The TSA agent in charge of lane designation at Newark’s Liberty airport is very specific when he tells me to remain in Lane 3. My crumpled boarding pass falls to the ground just behind a red industrial food service truck overloaded with cases of Adult Assorted Cereal in a Cup, Premium Bananas, and a ginormous tub of Sysco Brand Fresh Fruit Salad. I am reassured knowing the airport’s fruit offerings are indeed, fresh.
Lanes 1 and 2 seem to be moving along at a fine clip while Lane 3, (much like the lane I often choose for the Lincoln Tunnel) is at a standstill. The TSA agent has assigned me to a security line reserved for the Elon University men’s basketball team. When I try to bring this to the agent’s attention, he frowns and advises me to stay put. From my vantage point, I am clearly the shortest individual armed with a laptop, an unwieldy leather belt, and a carry-on awaiting scrutiny. Without benefit of my thick-soled sneakers, I am even shorter. As 15 minutes roll into 20, then 25, my teammates and I wonder aloud if we will make our flights, and then, a miracle.
From behind an imposing mesh gate, a TSA agent miraculously appears, peeling back the armored divider, promising relief from our security purgatory. In an instant, my newfound friends and I create Lane 3A, emptying our pockets of loose coins, loading up plastic bins with electronic devices and over-sized travel snacks.
Hoisting my carry-on towards the conveyor belt, a bespectacled man helming the security scanner glares at me. “I’m with the team,” I state emphatically, depositing my sneakers into one more warped plastic bin emblazoned with the words, “Thank you for flying with us.”
Reunited with my sneakers and belt, I notice there is a defibrillator located mere steps beyond security. My heart racing, I run towards Gate 21, wondering if I’ll have time to stop at the mini mart for a cup of adult cereal and some fresh fruit.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm