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!
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