Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hiding the Salami

I did some traveling earlier this week, and I often times get "pulled over" in airports. This is my term for the quality one-on-one time I rack up with the TSA crews across the country.

In Boston's Logan International we did a full take apart of my suitcase and dusted my book and shoes with special swipes to detect something super dangerous. Cleveland Ohio was another fun time when I got pulled from the boarding line, wanded in full jumping jack position and then felt up. You read correctly -- felt up people! The woman doing all of this apologizes as she drops the wand and goes in for full feel. Why? I was told it was because I was wearing an underwire bra. Those commercials do always talk about how dynamic and empowered you will be....who knew it was all in the underwire?!

Anyway, my latest adventure was notable as well. I was flying from San Jose, California to Vive Las Vegas baby! I am meeting one of my favorite cousins there and I have been looking forward to this trip for a while. I can't wait to get on that plane!

I am putting my shoes back on at the end of the security checkpoint, and getting ready to head to my gate when I hear, "Please step over here Ma'am" Here we go. Damnit!

My suitcase is now completely unzipped and this small, 50ish looking soft spoken man is going through every little thing I have packed. This is always very fun for me. Pretty soon he pulls out a 16inch or so cylindrical item that is gift wrapped in tissue paper, with ribbons on the end. He takes it from my bag and holds it with a pretty firm grip as he exchanges a glance with one of his coworkers. He then turns back to me, shakes the gift in a rigorous arm arcing away from the body motion (you know what it looked like given the shape of what he was holding) and simply asks, "Salami?"

Good guess! Yes it is indeed a highly seasoned sausage of pork and beef (Merriam Webster Dictionary definition for you there -- just so we are all clear on what exactly I was packing!)

I affirm his guess and then nervously start to chatter. Who knows why I do this. I mean, how much information does this guy really need?

Well, I can tell you he got more than he needed. The "Salami?" inquiry elicits all sorts of useless commentary, like: "Yes it is a salami. I am Italian and I am meeting a cousin in Las Vegas. The salami is a gift for her; sort of a family tradition"

The gentleman just deadpans while waiting for me to finish yammering away.

I do and eventually my bag is put back together. I am on my way.

He gave me back the salami, by the way. My cousin seemed pretty happy to hear that it came with a complimentary Daniella Is A Giant Nerd story. Good times.

Vive Las Vegas, cured meats, useless diatribe and support for our troops!

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