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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Wheelchairs and haircuts


My last Wisconsin story, until we go back again. This is about wheelchair transport through airports, but it has a flash back that women will recognize and men won’t, I think.

Imagine four or five women, sitting around a motel room in the nineties, drinking wine, sorting world problems. All artists, passing a couple of evening hours before getting a night’s sleep and opening booths the next day.

The conversation turned to the question, What if You Run Out of Clean Underwear? One of us, a real life nurse accompanying her artist friend for the weekend said she had done so, at a convention, and solved the problem by turning them inside out the second day and adding a panty liner she found in her purse the third day. Now her purse was never without panty liners.

At this point in my life I didn’t recognize the word, but did locate and lay in a supply. I’ve used them from time to time ever since. Over the course of the major brain injury that changed my life last spring, I learned “panty liners” start as large as adult diapers and grade on down to a minute panty liner. In between, they are called pads. End of back story.

When I booked the flight to Milwaukee, I added wheel chair assistance for me. My single other wheel chair assist flight was an assist disaster; the wheel chair wait exceeded the fight time; Ann was stranded at baggage claim and couldn’t even go through security with a chair to set things right. So, I was persistent about the service beyond courtesy.

The little Travelociy gnome was polite beyond belief, but every time I ended the phone call he must have beat his gnome hat to dust in frustration. Yes, there would be a chair everywhere I wanted a chair. And, there was a chair, and a uniformed chair operator. I was a grand sight in two terminals; me in a chair, a uniformed chair mover and a granddaughter keeping pace while maneuvering two suitcases through crowds.

At airport security, which I’ve handled on my own in past, my handler presented credentials, my granddaughter supervised the luggage brigade, her shoes and our coats down the conveyor. I joined the wheelchair line. Only one chair at a time goes through security. I paid no attention to the two ahead of me; I was keeping an eye on the conveyor belt.

My turn. I stood in the machine and set off all alarms. I qualified for shoe removal and a full pat down. This, for me, was basic What the Effing Hell, but I zipped my lip, followed instructions, got my shoes back and we went to gate C27 in Cleveland. Poor Laura. Poor wheelchair pusher.

The incident totally slipped my mind until the return flight. I stepped into the scanner and set off all the alarms. Except shoes. Shoes passed. This time I had to know, and the pleasant mid-western body patter said “Do you wear a pad? They set off the machine and trigger a pat down.” There you have it ladies! An itsy bitsy, teeny weeny liner scans as “Underwear Bomber!” Leave all of them in your luggage, where they pass unnoticed. 'Nuff said.

Laura had a haircut this morning. I sat on a chair and read my email. Then I looked across the room and realized I’d not seen a haircut of this magnitude before. Her verdict: the longer it is, the more fun to cut off A Lot.




29 comments:

  1. Great haircut.

    The alarms must go off all the time when women go through security. Oh dear! It must slow the process down a lot.

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  2. You are definitely a serious threat to air traffic safety.

    Laura still has plenty of hair left but such things are relative and opinions may vary according to taste. :)

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  3. That's funny about the pads. Last time through security I set things off,had a pat down And They wanted to know if I had something on my abdomen,I said other than fat nothing.

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  4. I am honestly GOBSMACKED! Who would have thunk it???
    Love the haircut. Wish I had the nerve to let go of mine. If I knew it would look as nice as Laura's I'd jump at the chance.

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  5. I wonder it a tampon set it off ?

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  6. Very interesting about the pads. Who woulda thunk? Laura is becoming so beautiful. She looks happy with herself.

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  7. Hari OM
    Crikey - I can't wear panty liners, so have been saved this horror. Love the hair cut!!! YAM xx

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  8. Wow! Really?!!! Gosh I better remember this next time I travel.

    Laura's new hair cut looks terrific.

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  9. Nor should you wear an underwire bra. I have one bra just for plane travel. Slip-on shoes and socks are also necessary. I put watch and wedding ring in my carryon bag.

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  10. I forgot to take off my scarf when going through the bells and whistles gate in Spain...all hell broke loose. The woman in charge said that the damn gates don't like anything asymetrical...like the pattern of my scarf. They don't like you touching them either when you stiffen in alarm at all the hooting noises.

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  11. I haven't used pads in quite some time, but will remember your advice going forward.

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  12. Nice haircut!

    And I know it's a little off the point, but why couldn't that nurse have found two minutes to hand wash a couple pair of undies? (Rhetorical question; no answer needed)

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  13. Strange, indeed....I always use a wheelchair and have never had a problem. Everyone is always helpful........And that haircut is great!

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  14. Excellent haircut.
    Sadly I saw a story about a young woman with an intellectual disability who was strip-searched because she was wearing a pad.

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  15. Panty liners = underwear bomber? Who knew?

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  16. Underwear bomber? I'll store that in the memory banks should I ever be flying anywhere ever again.
    Laura's new haircut looks very nice.

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  17. Laura new hair's cut is beautiful.

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  18. Laura has really blossomed. I wonder if they had been in your carryon they would have searched it. but really, that is just too much...panty liners? what on earth about them sets off the machine?

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    Replies
    1. There was a week's worth in my carry on, which rolled right on through the check point. Next trip my plan is to discard the one in use in the loo before the check and visit the loo after the check to get back to normal.

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  19. Love the haircut and I guess the airlines would rather clean up pee in their seats? Remind me to get a newspaper to sit down on airplane seats.

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  20. She sure looks happy with that new hair cut.

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  21. Good to know about the pads... And Laura's hair is beautiful.

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  22. Great haircut and wow, panty liner bomber? You badass. You need a leather jacket and a tattoo.

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  23. a couple of friends and I had a moment of (in)sanity - imagine the commotion if one offered to remove the panty liner in line... oh dear.

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  24. I'll have to tell my granddaughter this story about pads setting off the scanners. She never passes either.

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