Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Usual Suspects

My wife and I thought it might be a good idea to enjoy a little relaxing getaway before I undergo painful knee surgery in July. So we traded our time-share condo for one in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, airfares to the Bahamas from Orlando are ridiculously high, considering that it’s only 85 miles from the coast of Florida. So my wife, being the frugal woman that she is, suggested we drive down to Fort Lauderdale (a four-hour drive) and fly from there, where the airfare was a lot cheaper.

While packing for the trip, we went through the usual nonsense. I pack for a vacation - my wife packs for an expedition. She sets up her suitcase 3 weeks in advance, and then packs and repacks it a half a dozen times. She’s a SCUBA diver, and she had to pack several pieces of bulky equipment. So strange items started showing up in my suitcase, as my wife ran out of room in hers: A floral-patterned bag; a wad of Maxi-pads; and of course, the groceries.

Our resort accommodations include a full kitchen, so my wife packed canned goods, pasta, a jar of coffee, and incredibly, a jar that she filled with sugar. “It’s for coffee,” she told me.

“It’s a tropical island,” I said. “They have sugar there.”

“Not in the room,” she responded. “We’ll have to go out and buy it.” Remember, she’s frugal.

Normally, when we fly out of Orlando, we suffer through a stressful 45-minute drive to the airport in heavy traffic, worrying whether or not we‘ll make our flight. The long drive to Fort Lauderdale only magnified that stress a hundredfold.

By the time we got to Fort Lauderdale and negotiated the tedious, confusing drive to long-term parking, we were running very late, and we were both nervous and worried. The lines were short at the airport security area, so we felt a glimmer of hope. However, hope doesn’t last very long when the security X-ray machine finds weapons in your luggage.

They stopped my wife, who had stupidly packed her dive knife in her carry-on bag. They offered her the option of mailing it back home (for an amount nearly equal to what she had paid for the knife), or they could simply confiscate it. While she was deciding what to do, a member of the security team suggested that she go back upstairs to the baggage check area and put the knife in her checked luggage. So they escorted her away while I went through X-ray, and the security team discovered the jar of sugar in my carry-on bag.

I had to wait for them to swab my bag and the jar with explosive-detecting wipes. “It’s sugar,” I told them. “Why don’t you just taste it?” The security team looked at each other and laughed. Now you know why I don’t work in airport security.

We made the flight, which was a 19-seat Beechcraft propeller-driven aircraft. The co-pilot actually came back into the cabin and moved a few of the passengers to balance the plane. My wife was quite nervous and uncomfortable. I found this amusing, since she willingly puts on an air tank and swims a hundred feet under the ocean with big, hungry sharks. At least she’ll have a knife to defend herself while I sit on the beach sipping a sweet cup of coffee.


Anonymous said...

Have a good time. And don't forget your coca cola collecting buddy!

burton said...

I'm catching up but it probably would have been even more entertaining if you had dipped your finger in and said "It's sugar, see?!" and tasted it yourself.