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March Slice of Life No. 6.

Travel Journal — You can’t make this stuff up!

I am at Gate A22, waiting to board my last flight, PHX to PDX. Travelers are beginning the first steps of the boarding dance, pushing in toward the ropes that define the boarding lanes. Just behind me are two couples. Their banter rises and falls on the airport hum. There’s occasional laughter.

I muse about traveling for pleasure, of traveling with companions. Maybe someday. I’ve traveled a lot. I mean a lot! My mileage account is approaching the six million mile mark. But most of it has been alone. Perhaps someday, I muse.

The foursome pushes closer, and I find myself intentionally listening in. Some would say I am eavesdropping.

I think, this is too good and there is no way I will remember it. WIth iPhone in my hand, I open Notes and begin to transcribe.

Lady 1:
Didya know, when you’re over 70 you don’t have to take off your shoes? That young man on TSA said I didn’t look like I was 70 years old. I said, “Look at my license! My birth year is 1945. Do the math, young man!”

I can hear a smile in her voice.

Lady 2:
When I went through that scanner, I set it off. The TSA person asked me if I had anything in my pocket. I had a piece of paper and some lip balm in my pocket. I put them in that little dish thing. Then I went through the scanner again. And it beeped again. That’s when I realized my phone was in my other pocket.

They both laugh, and Lady 1 says something I don’t catch.

Lady 2:
Oh, I didn’t tell you. Once I went through that scanner and the TSA person asked me what kind of white powder I had on my right shoulder.

I’m all ears now.

Lady 2 continues:
I told her, “None.” She said, “Are you sure?” I said, “Yes, there’s none.” She sent me through the scanner again to look. Then she said, “Hmm… I think you need to see your doctor.”

Lady 1:
Really?! What did you do?

I discreetly lean in. The airport noise is increasing and I don’t want to miss any part of this story.

Lady 2:
I made an appointment. I told my doctor that TSA said there was something on my shoulder. Ends up, I have a large calcium deposit on my shoulder.

Lady 1 replies, but I can’t hear her.

Lady 2 laughs:
My doctor said it was the first time TSA had ever diagnosed one of his patients.

Lady 1:
Wow! So did you show your doctor the TSA X-rays.

Lady 2:
What? TSA doesn’t just hand you X-rays to take to your doctor. My doctor had X-rays done.

Gate agent:
Ladies and gentlemen. At this time we would like to begin boarding flight 952, service to Portland. Group 1 is welcome to board . . .

I’m still smiling as I step from the jet bridge into the cabin of the plane. You simply can’t make this stuff up!

Travel Photo: Mt Hood.
The view from my window during takeoff today.


March 2019 SOLC–Day 6
Thank you to

Two Writing Teacher