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August 8, 2016

Random Screening

The alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. And, I'm up, shuffling around in the darkness. Feed the cats, throw some things in a bag, and I find everything except for my helmet.

Step outside to see that I left my helmet on the bike last night. In the driveway. And it rained.

So, my helmet is wet. Great. Climb onto the bike and head down the mountain. I leave the house at 6:15 a.m. for a 8:45 flight. So, this is right. This is good. I have enough time.

But once I get to I-70 and I-25, the traffic is always backed up, so I'm driving down the shoulder when I pass a Denver city cop. He drops in behind me and pulls me over.

License, Insurance, and Registration.

Great. So, I hand him everything he asked for, but I have no idea where this goes. Do I have warrants? I'm not sure. Maybe. Maybe not.

After a while, the cop returns and hands me a ticket. 1 point. $130 dollars. Worse things have happened. "Be careful out there," I tell him.

Now, I drive out to the airport and roll up to the entrance at Canopy Parking.

"Park in Section C", she tells me.

The signs I pass say park in Section B.

And now, I see a guy in a parking shuttle. "Park in Section D", he barks.

So, it would be nice if they'd get their act together. But this is where we are.

I park my bike, and take a photo of where the bike is parked. The parking spaces are numbered.

The shuttle driver doesn't give me a vehicle locator slip, so I have to ask him to write me one. Once he does, I take a photo of it also.

He just keeps loading more and more people on the the shuttle, without leaving. Until we've been sitting here for 15 minutes and I have to tell him I need to get to the airport.

So, reluctantly, he starts off driving us to the airport.

"What airline are you flying?" he asks.

"I'm not going to a ticket counter. I already have a boarding pass. I want you to drop me off at the first door you come to."

So, he drops me off close to where I asked. I flash my frequent flyer card to one of the coats and now I'm clearing security. But the metal detector beeps when I walk through it.

"Why did I set off the metal detector?" I ask.

"You've been selected for random secondary screening."

Great. Like, after they raped me out in Ontario last week. Just what I wanted.

But he pats me down very briefly, and says "You're good to go." and turns me loose.

Now, I hustle out to the Terminal 3 and find my way out to the gate.

After waiting for about 30 minutes, they start lining us up. Now, I've photoshopped my boarding pass, per usual, so that I can board sooner. But this time, when he scans my boarding pass, somehow he figures out that I'm boarding too soon.

"You board with the C group. Just wait over there," and he waves me off to a corner of the airport collecting dust balls.

Great. So, that sucks, in a big way. See, by not flying for 2 years, I lost my status and now I have to board at the end and I'll be stuck in a middle seat with is just death.

So, finally I get to board with the C group and now, I'm going to be shoe-horned between 2 total strangers. Excellent.

So, finally, I choose a middle seat between 2 women. 1 is fat. 1 is thin. Wearing a wedding ring. Not ideal, but I don't want to go any further back or I'll never get off the plane.

What I missed is the 4 year old sitting behind me. So, I'm uncomfortable, shoe-horned in between 2 strangers. I put my seat back, I shove in my ear plugs, and manage to fall asleep. I wake up as we start our initial descent. Now, the 4 year old wakes up also, and she won't shut up. She's kicking the back of my seat over and over. I want to murder her.

Finally, once we land, I can stand it no longer. People are in the aisle and debarring and this little rugrat won't stop kicking my seat and finally I've had enough. "Would you please ask her to stop kicking my seat?"

But the things mom is this horrid medusa and she's like "She's 4 years old!" She just keeps shouting this at me, over and over like....because she's under 5, apparently she can't be controlled, it seems.

Finally, I manage to escape from my seat and deboard.

Go outside to catch the shuttle bus to Parking Lot 5. The driver asks me where I parked and I tell him exactly where I parked. But he doesn't get it. "I parked at the front of the lot, all the way down, in the shade." Like, I really couldn't make it any clearer.

But now, for whatever reason, everyone on the shuttle bus is asking me why I can't remember where I parked. Which, is absurd. I know exactly where I parked. I park at the same place every time. It never changes. And like...why is no one else talking about where their car is? It's just surreal. Like a bad dream.

"I always take a photo of my car so I don't forget where I parked," this bitch offers.

"I did not forget where I parked. What the fuck is wrong with you people. I know exactly where I parked. If he wasn't going 3 mph we'd be there by now."

Finally, he drives me to my motorcycle, parked exactly where I told him it was.

I hop on the bike and consider my options. This is where my trick of driving away without paying comes into play. But today has not been a good day. The trouble is, I couldn't pay if I wanted to, because I didn't get a ticket when I came in on Thursday. Great.

So, I wheel out of the parking lot without paying and race towards work. A few of us go to lunch as soon as we get to work. In the parking lot, the boss says, "I don't feel like doing anything today." And I'm thinking....that's exactly what I was thinking.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 8, 2016 at 2:44 PM

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