Saturday, June 14, 2014

There's more to life

than sitting astride two wheels.

It must be me, although my BRW tells me that Mercury is in retrograde.

I'm part of the Oil Spill Emergency Response Team, and every so often the Feds call and say something like: "There's an (fake) oil spill at....... please deploy your team.", which means that yours truly, and others receive a phone call and hear something like: you're booked on the 6 AM flight to...... pack for about a week.  Good luck."

So, Thursday afternoon found me in beautiful downtown Galveston, Texas, aboard the "Texas  Responder".

By 4:00 PM Friday, we had saved the universe, having pumped zillions of nonexistent oil from the Gulf onto the ship and, halos brilliantly shining, (and the federal government happy), were rodding merrily to the Houston airport.

At 6:30 PM, we were told that our 7:35 flight was delayed until 8:20: At 8:15 our flight decided it wouldn't be much ready to boogie before 9:45.  Long and short of it, we got into our Philly hotel at 2:37 AM, put in our wake-up call order for 5:30 and crawled into bed.  Hi Mercury.

The shuttle bus got us to the airport at 6:20 this morning and by 6:40 we were ready to go through security.  Here comes Mercury...

Okay, so I have that Italian Mafioso look, which is why my BRW won't let me wear a fedora, (brim down low), and why I'm always pulled out for "special" checking, but, that's the price...  Id please.... hand over passport... a sure sign there's something wrong.  What? you don't have a driver's license?  Sir, will you kindly remove your sunglasses for a moment?  Okay, look 'em straight in the eye, don't smile.  Or maybe I should smile?  Your boots sir....  Sorry, age has it's privileges, not required to do so.  Step in sir, feet on yellow spots, hands up and crossed.  Thank you... Will you be kind enough to follow this lady sir, we need to check some items.  Thank you......  Yes, my boots have steel toes.  Yes, that is a medal around my neck.  Saint Anthony, my patron saint.  Yes, that is a ring, actually, it's a wedding band.  Sorry it glowed.

Ah, Mercury, are you keeping an eye on the clock?

Sir, your water bottle has liquid in it.

Yes, radiation, besides leaving me with a permanent Donald Duck voice, also destroyed my salivary glands.  I must constantly sip liquid or my mouth and throat dries and cracks.

Sir, your water bottle has liquid.. yes, water in it and you must leave it here.

Whoa, that's a $20 steel water bottle, it's not staying here....

Your only option is to take it back out and empty it in a garbage bin.... There's garbage bin right over there... Sorry sir, you must empty it in a garbage bin on the other side of security. I'll be glad to take you out.... Okay.  Then, after I dump the water into the garbage bag over there, do you take me back?

Sorry sir, but you'll need to go through security again...

What is this Retrograde stuff anyhow?  And what did I ever do to Mercury?

Walk 30-feet, dump water, present passport, remove sunglasses, keep boots firmly affixed, boots on yellow spots, hands up and crossed, yes that's a chain and a medal, and that's a wedding band, and it is now 9:17 and my flight leaves at 9:30.

Can you direct me to Terminal F?  I see, down these stairs, follow the two moving sidewalks, down one more level to the shuttle bus and bingo! I'm there.  Thanks.

Did I tell you what my BRW said about Mercury?  Yeah?  Good.

Got to the gate with about 4 gigantic minutes to spare.  Just enough to text my wife that I'm about to.........

During the process of moving me through the process, my pocket and belt-hanging stuff (read iPhone and standby water sprayer) were put through by one officer, while my change and other loose stuff was put through by a different officer, AND, never the twain shall meet.  I got my change and loose marbles, but my iPhone and spray bottle were somewhere safe and sound with security.

But, I'm made of firm jello and hardly quivered as I watched my flight depart, then headed for the shuttle that would take me to the terminal named "A", so that I could follow the two moving sidewalks back to my friends at security.

Go! Mercury! Go!


  1. Never look to the sky and shout at the universe "is that all you can do?" unless you mean it.

    So if everything happened to you in just a few days the rest of the year will be smooth sailing, correct? Fingers crossed anyway.

    1. You know, you are probably right, BUT, look at all the fun you can get into if you do shout.

  2. Mike, there were two (if you add Mercury, three) immutable laws at work against you.

    You volunteered to do a REALLY GOOD THING. No good deed goes unpunished.

    You did a REALLY GOOD THING. The law of averages.

    With both those working against you, it's a minor miracle you aren't sitting in Gitmo!

    1. David, I thought: one more moment with this security person who can't distinguish between the effects of a blast from 20 feet as opposed to 27 feet, and I will go screaming from the room. Fortunately, my sloth-like manner prevented any action, and I followed her out to the "safe" garbage can.

  3. Mike:

    You missed your flight ? I have also missed a flight but it wasn't my fault. They closed the door to the plane and it sat there for anther 20 minutes before it moved. Once a plane door is closed, it can't be easily opened again. My luggage went ahead on the first plane, while I followed on the 2nd plane 3 hours later.

    You didn't have to remove your shoes and socks ? Wow ! You must have connections

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Bob:
      Age doth have its privileges.

    2. Mike:

      I just checked the TSA link here. It says Under 12, and Over 75. I must say that you do not look like you are over 75 . As I said, you have connections

      Riding the Wet Coast

  4. I am late to this post, but it was hilarious! You told a take with humor and yet I really, really was glad that I was not in your shoes!

    This just confirms what I recently said to a friend, "I will NEVER fly again. Never."

  5. I really enjoy to read your blog and will be waiting for your next update.I appreciate all the work you put into this site, helping out others with your fun and creative works.
    Balancing Scooter