LAGUARDIA AIRPORT—I am in a line a mile long. Actually, it’s not a mile. I'm exaggerating for literary value. In truth, the line is three hundred thousand kilometers long.
There are two women having a conversation behind me:
The woman says, “So I just says to him, ‘Lou, I’m not gonna take it anymore.’”
“Good for you,” says the other.
“That’s what I told him.”
“You really said it?”
“I just opened my mouth and said ‘Lou, I’m not doing it, I’m not gonna take it.’”
“You go, girl.”
We’re all waiting to get through the TSA checkpoint, which is a lot like checking in to federal prison. You have to remove your clothes, take off your shoes, get frisked, and say your ABC’s backward.
The man herding people through security looks like he starred in the movie “My Cousin Vinny.”
And he only knows two words: “Quickly, please.”
Vinny is working hard, scanning people with an electronic wand, barking at children, and demanding that elderly people remove their insulin pumps and dental fillings before going through
I remove my boots and place my backpack onto a conveyor belt.
The talking women behind me never quit.
“That’s exactly how I told it to him, ‘I’m done, Lou.’”
“You really said it like that?”
“I told him.”
On my first attempt walking through the X-ray machine, I set off the alarm. I try a second time, it beeps again.
“Sir,” says Vinny. “Please remove your belt.”
This belt buckle always gets me into trouble with metal detectors. But it is a special buckle I bought when I visited my father’s grave. I wear it every day because it reminds me of him.
It also holds my pants up.
We try the scanner again.…