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Checking in at with TSA
Judi Tabler color mug

My ride dropped me off, as I arrived at the Wichita Eisenhower airport. It was a beautiful day for a plane trip. 

I unloaded my luggage, pulled the luggage handle out, topped it with my ginormous loaded down purse, and headed for the door. I had my gate pass printed, and everything looked in order.

With ticket, driver’s license, and quart-sized bag of liquids in hand, I proceeded to the TSA  “security”  line. They weren’t busy, so I felt lucky; this security process would be a “breeze.”

I grabbed several trays, began to unload my stuff, lift my suitcase to the moving rollers, and stuffed my purse in another tray.

“Ma’am,” the TSA woman whispered, “Are you over 75?”  

Boy, did I ever wish that she hadn’t asked me that. I mean, do I look that old? Well, I guess I do.

“Yes, I am over 75.”

“Well, then, you don’t have to take your shoes off.”

“Oh goody,” I thought, as I stood ready to walk through the magnetic arch.

“Don’t buzz. Don’t buzz,” I thought to myself as the TSA guy motioned to me.

BZZZZZZZ. Oh no. The TSA guy said, “I think it’s your shoes.” They have some silver foil in the leather design. I took them off. I walked the plank again. No buzz.

“Ma’am, you need to take your shoes back to the screener so they can go through the x-ray.” I walked back through the magnetic arch and put my stinky shoes on the rollers. I walked back through the arch. No buzz.

As I stood waiting for my possessions to roll toward me, the girl at the screening machine pointed to my suitcase. Her gesture seemed to ask if it belonged to me. I nodded.

It didn’t pass inspection! The elderly TSA agent facing me asked if he could examine the contents. Did I have anything unusual in the suitcase? I had packed a candle that I planned to give to a friend.

He dug, and (I was so thankful that I had packed neatly) retrieved that devil of a candle. Baaaad candle! The several TSA’ers passed it around and eventually funneled it through the scanner. They were not immediately sure that I could keep it.

While standing there, suddenly my nose began to bleed. Right in the middle of the “Is this your suitcase?” I had to grab a paper towel from one of the TSA tables. Standing there with my nose dripping, and facing a man in front of me pawing through my belongings, I had to look pretty funny. A TSA woman advised, “Just lean your head back” ... but I didn’t really want to do that. I was watching my suitcase contents being moved around.

Soon they cleared me; deciding that the evil candle could remain in my possession. Oh hurrah. I stood there, slowly putting everything together again, grabbing my guilty shoes, and dragging my belongings to the nearest chair. 

All I could think was, “Let’s get this show on the road,” and I headed down the hall.

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at Visit her website