Monthly Archives: June 2016

Nothing Secure in my Security

I know I’ve spoken before about the topic of security. Mostly, it’s security at the airport, which is in itself, an extremely frightening affair. Those security people are only doing their jobs, I know, but it is terrifying anyway and I’m always afraid I will forget to take off my shoes or the machines will go off because I forgot to properly bag my toothpaste.

Once, at JFK airport in New York, my bag of souvenirs set off the alarms and four security officers were there, just like that. Because I was so shook, I couldn’t remember the combination lock on my case and it took me three tries before it finally opened. They were getting out a crowbar when I finally got it open and I’ve always comforted myself with the notion that they were going to use the crowbar on the suitcase…not me!

My bout with security this time came at a taping of the Stephen Colbert show in New York. Roy had been looking forward to going to the Stephen Colbert show at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York ever since we decided to go to New York this summer.

The first thing we learned was patience. We were forced to stand in a line on the street outside the theater for over an hour waiting for our tickets (which we had already reserved online.) About the time I thought my legs and feet would sue for separate maintenance, they finally got us in line and handed out…little slips of paper. They also stamped our hands with an obnoxious blue stain. The perky young worker at the theater cheerfully explained that we should come back with the stamps and slips of cheap paper in an hour and a half and we should eat before we came because we would be standing in line again. There were gentlemen wearing side arms standing there watching, so I didn’t say what I was thinking.

When we came back, we were again checked for the slips of paper, the stamps and our “government issued ID.” In the interest of security, I was wearing all my cards and license and my money in a pouch next to my skin and therefore, getting out my driver’s license was somewhat involved and required other people standing in line having to look at my fat belly.

It was then that I realized that we were also going to be fed through a metal detector inside the door. I couldn’t understand it. Why did Colbert need all this security? That’s when it finally hit me: Bernie Sanders was his guest tonight and Bernie Sanders is under the protection of the Secret Service. It wasn’t just some random ex-military guys trying to intimidate us. It was the United States Secret Service who were grim-facedly running people through the metal detector, patting them down and searching purses.

“Have your ID out, your purses open and all metal out of your pockets,” the terrifying man in the bullet-proof vest intoned humorlessly and I stuck my driver’s license in my teeth and made to remove the change from my pouch. Unfortunately, this proved to be a sticky business because the heartburn lozenges I had thoughtfully included in my pack had melted being so near my body heat.

They crumbled and fell out of the pouch so that now, even as I write this, there are some colorful clumps of lozenges stuck to the sidewalk in downtown New York. But the worst was when I had to hand United States Secret Service agents the handful of sticky change that had been glued together with the melted heartburn meds. I’m pretty sure they sanitized their hands quickly after touching that muck!

After that experience, I had a real case of stress heartburn, but that didn’t help me any because the lozenges I should have taken for it were stuck all over my money and licking it off my coins didn’t seem all that appealing! I hate security!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Did you pack the…of course not!

I am getting ready to take off for an extended vacation in the next week or so, and therefore it has become my painful duty to do the one thing I hate the most in the world…plan ahead.

I have never in my life gone on one single trip where I was not encumbered by the necessity of either doing without whatever I forgot, or running out to frantically try to replace it. The number of drugstores in strange cities where I have been seen, running down the aisles, searching frantically for pantyhose, a headache remedy or some sort of makeshift gift would be a staggering figure.

This last weekend may illustrate my problems with remembering. We were on a trip to the Twin Cities, but we were going to an unfamiliar area. We had all kinds of maps and instructions, but we decided we should take the GPS anyway. Roy gathered the chargers, the stand, etc. and put them in the car. Halfway to Minneapolis, he turned to me and said, “Did you pack the GPS in the trunk?”

“GPS?” was my vague response.

We made it where we were going, but it was touchy. It’s the same every time. It’s not because we are more than ordinarily forgetful; no, our problem is much more elementary: I do everything last minute, including packing. It doesn’t matter how much warning I’ve had, I still wait until the very last minute and then I try to remember everything.

Sometimes I make a list in advance. This is extremely helpful. I make the list, promptly lose it and so my last-minute packing leaves something out. This has resulted in my wearing sneakers to a wedding, using my fingers to comb my hair and always and inevitably forgetting my deodorant!

