Don’t Travel with a Bullet in Your Purse.

I finished out my time in Ontario – not too much else noteworthy, except either they have traffic issues, or I am bad juju for their streets! Every time we went to go somewhere, it seemed that all hell broke loose the moment my butt settled in the car. It was much like that period in my life that every time I spoke on the phone with someone on a computer, their system would freeze up. But that’s a story for another day!

I did get a chance to see a very dear friend who lives out that way, so that was a total highlight to my trip!

On Wednesday, the IP’s and I said our goodbyes and off I went, with all their hopes nestled in my … well, my uterus.

One thing I hadn’t thought through, or maybe just couldn’t have seen from outside the process, was what it felt like to have all of someone’s hopes pinned on you. In reality, there’s very little you can or can’t do to make a transfer a success. But I still felt like I was responsible in a way. And it was weighing on me more than I had anticipated.

But moving on to the trip home. I don’t want to throw my hometown’s airport security under the bus… but I passed through security there without a second glance from anyone. Bigger cities were obviously more tuned in to my criminal potential!

Naturally, they send me off to the “super security” lineup in the Toronto airport. Where they do the extra thorough checks or something? I’m not entirely sure what the implication is, however everyone in front of me is taking of their shoes, first of all. So I ask the guy in front of me “Do we have to take off our shoes?” my mind going to the dubious fashion choice of tall, pink, cupcake festooned socks that I was wearing under my boots. “No”, he replies “but if they set off the scanner, that’s the only chance you get.” Looks down at my feet “You’re wearing boots.” Me “Yes…?” Him “Well I wouldn’t risk it …”. And so off came the boots.

I tend to be a people watcher, so I saw the quick glance between the two security guys. It’s not the look you want to see, and I knew something was up. And then my purse got sucked back into the scanner, and I got that same feeling I get whenever I see a police car while driving. That sinking, clutching feeling in the pit of my stomach. The same one that makes me slow down while driving, even when I am already driving the speed limit (which, if you’re reading this Dad, I totally always am…).

So I’m standing there, on my own, in a strange airport… wracking my brain to figure out what I could have in my purse that was causing these people concern. I heard one of them say “There’s only one…” and still, I was drawing a blank.

The second security officer brings my purse to the end and says “I’m sorry ma’am, but I have to search your purse”. At least he was polite, and apologized numerous times for making a mess of my stuff … there’s something to be said for them not choosing to be rude about it.

He was pulling things out, one by one, into a bin … making me shamefully aware of the sheer amount of crap I haul around on a daily basis. I mean, how much Chapstick do I plan to use in a day? Hair barrettes for my daughter, gum, small toys, receipts, medication, and on and on it went.

And then, the look. He had found what he was looking for. He slowly pulled it out, held it up … and there it was. A bullet. Comprehension dawned in me. He levelled his gaze at me “Is there a reason you are carrying this?”

And I blurted “Because I’m a Mom!” He looked confused.

“I have three kids!!” He didn’t look enlightened.

“Okay, let me explain!!” He gave me a look, one that said “Yes… that would be good.”

“So, I have three kids! And we were out somewhere a couple months ago (I don’t even remember where), and my oldest came up to me with that (point to bullet) in his hand. He had found it lying on the ground and brought it to me. I thanked him and looked around for a garbage can, but didn’t see one, so I threw it into my purse and (it fell to the bottom of the abyss where I promptly) forgot about it!” and in case he doubted my sincerity “I’m really sorry! Please just throw it away! I don’t need it!!”

But of course, there is protocol to be followed in such situations. One of them went off to consult with a manager, while the one that had torn my purse apart actually offered to put it back together. He was explaining to me that he had seen a similar situation previously … which (I gather) hadn’t ended well … but that they took the person into account. All of this was said very soothingly, which I took to mean “It’s OK! You are by all appearances a suburban housewife/ soccer Mom– it’ll be alright.”

And so it was. With an attempt at a stern lecture about cleaning out my purse prior to travelling (I swear he was trying not to laugh), I was sent on my way. Sans bullet, natch.

I figured that I had hit my fill of airport shenanigans for the trip, but of course there was my layover in Calgary to consider.

High point of the layover was that my brother and sister-in-law came to the airport to see me, and brought my darlings to see me — aka my nephew and niece! We got to squeeze in a quick visit, a bite to eat, and hugs! Happy me.

Then back through security, where I was randomly selected for a full body scan! Yay!! They ask you to choose between the scanner thingy you step into, and a pat down. Now, not being much of a traveller these days, I have no idea what the pros and cons are to each of these choices! (Please feel free to clue me in). But as I was unwilling to take off my sweater, I got the pat down.

The upside to all of this – aside from not actually being criminally inclined, and therefore giving them no real reason to detain me – was that it sure cut down on all my waiting time! By the time I was through security in both cities, I was able to walk right into the check in lines.

And the last hour and a bit home from Calgary was totally uneventful.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Vic
    Apr 05, 2014 @ 06:38:43

    LOL Only you, Ange!


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