Altogether just a bonzer travel day, PDX-LAX, lo not without its interesting moments. Winnie, complete with crew ID, docs, etc., had to take her Crocs off in Portland. Her home town crew base. I LOL’d. She carped and requested a supervisor. Guess what? No joy there. I imagined him replying “Uh, unless you want fries with that, I can’t help you.” I LOL’d a bit louder than I should have... which attracted the attention of another security conscious, badged, uniformed, all-powerful TSA Agent who had, apparently, been instructed to watch out for anything psychologically unusual. A rent-a-cop trying to be all psychological and stuff. He picked up on it right away, since there is nothing more unusual than some older gray-haired white guy being happy or laughing at a United States Security Checkpoint. Thoughts of Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie came to mind. Col. Klink came to mind, too.
TSA - “Is something funny?”
Me - “Yes”.
TSA - “What’s funny?”
Me - “You don’t need to know, it’s personal.”
That pissed him off. He called for a supervisor. Another supervisor. Winnie and I now have two agents and two agent “supervisors” in attendance. All with those spiffy blue uniforms and shiny badges! It was enough to give a uniform freak a total erection, lasting more than four hours. All the while I’m wondering how I can invite two or three more “supervisors” to the party and still make my flight in an hour and a half. They can be brutal with their delay tactics.
Supervisor - “What’s funny?”
Me - “I’m just a happy guy. It’s all funny. I’m having a good time.”
Supervisor - “Blah, blah, bl... “
My eyes glazed over. I’m not going to be able to lean on ‘em much more without having them invoking the Full Punative and Exemplary Double-delay Phase.
Me - “Excuse me, but am I in compliance, and if so, why are we/you having this conversation?”
Supervisor to agent - “Do you want to pat him down?”
Me - “I just cleared the nekkid scanner...”
TSA - “Just step over here.”
Me - “Okay, as long as I can maintain eye contact with my baggage, you know, what with potential theft and bag security and all. I really shouldn’t allow my baggage to leave my direct control...”
I submitted to a thorough pat down. Smiling all the while. After my Penalty Pat-down, they “released” me and both just turned and walked away.
When it comes to the security of the United States of America, one just can’t be too careful. I know that I feel more secure now, don’t you?
And the next time someone posts some nationalistic crap about “freedom” on FB, I’ll just be thinking of pat-downs, “traffic” drones, government officials...
Uneventful flight, though, landed in LAX right on time and checked into the Renaissance, our Wednesday night home-away-from-home. (They leave the light on for ya too.) Had a scrumptious low-dollar Western lunch. Subway. Feeling expansive and worldly, I had the sammich toasted. With just a little effort, you can go First Class, all the way, right?
Had a great visit later in the evening with nephew Todd and his wife Marie-Ange. We dined al-fresco at a little table in the chilly night air of the Farmer’s Market in Beverly Hills.
Chairs - Hard (I’d a traded Winnie’s Visa card for a rubber donut to sit on.)
Food - Good... Lots of garlic!
People watching - even better! Lots of cute girls (with boob jobs that looked like the headlights on a Stutz Bearcat) in short skirts over tights with high-heeled boot-shoes... Very fashionable. The guys? I’m guess that I may be getting old. I just don’t think that I’m a good candidate for day-glo multi-coloured tennis shoes, piercings, or tats, or ankle length skinny-pants tight enough to make your nuts go to sleep. I’m flexible, though, and probably shouldn’t use the word “never”. Ever.
At the end of the evening, Todd and M-A dropped us off at the hotel, and he admonished me... (Are nephews allowed to “admonish” uncles?) to “Be careful and don’t take any chances over there in Southeast Asia!”. Mois? Take chances? “Pffffftttttt”, I said, with a straight face.
Okay. Right now. Can you say Pffffftttttt with a straight face? Difficult, isn’t it?
Back at the hostel, Winnie and I unanimously decided that a successful day demands a celebratory nightcap. Winnie and I attended the Library Bar en duo. She, of course, had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc... grassy and fresh with a hint of pineapple. I spied a dusty old bottle of 15 year-old Dalwhinnie on the back of a top shelf, and ordered a double. On the rocks. Yes, I know. Call the Scotch Police. They’ll add your “ice” complaint to the stack that cousin Floyd, a noted scotch whisky aficionado, has already filed on me. Bloody hell, it was good! It had a light and smoky aroma for a scotch, not so aggressive on the palate that maybe even a girl could sip it, a hint of caramel, and well, a crisp freshness that really re-invigorated me. Excellent!
I had another.
Soon, I felt peace, love and happiness course through my whole being. Nirvana (no, not the band). The night gradually dimmed to a warm glow, deep within my being, my soul. Bedtime was upon me.
I called for the tab. It was promptly delivered by some chick with the skirt and boot thing going on all over. I glanced at the tab. Digging deep for fortitude, I was barely able to keep that old poker face on. DO YOU HAVE ANY FRIKKIN IDEA WHAT 15 YEAR OLD DALWHINNIE COSTS? AT A BAR?... IN A HOTEL?... NEXT TO LAX AERODROME? Breathtaking. But if I croak tomorrow, it was totally worth it. So there. What’s done, is done.
G’night, all. Until tomorrow...