I Think I’m Engaged To A TSA Agent Now!

Howdy Ho Peeps!  So yesterday was Sunday, right?  I have completely lost track of days.  I know!  My wife has only been gone for 1 day and I have already fallen apart.  Go figure….. Just don’t tell her.

Anyway, as some of you may have read in my last post, my wife is now in UncleSamAStan for a whole year.  I always hate saying goodbye..especially when it’s to the Mrs.  And in a highly public place like the airport.  It’s bad enough I had my Robo Cop boot on hobbling around, she was also in uniform, which is always good for a few stares.

This will make her third deployment.  She just got home from her last one a few months ago.  I don’t think either one of us were truly ready for this one but it is one of those things that just isn’t controllable.   I don’t even think we were really reintegrated yet from her coming home 5 months ago either.  And to make things even more annoying, our 14th anniversary is tomorrow.  I would say this is one of the things you get used to happening when you’re a military spouse, all the missing of special days that is.

Enough of the sappy sobby crap…..I have a funny story to tell you!  Well, funny to me cause I was there and because it happened to me.  So on to the true and funny blog fodder.

The day is Sunday, early morning.  I laid in my bed eagerly awaiting for my phone alarm to completely wake me up.  This was an exciting and sad day.  Today was my first day back to work after gaining the official knowledge of my ankle being broken.  Oh yeah, and my wife was deploying.  The car was packed with her 20 duffel bags weighing about 70 pounds each filled with only “essential” items, of course.

We had plans to leave early enough to fit in a sit down breakfast somewhere before the trek out to the airport.  I had the idea of going to Ihop.  Why not keep her fat and happy while I can before she is subjected to the indigenous Peoples of Afghanistan that work in the DFAC (Dining Facility) spit in her food.  The Ihop experience was also going to count as our anniversary celebration (we don’t go out a lot, we are old and boring).

Breakfast was awesome and fattening!  Now on to the airport.  The 45 min drive was less than exciting.  It usually is.  The time was spent doing a mental check of the packing list of her bags.  All was there….we hoped.

Surprisingly, parking was super easy to find.  We had the spot right by the beginning of the cross walk to the terminal.  Jackpot!  Well at least for the cripple in me.  The gentleman I am dragged the heavier of the bags while I allowed the Mrs. to drag the light gun case in so she could say she had total control of it from receipt to delivery.  You know, don’t mess with TSA!

The baggage check-in was fairly short and the lady behind the counter seemed to have a head on her shoulders.  She was on the ball and helped as much as she could to speed up our process.  We then dragged the bags over to the big gorilla TSA agents to scan her bags.  We had to wait for a “special” check on her gun case.  I was waiting for the genius to say there was gunpowder residue on the case…….(que Final Jeopardy song)

We got the thumbs up and we headed to the nearest seats to kill some time before the Mrs. had to fight through the security lines.  We were sitting there for maybe 10 min and this customer service agent from Southwest Airlines came over to us.  She could tell the Mrs. was a bit teary and asked if she was coming or going.  I/she said she was on her way out for a year.  The lady asked to see my ID card and she would be right back.

That awesome lady gave me a “fake” ticket to walk my wife to her gate so I could spend as much time with her as I could!  You can cry now if you so choose.

I was like, crap, now I have to stick around longer?  I was hoping to drop and dash….I gots things to do!  Thanks for nothin lady..

No, not really!  I was grateful but not enough to remember the lady’s name.  That was pretty much the last thing on my mind.

So we proceeded to the priority security line….yeah, that’s how I roll.  Unfortunately that still led us to the same lines with the people who have 10 out-of-control kids.  Take your damn shoes off Joey!!!  I was about to throw the damn kid in the x-ray machine myself if he didn’t take those freakin shoes off!

OK, so here is the funny part of my story.  No pressure but feel free to laugh at your leisure.

So, the St. Louis airport makes you basically take all of your clothes off to go through security.  Which for me is not usually a problem.  But I happen to be going commando and I had on some super big waisted shorts only being held up by the belt that I now had to take off!

OK, so to explain the shorts…. I haven’t worn shorts out in public in years because of the grotesqueness of my legs.  And since my leg surgeries I have to wear those knee-high compression socks. Long black compression socks and shorts don’t go together.  So I haven’t had a need to buy new shorts in years except for the stuff I wear to workout in.  These specific shorts I happened to grab to wear this fine day were 40 inch waist and I now wear 36 waist.  Can you see where I’m goin with this yet????

I was like, ummmmmmmm, I’m not sure this is gonna work hun.  I wasn’t about to not go through though.  I’m sure I was at the point of no return in the security process to try and backtrack without looking like a terrorist.  So I pressed on.  Off with the boot…off with the shoe….and for the sneak peek exclusive viewing of a clip from the movie Magic Mike…….off with the belt!

Yeah, picture me standing there waiting in line with one hand holding my shorts up and the other holding my wallet and ticket.

St. Louis has those special see through your clothes machines now.  If you have not been through one of these…HA!  They not only get to see the outline of your body, they make you stand there like and idiot with BOTH hands held above your head!  Did I mention I had to use one hand to hold my shorts up?  Did I mention security makes you put BOTH hands above your head?  I think we are all on the same page now.

