I knew the alarm would sound, but when it went off this time it seemed a bit louder. You probably guessed that this was my first time through the TSA checkpoint with the new bionic knee. I was ready with everything. My past experience has prepared me for everything that they usually threw at me. First I never wear anything with metal on it, no belt buckle, watch, nose ring, nothing! Then I put my C-pap machine and computer where I can get it out to be checked and rubbed and scanned. This time when the alarm sounded, they knew exactly what it was. No questions asked, just a short “follow me” and the process began. I have sort of been following everything on TV concerning the body searches and x-rays, so I knew as soon as I placed my feet on the green footprints in the search area.
“Do you want to have a private search?” was the first question I was asked. I wanted to ask how much that would be, but I kept quiet. I remember many years back going to a strip joint in Seattle and having someone ask me “Do you want a private dance?”, so you know where my mind was going while standing there. I politely said that no, it was fine to search me there. Next he said, “I will be touching you using the back of my hands.” I was relieved that I was having a grope where the flanges were physically unable to explore, but it still didn’t take away from the embarrassment factor.
During my “date” I learned that I needed to take my belt off, even if it was made of plastic. He told me that my medical card showing that the knee was titanium did not need to be presented. I figured that was so because I could make up a better looking card with the college ID machine. If I were a terrorist it would be easy to have a card that said that the metal object in the pocket was medical, rather than a Smith and Wesson, so I think the TSA people know of this trick.
The whole experience was a bit embarrassing, I think back and can remember a college aged girl looking at me with a questioning face, as the alarm went off. I mouthed “it’s my new knee” and pointed to my leg, she gave me an “I am sorry to see that” look and I could tell she was glad it was me and not her. Then I was guided off and everyone got to watch the pat down. That was probably the worst part, well beyond the touching, having everyone looking at me as the search went on.
By the time I was finished, no I didn’t want a cigarette, Linda had gathered my computer and c-pap and we were able to get things back in order. It took a bit more time but I guess it wasn’t that bad. I will just have to get used to it, I’ll have two more searches on my way home.
After that everything went very smooth. We made all the connecting flights and because all we had was carry-on luggage, we blasted through the airport in Manzanillo. In fact we went through so fast that the fellows running the inspection area were not ready for us and were caught off guard. We grabbed a taxi and were at the place about an hour earlier than expected.
At the place we unpacked and then walked to town had a drink at Bigote's while watching the sun set. I took some pictures of Linda, myself and the Woot Screaming Monkey (you will hear more about him later) and then walked over and ate at Buen Gusto. We try to do this every time we arrive; it is easy and has become one of our traditions.
We did some shopping and walked home. We were beat and had been up 16 hours traveling. When we arrived home we noticed Larry and Maggie’s camper parked at their place next door. They had arrived and were relaxing in the pool. We talked a bit and made a date for breakfast and upon arriving home we both crashed.