GALLOPIN’ GRANDMA: Fur and loathing in the airport

By on January 20, 2015
My two aunties going to the airport in their Ford touring car. They have discovered that they don’t know what an airport is and Nebraska doesn’t have one anyway. PHOTO: JEAN WEBBER

My two aunties going to the airport in their Ford touring car. They have discovered that they don’t know what an airport is and Nebraska doesn’t have one anyway.
PHOTO: JEAN WEBBER

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – There was a time when air travel was fabulous. Everyone dressed up, the service was fabulous, the food and drink were fabulous, the planes were fabulous and you could travel to Hawaii or Cuba by Pan Am Clipper. Everything was fabulous, but one day, the fabulosity came to an end and nothing was ever fabulous again.

If you choose to travel today by what is basically a tin can with wings, it will be akin to a trip on a Mexican bus. Actually, the bus may be a better choice as the lady sitting next to you with a chicken in her lap might move over and even let you hold her chicken.

I flew to Israel with my knees behind my neck, no blanket and no food. Moses and the children of Israel might have had a better time of it; at least they were outdoors and could camp. I don’t know what they ate, but it was more than what we had. I realize that it took them a long time, but have you ever spent three days marooned in the Newark airport? Best of all, they didn’t have to get return tickets and worry about redeeming miles and possible cancellations.

I am an old lady who travels with a cane and to be fair, the airlines are usually helpful and accommodating even when I don’t request help. However, everything comes to a halt when I approach the cave of doom, also known as airport security, where there is no hope.

When I approach this area and announce that I have two fake knees that cost more than their last car, alarms and bells go off and I am wrestled into an area where I cannot explode and endanger others. An agent arrives and goes over every inch; they check my hands for explosive residue, I take off my shoes and even my bra straps are suspect. By the time they decide that I am not a threat to world order, my husband, and probably the plane, have disappeared.

My friend, Agnes Gumm, from my hometown of Corn Cob, Iowa, decided to visit her sister in Florida. She also took along her cat Buster who is old and cranky and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Agnes passed security just fine, but then the agents asked Agnes to take Buster out of his carrier so they could check him for contraband. They went over him with a wand and he was not amused. It’s one thing to remove a cat from his carrier, but something else to put him back. It took three TSA agents and a box of Band-Aids to reload Buster. Meanwhile, while they are checking my bra straps and strip-searching Buster, passengers with exploding underwear, bombs in their shoes and suitcases full of meth are prancing onto the plane. At least the world is safe from Buster and me.

 If you decide to travel by air I would suggest that you leave everything with four feet at home, make sure you have no fake parts and if you get a choice between plane and third world bus, take the bus – you just might get there sooner.

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