Last week at the airport I had a distinguished privilege.
I got to be "that person who is about to miss their flight and cuts everyone else in the security line".
That hated individual...
It all began when I left my phone on the super shuttle.
Unfortunately I was blissfully unaware that it all began already - we got all the way through security at LAX. (I was supposed to be the adult in the group of high school kids I was leading through the airport.)
Then I tried to check the time on my phone and lo and behold it was quite absent.
So I looked around every where and finally used someone else's phone to get a hold of the driver who said that he had it and was outside. The other people on our team could watch my kids and my backpack.
With a scant amount of time left before the plane was going to board I decided to try my luck and go outside to get my phone from the driver. Which of course would require me to go through all of LAX security a second time.
To my surprise the driver was nowhere to be found. It appears that we had different interpretations of the phrase: "I am right here." Mine being, "He is right outside the Southwest terminal which I am in," and his being, "I am also present at the the airport known as LAX." Not having time to jog the entire LAX loop in search of him I returned to the terminal and attempted to get through security. I did this using a means known as: begging desperately and pitifully for my life.
There was a line where a TSA agent was looking at boarding passes.
"HI... I.. WELL YOU SEE...Me begging."
They let me cut. The TSA agent squinted at me and said, "Weren't you just here? What are you doing in this line again?"
I thought, "Yes. I just told everyone that I came back out to look for my cell phone and didn't even get it can you please persecute someone who has more time?"
I came up to a small room packed full of about twenty miserable people waiting to have their boarding passes and ID's checked by TSA people with strange flashlights.
My eyes were wide with horror, I was breathing heavily from running around the whole freaking terminal. Not again I don't want to do it again. You have to do this again. There is no way you are going to make it if you wait through this line- also you might pee your pants from anxiety."
" I UM... EXCUSE ME I...begging."
They looked at me. All twenty of them.
If eyes could bore holes I would have been Swiss cheese.
They were all angry.
I saw in their eyes a flash of mob mentality. They all had to agree to let me go forward. If even the people in the back said, "no cutting looser face," I would be totally out of luck.
In this picture I have all these people talking but really they weren't talking.
It was pin-drop silent, it was nobody-did-the-homework-silent. Eons of silence.
The man in the front moved to the side.
The people after him slowly budged over.
I did more bowing than a Japanese salesman.
"God." said the TSA agent.
"That line through the detectors looks shortest," a woman said quietly and let me go through.
I hopped on one foot taking my shoes off and putting them back on and took off at a sprint down the terminal.
Running in the airport is not romantic like in the movies.
Everyone looks at you and thinks, "shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit..." with superfluous "i"s, and some of them just say that.
I made it.
People are nicer than you might think, even in our sometimes not so angelic city of angels.
No airport is complete without:
1. The person who is about to miss their flight. (me!)
2. A Starbucks approximately every 5 feet.
3. One MacDonald's that thinks it's a gourmet restaurant. Today's Special: Trade a hamburger for your Rolex.
4. A bazillion Americans not well versed in "stand right walk left" all using escalators and moving walkways inefficiently. Every time: "Did you know that in Japan people queue up so efficiently that they GET CRAP DONE?"
I was, however, NOT that person who shot up LAX. Nope. That was a different person who was apparently upset with being treated like a terrorist. Thus their motto became, "If you treat me like a terrorist I will become one." If I lived by the motto, "if you treat me like one I will become one," I would be a gangly awkward person who....wait never mind that is what I am like.
Also someday I would like to see one of those airport endings turn up like this: