(Or the one that puts me on some government watch list or, rather, shameless product endorsement.)
Last month, I flew for the first time since the new air restrictions on liquids were enforced. If they ever knew my extreme - X-treme! - fear of pyro-anything related, well, they would not even waste their time sifting through my liquids. I mean, just so you understand....I am afraid of the stove. I always wonder if this will be the time it blows up. And then a dog will attack me and then I get skin cancer. It's my triumvirate of phobias.
But then, the Ex-True Love of My Life, not to be confused with Summer Fling Love-of-my-Life (that's for those keeping score), blew up things for a living. Seriously. He was very important to the government and Maryland football too when he got to blow off the cannon at halftime. I think he found that more fulfilling. I stayed in the stands with the flask that we had to sneak in. Far away from the pyro-technics. So, the detail with which they were analyzing my liquids in Chicago, someone must have tipped them off to my knowing Blow-Up Guy. Because apparantly I was a suspicious Blow-Up Girl on the way home.
Or, rather, just some girl with way too many beauty products.
I can say that the trip there was easy breezy. Mav and I had plenty of time to spare...or drink... so we checked in our luggage and then hit the airport bar for bloody marys - since it was only 10:30 AM. My cosmetics apparantly breezed through the Suspcious Liquid Sniffing Dogs (or men in suits?)because we got our luggage, seamlessly, on the other end. (Courtesy Traveling Tip: Dog biscuits in your suitcase are a good distraction. Or liquor. But, really, don't try this at home.)
So we got to party it up in Chicago with all our liquids in tact.
The way home was a different story, my friends. It wasn't smooth-sailing, drunk-before-departure this time, because we just made it to the aiport and had very little time left to spare. To drink a bloody mary. So we had no choice but to bust through all the security with our liquids. I really started to worry about what would happen to some of my more, shall we say...hefty bottles at 4 ounces. Just over regulation play.
Before we could test security, we had to pass muster with Liquid (or Wicked, you choose) Queen of the Land of Ziplocs. And let me tell you, she ruled with an iron fist and a plastic bag. She didn't have her scales - no, she judged Liquids with her bare eye. And then she started tossing out liquids left and right. I let her go in her joyous lay-ups as I shrugged off losing my L'oreal makeup remover and Crest, but when she got to my brand new bottle of Kiehls - that cost $30 - well the dukes came out. Because really, if I'm going to blow up something, I'm not buying a $30 Kiehls product to do this. I think I would go with hemorhoid cream.
My dukes were up but with sugary cupcakes in peaceful offering. "You can't take that. I just bought it! It was $30 and it is only 4 ounces - can't you let an ounce go?" And I may have batted my lashes.
"NO!" A shout heard round the world.
Then she got distracted with another goody bag of toiletries and she forgot about me for one second. Meanwhile Mav is triumphantly placing all her cosmetics in her ziploc bag. She passed inspection. And I was wondering how she even fit all her products into one bag. I probably needed three. So I shove the Kiehls in my bag, zip up my ziploc, and tell Mav to scoot. I'm busting through this Ziploc aisle.
But not before Cosmetic Hater yells at me, yeah, yells at me, "Where is that bottle I told you you couldn't take?" There was a head cluck too.
Me, the Snail of Quick Thinking, hemmed and hawed, and mumbled under my breath, "I'm, um, ah, thinking about it. I'm going to go, ah, over there (I pointed to the atria ahead) and, um, um, use an ounce of it or something."
And I went back and forth with this lady behind a card table with a box of ziploc bags in her hand. She wasn't an aiport screener. No, she was just the lady with the ziplocs. For all i know, she was also pedaliing Girl Scout cookies for her 12-year old daughter, who was sitting at home watching Laguna Beach.
Finally, she got distracted by some other confused passenger, like myself. "What? I can't bring my Rogaine on?"
She has no compassion.
So I broke free from her shackles. Because, really, who was she?
And then I got the real aiport screener, she of nice-hood, who could have been my mom. And if I didn't already have a great mom, I would have totally adopted her. Or a celebrity. Because this fine lady took out my Kiehls and told me she had to go around the corner and check on whether this is passable. "Hey, lunch bag lady said it wasn't," is what I didn't tell her. So while she was gone and I put my clothes back on (because we are one step away from naked screening where they will just pour the liquids on you and, hey, airports become the new porn), I resigned myself to the possibility that it wasn't meant to be with this $30 soap. Let the airport screeners have the clean face. I will be dirty face. (Sulk.)
Well, nice lady came back and asked me if this was doctor prescribed and I think she may have winked.
And again the Snail of Quick Thinking that I am said, "No. But I have these bumps on my forehead and the lady at the Kiehls counter in Barney's said this would be good for it."
Again, with a wink, "So you would say that your doctor prescribed this right? right?"
Ding ding ding. We have contact with the Brain! "Yes, my dermatologist did."
And she let me and my Kiehls go.....to blow up the plane --- JUST KIDDING. Remember, it would be the hemorhoid cream and I left that at home. (Just so you know, I hated making that joke but for purposes of this story as it is Hollywood big budget and the producers control the purse strings and this writer's pen - well, gratuitous violence is necessary - it sells tickets. I don't bite the hand that feeds or they might put snakes on my plane. And I would ask, is John Travolta available? Vinny Babarino-John Travolta.)
And that is the story of how a 4.4 bottle of Kiehls facial soap defied liquid restrictions and safely traveled back to DC and, in the end, wreaked no havoc whatsoever on the plane.