Everyone I can think of wants to survive the mediocrity of their present lives long enough so that they can “be able to travel and see the world.” I can’t figure it out. My husband flies thousands of miles every year as part of his livelihood and when people ask him if he plans to travel when he retires he says, “Only if I’m evading INTERPOL,” which he might have to do if he doesn’t smarten up about travel packing.
Traveling with Sherwood (the Jackal) Zern is enough to make me quite content to keep myself to myself, on my porch, in my rocking chair, watching the neighbor’s cows try to sneak out of their pasture and into another neighbor’s pasture—also I have a fabulous mattress, unmatched by any hotel, hostel, or inn I’ve ever stayed at.
Sherwood is searched at the airport weekly. He is profiled regularly. He is frequently targeted for a “fat deposit anomaly” on his leg. The TSA finds him questionable and for good reason. He packs like the Uni-bomber on vacation.
On a trip to Boston via Logan airport, I stood next to my husband as his luggage went into the x-ray vision machine but never came out. We’d lost the airport luggage lottery—again.
The conveyor belt went forward and backwards. Various frowning TSA folks gathered behind the screen. A few pointed. Frowns deepened. A couple of them peeked at us over the machine with narrowed eyes. It could only mean one thing. Sherwood’s backpack for work was about to have its privacy violated, and we were going to have to watch.
A chatty federal employee, I secretly dubbed Eye-Spy TSA Guy, pulled out of the Jackal’s backpack, and I’m not kidding: a mouse; two, not one, TWO power packs; an external hard drive; one USB cable; other miscellaneous cables, wires, and connectors; a wallet; sunglasses; a cell phone; a cell phone charger; an extra cell phone battery; keys; pens and pencils; books; folders; loose change; and two, not one, TWO laptops.
I’m pretty sure I spotted the remote to our television in the pile, but I couldn’t swear to it.
The Eye-Spy TSA Guy exclaimed in exasperation, “Do you know what all this [word that means poop] looks like?”
We shook our Middle American heads.
“It looks like a crazy ass’d bomb; that’s what it looks like. You should try putting this [word that means poop] in plastic containers, so we can tell what all this junk is.”
“Would Tupperware be best or maybe Rubbermaid?” I said, trying to look cooperative and compliant.
“What’s this? A damn detonator,” he said, holding up a damn detonator looking device.
“Our garage door opener. I think.” I shot Sherwood with visual detonators and evil eye bombs.
Eye-Spy TSA Guy called over his cronies.
“Look at all this crazy ass’d [word that means poop]; he’s got Staples electronic department in here.”
The cronies observed, “Wow, he’s mobile man.”
Sherwood and I laughed nervously. Under my breath I hissed out warnings and dire predictions.
“I ain’t taking the rap for this buddy boy. I’m already wording my statement to turn state’s evidence and ‘cut a deal.’”
Sherwood laughed nervously.
That’s it. Until Sherwood gets that backpack of his under some kind of control, I’m flying solo—in my dreams.
Travel Tip of the Week: Always pack mix-and-match separates and keep your bomb [word that means poop] in Tupperware.
Mrs. Sherwood (the Jackal) Zern