward to telling this story...
About six months ago I was on a business trip that took me from Chicago to Salt Lake City, then to Denver and then back to Chicago. Everytime I travel I'm reminded of how much I hate the TSA rent-a-cops. You know those people in the white shirts at the metal detectors who scream at everyone to place their loose change in the basket like its a matter of national security. I get it their jobs are important but they are furiously rude to an extent that makes an inner city postal worker seem warm and friendly.
When I boarded in Chicago the TSA's ate me alive, I was instructed to remove my laptop from its bag and place them both in the X-ray machine. I took my laptop bag, placed it in the plastic bin and put my laptop on top of it. As soon as the bin went into the machine the conveyer belt stopped and the TSA lady watching the X-ray screen started screaming...
TSA Lady-"What the hell is this? Sir you're going to have to separate the bag from the laptop, how the F*** am I supposed to see the laptop if your bag's underneath it?!"
Me-"I'm sorry Ma'am I'm not familiar with the limitations of your equipment, I didn't think an X-ray machine would have trouble seeing through a thin leather bag. "(sarcastic tone)
TSA Lady-"Excuse me, do we have a problem here?"
TSA Lady #2-"Sir do we have a problem that needs police involvement?"
I've been through this routine for less inflammatory behavior before, I also had to beg a TSA officer not to call the police and have my brother arrested on a previous occasion, so I should know better not to mess with these people. At this point I decide it's not worth causing a problem and ruining my trip.
Me-"No there is no problem at all, I'm sorry, would you like me to place the bag in a separate bin?"
Situation overted! I arrived safely in Salt Lake City and met up with my boss, I spent a day and a half there and dreaded the moment I would have to leave for Denver, the thought of going through security again terrified me. I must say, TSA officers in Salt Lake City are the BEST. No yelling, no cursing, no mean faces, nothing excessive except for smiles. Would you believe that the TSA's even told me "please" and "thank you", I know you don't believe me but its true! I guess Mormons are nice people.
I get to Denver via propeller plane in the middle of a snow storm and kiss the ground when I arrive, I literally got on my hands and knees outside the gate and kissed the ground, the guy who was sitting next to me on the plane kicked me in the booty as he walked by.
Denver was alright but the client sucked and I was exhausted, I just wanted to go home. I grabbed my stuff and waited for the shuttle in front of the hotel. From this point on every step bringing me closer to my door step in Chicago moved excruciatingly slow.
3:13 p.m.-Shuttle picks me up, I'm the only one on it. I am happy.
3:27 p.m.-Driver picks up passenger #4. Still happy.
3:47 p.m.-passenger #10. Happiness decreasing.
4:15 p.m.-#15. Happiness decreasing further.
4:19 p.m.-we get on the highway. Happiness goes up slightly.
4:20 p.m.-we hit rush hour traffic. Happiness gone.
5:26 p.m.-We arrive at the airport just before I can break down into tears.
5:38 p.m.-Claim boarding pass.
5:42 p.m.-I walk towards security, I'm tired and not looking forward to dealing with the TSA's but I figure the only way it could be worse than what I have been through in the past is if they subject me to anal probing. I join the line which happens to be the longest line I've ever stood in, I thought I was at Disney World.
6:42 p.m.- I reach the front of the line, nothing out of the ordinary. I continue to the gate.
The airline I was flying was Southwest. If you have ever flown Southwest you might be aware that there are no assigned seats. Its more like first come first serve based on a letter on your ticket, I was one of the first allowed to board. I step up, hand my pass to the attendant and start walking down the tunnel. This is great, I'm almost there and then...
Attendant-"Excuse me sir!"
Attendant-"Umm, I'm sorry could you wait right here, I cant let you board yet."
Me-"What, why not!?"
Attendant-"I'll explain in a bit."
I stand there and watch every last person board the plane, finally the steward tells me my boarding pass specifies I have been randomly selected for "special" security screening but that because security forgot to conduct the screening they can't let me board until they do.
7:03 p.m.-They call a TSA officer to the gate.
7:15 p.m.-I threaten the airline attendants, "the plane better not leave without me!"
7:18 p.m.-I warn them again.
7:20 p.m.-I explain, "If the TSA officer acts like an asshole I'm going to flip out."
7:32 p.m.-TSA officer finally arrives. I'm steaming mad.
Screening includes feeling my nuts, going through my carry-on piece by piece, feeling my nuts again and uhh.... Oh yea feeling my nuts. The passengers have been waiting for nearly 45 mins, by now they are notified why there's been a hold up. I walk down the tunnel, step on the plane and turn the corner, immediately the entire plane full of passengers starts applauding for me, I hear someone yell out, "he made it" another one yells, "he's not a terrorist" I pause and think to myself, "I wonder if they'd be clapping if they knew I was Egyptian?"