First up: Albuquerque. Thanks to one failed attempt at shoe-bombing 12 years ago, all of us lined up with our shoes untied and flapping. But it wasn't shoes they were after: they busted Mombert for having a plastic bottle of pump hairspray.
I didn't take my bonefish bottle opener on the trip.
Nor did I carry my Officina 365 pen, because there's no way in the world that the TSA folks would believe it's a pen.
The real fun began in Memphis when we were leaving. Before we even got in line, a TSA woman said to me, "You've been selected for special screening," as if I had won a prize or something. She looked at Mombert. "You may go ahead, ma'am. You're not being screened." I explained that Mombert was my mom and needed to stay right where she was. The TSA woman swabbed my hands with some solvent, put the pad in a container, and said I was free to get in line, which was stretching back to Little Rock, because only two guys were scrutinizing the boarding passes with all the intensity of somebody just stumbling on Yeats.
In line I had my glasses on the cord, not wearing them. I assumed the position in the scanner. There was metal on my chest! So I was pulled out for a pat-down. The nice woman asked if those were my glasses. Nothing gets by them.
Then Mombert went through. She was pulled over, and the nice woman used the metal-detecting wand on Mombert's lower legs (must have been her steely resolve—AH-hahahahahaha!).
The airport at Minneapolis/St. Paul sprawls from hell to breakfast, and naturally our connecting flight to ABQ was in some concourse in Iowa. Fortunately, one of those guys in an electric cart came by, and we joined a nice bearded young man with a turban and made it to the gate in time.
Next time we drive.