It was seven degrees yesterday when I left for Kansas City International. When I arrived at Terminal B to park, a third of the spots were blocked by piles of snow and another third were double parked because people couldn’t see the lines. This left precious few for those of us trolling around in circles looking for a place to stick our vehicles. At one point, an old man in a Cadillac gave me a dirty look through his murky windshield when we wound up fender-to-fender in a skinny row near tower one.
The pressure was on.
Once I found a spot, the mad dash began. Into the airport. Boarding pass, ID, shoes off, belt off, laptop out and pockets emptied. Then I was introduced to the new body scanners where you hold your hands above your head while security personnel standby and giggle at the size of your penis.
A few minutes later I was in. I pulled over to the side with my square buckets to get myself back in order. Shoes on. Belt on. Laptop packed. Just as I was about to walk away, someone tapped on my shoulder.
“Sir, is this yours?” asked a TSA employee.
He was holding one of those dog food bowls. Inside were my car keys, a pack of gum, my phone and, perhaps most important, my Chapstick.
The guy had saved my day. I thanked him and he responded by nodding his head. He didn’t react like a hero, he reacted like a guy who was just doing his job.
The same dude was standing by the scanner machine when I returned six hours later. I was tempted to go back and thank him once again. I started to veer his direction, but when I made eye contact he didn’t seem to recognize me. Which makes sense considering the circumstances. In the end, I was just some other idiot in fancy pants who can’t seem to keep his head on straight. Instead of giving him another round of applause, I zipped my coat and headed out into the cold—with my phone, my car keys, my gum and, most important, my Chapstick. All was well.