Friday, May 4, 2007

Code 5

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.

Mine wasn't.

Expired 4/28/2007.

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,, I, (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.


Herbert S. Crotch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seth Ward said...

I'd pat you down.


FancyPants said...


Such comments NOT ALLOWED.

Rob said...

I had this happen to me at a rental car place at Detroit airport. I got past the airline because I generally use a passport as ID there.

I was driving out of the rental car lot and handed over my license and the contract. The nice guard sent me back to the office where we talked for about an hour to no avail. Eventually Jenn rented the car in her name and we swapped drivers later.

I had actually renewed my license but it hadn't come in the mail before we left. No slack at all!

SandinaJ said...

When I went to Cancun, Mexico a few years back, I got pulled aside and given the whole "terrorist treatment" when we arrived in Mexico.

At first, I thought they picked me at random. They were just pointing people out to pat down and thumb through their belongings.

Boy was I wrong...and boy was I embarrassed. They found a tiny pair of scissors in my make up bag that I stupidly decided to carry on instead of pack with my big suitcase.

When they pointed me out, I didn't think much of it because it was before I had even gone through the metal detector...but my bag had already gone through the x-ray machine. The closer I got to them, the more I realized I was in trouble for something. I just had no idea what....because they were freaking out in SPANISH.

Long story short, I got patted down from head to toe. Everything in my bag was searched through and they confiscated the scissors. As they were taking them out, the lady said in her best English, "No SEEZORZ in Mexico!"

Me being a little bit irritated by this point said, "Si, I comprende," in my best Spanish accent.

I hate flying. I'm sorry you had to go through that...just for a little short flight, too. But, I'm glad that I got to see you this week. Love ya!

FancyPants said...

Rob, no slack at all! I mean, c'mon people! Actually, I'm thankful they're being thorough,,,it's just not so fun when it happens to you.

San, I'm crackin up. No SEEZORZ in Mexico!

Mz Jackson said...

Yes, you look like such a terrible person, God forbid you should get by with a three day expired license. What kind of citizen are you???

As punishment, you've been tagged for the Seven Random Facts About Me Meme. Check my blog for details of your punishment.

Susanne said...

The kids and I went on a trip last week, and I almost lost control while going through the security thingy. There I was taking off my shoes and my kids' shoes (my little girl is freaking out because she had no idea she had to take off her shoes...she thinks they're taking them away, and she wants me to hold her but I have to hold the baby, so she starts crying), folding my stroller, trying to hold onto my little guy because he's screaming to run down the concourse, putting two bags and a purse onto the conveyor belt (once again, daughter is crying because her bag is taken away), and trying to get my ID out of my pocket while little guy is kicking the fire out of me and head-butting me. Not fun. I came really close to saying, "Do I look like a freaking terrorist???!! Do you think that I would have time to plan mass destruction when I have two kids to take care of??!!" But then I realized that I would be spending my Granny's birthday in jail if I said that, so I decided to keep my mouth shut.

Sorry you had to go through that! I sure would've thought they'd cut you some slack since your license had just expired. I need to go check when mine expires...

FancyPants said...

Oh, that sounds aweful, Susanne. You deserve an award for getting your kids through that.

But, your comment just reminded me to get my lisence renewed. Thanks!