anghara (anghara) wrote,

Worldcon, part the first - there and back again

This is the short bit, and probably a tad ranty with it. Okay, so we actually had a pretty smooth trip (all things considered) but there's such a breadth of attitude out there in the security ether and I'm more and more convinced that all this "Terrorism" scare tactic is doing is actually breeding a generation of petty policemen who actually ENJOY this work. The guy at the Bellingham airport, when we left, was couretous and kind and took rdeck away to quiet side area apart from the major throngs, took a look at this leg brace, swabbed the thing (although I'm not sure what that proves, in the end) and then waved us through. The security procedures took less than two minutes - and all this was done while I was dealing with the stuff coming through the X-ray machine and by the time I had gathered together all the bits and bobs my husband was through and approved and sent on his way with a courteous "thank you, sir". We were already behind the lines, so I don't know how Seattle measured up that day - but man, oh, man, on the way home at the Orange COunty airport.

I went to check in. Everyone else on every trip I've taken since I've been in this country wanted to see ID, which is fine, and then looked at my driver licence in situ in my purse and ticked me off as present and accounted for. Thankyouverymuch. The one at the checkin desk at Orange COunty airport demanded that I take the licence out of its clear pocket - which was *designed to hold a drivers licence so that it could be seen, ferchrissakes* - and then practically refused to let me on the plane because my drivers licence had my married name on it and my Alaska Airlines reservation and therefore my boarding pass has (in addition) my maiden name on it. We got through that, and then the wheelchair guy came to push hubby through the security checkpoint, and HE demanded identification. WTF?... And then they got hold of rdeck at the security checkpoint, and all I can say is, well, I hope the security guy there actually got his jollies patting down what was a wheelchair seated passenger with a leg-brace and carrying a cane, VERY thorougly, even running his hands down said seated passenger's back until he could pat his behind. I'm not sure what he thought rdeck was hiding there. Oh, and they generously let him keep his brace-shoe on - but the OTHER had to come off and be X-rayed. And the wrist weight he wears around his right wrist in order to keep his right arm from riding up and clawing against his side... they left unmolested. Nobody even ASKED. And the officious wheelchair guy had to take his shoes off to be X-rayed, too - I mean - this is an employee of the airport, surely SOME level of clearance is required, can we all say "overkill" together?...

And as I was saying to someone at the Hilton not too long before, I am starting to believe that this so-called war on terror is no more than an attempt to keep uppity wimmin in their place. It's a war on women. I'm serious. I mean, LOOK at the evidence. They banned knitting needles and pretty much killed needlework altogether (one does have to have a Sharp Object to cut thread with). They wage war on underwire bras - and I, who don't particularly LIKE them, can attest to the fact that probably 80-90% of bras you see for sale in the shops these days are some form of underwire. I've seen injunctions to leave "heavy jewellery" behind when travelling (define "heavy" in terms of jewellery, please, anyway). No nail or cuticle scissors - and this weighs particularly heavy on my because I tend to get hangnails, and I honestly do carry a pair of nail scissors to deal with this and not to stab anyone - you can probably do more damage with a bunch of KEYS than with a pair of small nail scissors. This time, in Anaheim, I had a real problem which necessitated an actual countermeasure of wearing a bandaid around the offending finger because said hangnail caught on everything - PAINFULLY! - and I couldn't take it any more - but I"m kind of allergic to bandaids and now I've got the aftermath of four days of bandaid to deal with. And all for a lack of a simple pair of naiscissors. Sigh. And now there's the latest - no lipsticks, no chapsticks, no deodorant, no moisturizer, no mascara, make that no make up at all, no toothpaste, no perfume allowed in hand luggage. The only thing they reluctantly allow is baby food - for "people traveling with children" - and in the same conversation I just referenced above it was pointed out that with this exception a would-be terrorist would merely need to come up with a convenient baby as a travelling companion and everything else that has been banned is a moot point - and if one is planning to blow up oneself together with a planeload of other passengers one baby more or less is not going to make a major difference.

Pah. Traveling. It Sucks Big ROcks these days.

Oh yeah, and we had to leave the hotel at the crack of dawn on Sunday, which means that the Hilton foyer Danish-and-coffee stand wasn't yet out (or I would have at least bought a Danish), and I had no coffee that morning which made me grumpier than normal and then we got to the airport and had to put up with the sniffy staff, and I was expecting at least a snack in First Class (I upgraded) on a lunchtime flight, but we got nuttin' but nuts and pretzels... rdeck had a banana I bought for him at the airport, and I had an espresso brownie from Starbucks, and that was it for food until we landed in Seattle (after an hour's delay because some fuel had loaded the fool wrong... or was that the other way around...) and by the time we extracted ourselves sufficiently from that it was close to 2 pm, and I snagged us a tiny freebie chicken salad sandwich they were giving out in the concourse and a peanut butter cookie and then we sat in the bus for two and half hours to get back home and by this stage we were both so hungry that we had dancing carrots in front of our eyes and chickens were committing kamikaze and obligingly presenting themselves to the barbecue.

The cats were glad to see us home.

The meat of the con report (oof, sorry, given the tenor of that last paragraph) in another post.

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