The upcoming vacation (and it’s coming fast) will include several days of camping before an air trip to New York and some Broadway plays. That means I must remember camping equipment, food, and dress clothes…all in the same trip. I just hope I don’t show up at a Broadway theater in my walking sweat-suit!

I have a daughter who likes to be meticulously organized. I maintain that someone switched her at birth because she cannot be mine. She makes lists (and hangs on to them), plans her events down to the last detail and is always months ahead of time in her arrangements. I wish I was like that, but I am not.

So, on the last day before I leave for vacation I will be frantically throwing fry pans, eggs and bacon, dress theater jackets and my favorite ratty old pajamas in the suitcase and it won’t be until I’m well on the road that I will remember that I should have brought the coffee and that I don’t know if my dress shoes are in the suitcase or not!My husband has been asking me not-so-subtle questions all week like, “Do you have all the laundry done that you need?” (I have been known to throw dirty clothes in the suitcase and rinse them out in a motel sink). Or, “Say, dear, have you brought up the suitcases yet? You know, so we can get started packing?” (That’s so silly, because frequently I will not have unpacked from a previous trip, so when I get the suitcase, I find not so fresh clothes in it or discover that THIS is where my spare toothbrush went.)


I’ll get around to packing for this trip, but I know without a doubt that my husband is going to turn to me when we are in the car, much too late to turn around and go back, and say, “Oh, by the way, did you pack…oh, never mind, we’ll have to get along without it!” Happy vacationing, everyone!

 

 

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Let the Sun Shine In

It’s been coming on for a long time. The creeping darkness, the constant cluttering. I’ve been slowly becoming more aware of the gathering gloom. It was time to take charge. It was time to clean those windows.

I’m no fan of any household chores, but the one I think I despise more than any is cleaning windows. It’s such a thankless job. You clean and rub and polish and then you walk away, only to glance back and see more smears. It’s like rolling a heavy stone to the top of a hill and then realizing that you let go of it too soon and it’s rolling back down! Frustrating, to say the least.

Because of all the aforementioned fun times, it is a fact that at my house the windows get pretty gloomy before I’m finally forced to do something. And this week, we reached that wonderful point where it was impossible to see enough to determine if it there was a mud smear on the window or if there was just a heavy, silent rain coming down!

So, on Saturday morning, I took a deep breath, trembled as I downed my coffee and said to my husband, “I think it’s time we clean the windows.”

“So soon?” he enquired, “It seems like we just did that…I don’t know exactly when, but I know it was the year Tracie graduated. When was that? Three years ago?”

“Ten years ago,” I said. “I’ll get the rags and soap, you bring the buckets and ladders.”

“The windows haven’t been washed in ten years?” he was horrified.

“Of course they have been washed…on the inside…some of them…a few times,” I muttered.

We started with the highest windows and I’ll give Roy his credit. He took the outside, clinging to a ladder in a progressively increasing wind and giving the outside a good scrub. Apparently those kind of heights make a person crabby, though, because when I kept pointing out spots that he had missed, he finally invited me to come out and do it myself. Given that incentive, I soon learned to regard the windows as perfectly fine!The upstairs windows were dirty, but they were nothing compared to the basement windows, which sit nearer the dirt on the ground. Taking them apart and cleaning them meant removing a few layers of mud and cleaning the sills of all the sifted-in dirt.


“Come on, aren’t you ready to put this window back together yet?” Roy, sensing the end of the task was near, grew impatient with my lack of speed.

“Just hold your horses, will you? I’m on an archeological dig here,” I told him, scooping up hands full of packed in dirt.

“An archeological dig? What do you mean?”

“I mean I digging in the dirt and the artifacts are plentiful,” I answered.

“Artifacts?” he stuck his head in the window, looking at the array of pennies, nails, combs, pencils, ect., that I had dug out.

“And not just artifacts,” I added. “Some of these bug bodies have been here long enough to qualify as mummies. I don’t know whether to throw them in the garbage or call a museum.”

We’re done with the windows now and the house is filled with clean, sparkling light. We’ve discovered that we have new neighbors and that some of our trees have grown up and there is actually a house behind ours now. It’s so nice to see out the windows again.

“So, when do you suppose we’ll have to do that again,” Roy asked as he relaxed in the living room next to the gleaming windows.

“I don’t know, how do you feel about doing it on Tracie’s 20th anniversary of graduating from high school?” I’ve never been an ambitious kind of person!

 

 

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