The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Friday, August 5, 2011

What has it got in its pocketses?

This:
It also can look like this:
It comes in handy for filing nails, clipping tags off the back of shirts so itchy children aren't itchy anymore, tweezing stray hairs and slivers, etc. (I don't use the toothpick, though. Ick.)

The blade is a massive inch and three-eighths long. A very threatening weapon. No wonder it is not allowed on airplanes, in any building in DC, near the Liberty Bell, or on Liberty Island.

I remembered about the airplane. I was a good girl and packed it in my check-through luggage instead of my carry-on. (Although a few years ago at LAX, I forgot and it actually got through security!!! Bad TSA, shame on you.)

I remembered about the White House. (Actually, you can't take anything with you into the White House- no cameras, no cell phones, no water bottles, no pointy things...) The thing is, I forgot about all the other buildings in DC and the little knife was hiding in my bag all day long! It got through the sensors at the Longworth office building, the National Archives, the Air & Space Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the American History Museum. It wouldn't have passed the sensors at the Capitol, but our guide took it to his office so it was safe for that time.
The place where they finally caught me was at the Washington Monument. I was instructed to take it outside- past the ring of flags, and... what? Give it to someone to hold for me? Hmmm... naw. Stick it in the trash can? It looked icky in there- what if I wanted the knife back? I opted to put it in the grass at the edge of the concrete. Nonchalantly reached down to adjust my shoe and tucked the knife away in a little hollow- promised it I would be back... And then I prayed. (Yes, I could replace the knife for $15, but it was the principle of the thing. It was MY knife. We've been together for a dozen years. If God wanted me to have it back, I would have it back.)
We rode the elevator to the top of the monument and looked out the little windows in all 4 directions. Fantastic views on a warm sunny day! Spent about 30 minutes inside and then went down and outside. I instructed my kiddo to retrieve the knife, and SHA-ZAM! It was still there. Safe and sound. Ready to ride in my pocket once again.
Silly me. Things like that should not be in pocketses when touring historic sites. I forgot again when we were in Philadelphia four days later. Fortunately, I saw the security screening signs (say that ten times fast) when we were still in the Independence Hall Visitors Center. A quick trip to the restroom solved the weapon issue. I slid the knife into the toilet seat cover holder- between the cardboard container and the black plastic holder that was bolted to the wall. No one could see it, and I was pretty sure I could get it back later. And then I prayed.
Sure enough, after touring Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin's digs, and eating ice cream at the Franklin Fountain, my friend was waiting for me. Back into my pocket for almost two weeks...

I remembered about the tight security at the Statue of Liberty. I had read the rules and had actually left my bag in the car just to make it easy. The only things in my pockets were my wallet, car keys, cell phone, camera, and... the knife! What? Tricksey pocketses, always hiding secretses and weaponses. I was in line to be scanned! I couldn't just give it to the park rangers, they didn't want to keep those things and my little knife and I had come so far together! I looked around the room- not many places to hide a bright red knife. I couldn't tell my travel partners- they didn't want to fuss with my absent-mindedness. Ugh. What to do? And then I saw it. A simple room divider- they kind they use in offices to make cubicles. This one was about 6 feet tall and didn't have a smooth covered top edge, there was a groove in it. I casually placed the knife there- acted like I was using the divider to stabilize myself as I took a rock from my shoe. No one noticed. I couldn't see it in it's final hiding place, and I doubted that anyone else could unless they were 6'6" or taller. I left it there. And then I prayed.

We had a blast at the Statue- very warm out, but the breeze helped us to not feel too awful.
(I tried not to look across the water at Manhattan too much. Last time I was there was August 2001. It's broken, scarred, damaged. It hurts to look at. There is rebuilding, but it is like an artificial limb- never as good as the original.)
We got back to the ferry terminal on the New Jersey side and I went to ask a park ranger if I could go back into the screening room. There was no more line, the last ferry of the day had departed, so she said yes- and informed me that no one has ever gotten their stuff back from their "secret" hiding places. When I came back with the knife, she just looked at me with her mouth open. I bet she went to check her security cameras to see just what it was I did with the knife.

It was sort of fun getting the knife back every time. I felt adventuresome... daring... like a spy or something. You laugh- but that's about as adventurous as my life gets!

More later.

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