So I had to quickly figure out how the hell I was going to keep my shorts up while following procedure.  I looked at the TSA guy and said if I put both hands up, you probably won’t need the machine to see I am not hiding anything.  He kinda looked confused.  Then I leaned toward him and told him my predicament.  He said do my best but with BOTH hands in the air.  OK my brother!  Things are about to get real up in here…. One hand goes up.  I look back over at him.  No help there.  I try to tug my shorts up as high as possible and get in a ballet plie stance and quickly raise my other hand.  I said OK go!!!  5 seconds pass and my shorts start sliding…..10 seconds pass and they slide just a bit more.  20 seconds now and I’m reaching critical stage here……30 seconds now and I think they are just messin with me cause here comes some crack!  “OK sir you are good.  Now stand at the end of the carpet and wait.”  Whaa????

Yeah, they wanted to mess with Big Mike just a little more.  I had no idea what was going on.  Then it dawned on me….I was the lucky randomly selected individual to get the PAT DOWN!  So I walk to the end of the carpet and there stands this female TSA agent.  I was like hell yeah!  Can I get your number?  Then as I finished that thought the same dude from the body scanner came over and relived the girl so he could do the prostate exam.  This dude just won’t cut me a break!  I think he just wanted to see if what he saw on the scan was true 🙂

So he says to hold my arms out shoulder height.  I looked at him and said didn’t we just go over this situation back at the scan?  He was like, oh.  I said whatever and gave him a shoulder shrug.  I proceeded to say, well don’t be surprised if you see I am nuts over you when you are feeling my knee. 🙂  He then allowed me to hold the opposite side of my shorts that he wasn’t patting down to ensure he didn’t get poked in the eye on his way back up.  I swear he was purposely tugging down on my shorts to see if I was lying.  He also got really “frisky” with his pat down.  I didn’t mind.  That was the last action I was gonna see for a year!

Well, I survived my first scan and pat down from TSA.

The really odd thing though, when I got home, I found a guys name and phone number written on a piece of paper in my pocket.?.?

The Japanese Experiment Part 1

Yup, that’s me and the Mrs. in full getup.  The Japanese Experiment the coolest time of my life.  I was lucky enough to live in Japan for 3 years.  I was able to immerse myself into a foreign culture and learn from the inside out.  The people, the places, the language and the customs were something that will never be forgotten.  I still remember my wife calling me while we were in Colorado and said, “I had an offer for an assignment in Japan.  What do you think?”  Without hesitation I said, “Take it.”  I had no idea where in Japan and I didn’t really care.  How often do people (regular people) get to go to foreign countries to live?

So we loaded up the car and moved to Mi-sa-wa!  Japan that is, Cherry blossoms, Samurais! (Sung to the Beverly Hillbillies Theme)

Well, it wasn’t as easy as packing up the car and driving.  Although we did have to drive from Colorado to Seattle.  Oh the fun that was (insert sarcastic snicker).  Then we got to go on the longest flight I will never want to do, 13 hours.  I really can’t complain about it on my side.  I felt worse for my doggies who were locked in their crates for 17 hours because our flight was delayed.  Stupid airline…..

Eventually we left the ground and off we went into the future.  Yup that’s right the future.  We ended up losing 12 hours of our life based on the time difference.  It was pretty neat to know what happens a day before it happened in the US.  At least that was my lame joke with my friends and family.

Fast forward to the most uncomfortable 13 hours anyone can experience in a tin can hurdling through the air.  We arrived in Tokyo, Japan!  Wow, how weird it was to to just see, different.  But it wasn’t all ooo’s and aah’s.  We needed to get our dogs into a kennel on base, due to not having pet friendly lodging.  This is where the OMGs and Holy Ishs came.

I had to take a taxi with my dogs to the kennel since we didn’t have a car nor knew anyone yet.  This experience is hard to describe but here it goes.  Close your eyes, well first read this then close your eyes and try to see it for yourself.  You are so loopy from traveling for days, your hungry, you are in a different country, you don’t speak their language, we have no cell phones to keep in contact with each other, I don’t know where you’re going, and I know I had that I have been traveling smell working for me.  I hailed a taxi and tried to describe where I needed to go.  Luckily we were already on the military base and the drivers were familiar with what we needed.  But it was still an adventure to try and get a taxi for my wife to follow.  See, we had to keep the dogs in their hard travel crates, which took the entire backseat of the first taxi.

Now here is the Holy Ish!  In Japan everything dealing with driving is the opposite of what we do in the US.  They drive on the other side of the road on the other side of the car and everything is smaller (cars, roads).  Culture Shock!  I’m in the passenger seat (driver seat in the US) and this dude drove fast.  I thought I was playing the video game, Gran Turismo.  WTH!  Slow down!  I swear the driver was having some fun with me.  He got on his radio and was talking some stuff and I swear I heard some laughing on the other end.

We all eventually made it to the kennel and dropped the boys off and took the magic carpet ride to the hotel on base.  What to do first; eat, shower, pass out, explore?  I really don’t remember what we did first but I do remember trying to sleep when it was early afternoon.  I remember waking up thinking it was all a bad dream and not realizing where I was.

So that was the end of my first day in Japan.  We had to get up early the next day to take a 12 bus ride north to Misawa, our final destination.

To be continued…………