Monday, November 12, 2007

Terror Girl

I did not have a clue that my wife could be a terrorist. Apparently the groundwork was laid at birth because her mom named her Jilda but Gilda got written on her birth certificate....not sure if the doctor was hard of hearing or if her mom was in a stupor from the birthing drugs but the wrong name was written on her "permanent record".
She has always gone by Jilda and that was rarely a problem until 9/11. Now every time we board an aircraft, it has been a hassle.
Today as we arrived at the LA airport at 4 a.m., the pre-security screener caught the discrepancy between Gilda on her photo ID and Jilda on her airline boarding pass. She immediately jabbed a big honkin' RED STAMP on her boarding pass and said "they can help you at the security checkpoint." As we approached they sent me down the normal line and they sent Jilda down the terrorist line. She was in this glass tunnel-like enclosure along with a guy that looked like he was a member of the IRA, a guy that looked like one of those weird Japanese cult members, and a middle eastern woman that was menacing the hired help. "You are singling us out," she hissed. I could not hear everything from my vantage point outside the aquarium, but Jilda was looking around as if to say what is this "we stuff" lady?
I thought things were about to get ugly when the lady security officer started snapping on rubber gloves. I can think of few occasions involving rubber gloves that turned out well.
I guess Jilda thought I was going to bail out on her to save my own skin because she was hollering through the thick glass trying to tell me not to leave her to the wolves. The rubber gloved screener whacked the glass with a stick and told her to look straight ahead.
There was a very nice screener guy standing there with me and I asked if they were going to do a canal search. He grinned and said that they had to do a really thorough search whenever there is any kind of discrepancy in the travelers documentation.
After that, the situation became much lighter for me, but Jilda was still freaked. They searched her purse, her shoes, checked her for explosives, and did the magic wand that checks for firearms. When the set her free, she was visibly shaken and when she saw me laughing she was one mad gentile.
Things went smoothly after that and it's actually comforting to know that these security folks are taking their job very seriously. As we boarded the plane for home I poked her in the ribs and said "look on the bright side, you are now probably on the Department of Homeland Security's Terrorist Watch List."

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