So I guess you're supposed to get you're driver's license renewed when you turn 28. Yeah, didn't know that.
I also didn't know that when you go to the airport and hand your boarding pass, along with your driver's license, to the man or woman blocking your way to the security scanner thingy, blocking your way to your gate, that the man or woman is not just checking for a name and face match. They are looking to see if your ID is current.
The date was 5/1/2007. Only three days expired. You'd think they'd give me a break.
Old wrinkled man trying to sound in charge: You got another form of ID? This is expired.
Me: What?! No, uh....no, I, uh.....no. (I search frantically in my purse.)
Old man: That's OK. Go ahead. (writes something on my boarding pass.)
Me: (thinking) Yes! He let me by! Sweet.
I take my shoes off. Take the little plastic baggy with small bottles of liquid out of my backpack. Put my shoes, purse, backpack, and little plastic baggy on the conveyor belt, and confidently walk through the security door frame, hand my boarding pass to a grey-haired man whose belly hangs over his belt, and sweetly smile.
He starts to hand it back, then does a double take at my boarding pass.
Belly Man: (thick Texan accent) Wup! I got a Code 5 here! I got a Code 5!
Me: (thinking) A what?!?!
African American, very strong and very tall woman: (yelling) WHAT? WHATCHA GOT? WHAT IS SHE? WHAT IS SHE?
Belly Man: Got a Code 5 here! Code 5!
Very strong woman: WHAT IS SHE? WHAT IS SHE?
Me: What am I? What am I?
Belly Man: Ma'am, just step right over here, please. On this mat. Place your feet on the outlined feet you see on the mat. Wait here.
Me: No, I will not put my bare feet on that nappy mat. (I stand next to the mat.)
Very strong woman: Ma'am, please put your feet on the mat.
Me: (quickly) OK.
I step on the mat wondering how many other nappy feet have been on the mat. I stand and wait, my legs set in a wide stance because my feet have to be on top of the outlined feet on the mat. I stand and wait, thinking that my feet are way too far apart and that it feels weird to stand this way.
Finally the woman pats me down, feeling for weapons, I guess. I try to imagine what it's like for her if she ever actually finds a weapon on someone. Maybe she starts yelling, "CODE 6! SHE'S A CODE 6! Or maybe she nonchalantly stands and slowly walks over to Belly Man, and he yells CODE 6! Or maybe she just throws down and tackles the perpetrator right then and there.
She tells me to watch my bags as they come out of the belt. She doesn't find any weapons. Whew! She takes me to my bags, where two people go through every single pocket and rub my things down with some sort of large cotton round, then run it through some Star Trek machine. I wonder what they're checking for. Traces of invisible chemical lethal substances? A sharp pointy thing lodged in my camera? Definitely probably checking for bombs.
All because I'm three days expired.
Then she says: What'd they get you for?
Me: Expired ID. Three days old.
She laughs and nods her head, like....yeah, thought so.
What, you mean I don't look like a person you should be patting down and screening? Huh, go figure.