SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2009
The Giddy Mystery Cruise – Day Ten: Docking in Fort Lauderdale and the Prick TSA Agent Incident
When you’re a kid, you don’t realize it. There was that certain feeling you had once you got out of school on the last day before summer recess. It was great. As an adult, you spend most of your time trying to recapture that utter joy of youth. Occasionally you get a glimpse of it on your first day of a hard-earned vacation. Conversely, there is that sick in the pit of your stomach feeling (not quite as bad as seasickness – but high on the queasy quotient nonetheless) that comes with the last day of vacation, not at all unlike the feeling on the Tuesday after Labor Day, when you trudged off to bed knowing summer break was over, and tomorrow it’s time to report back to school.That’s today’s feeling, only it starts really fucking early. We have a 12:30pm flight out of Fort Lauderdale back to the ice, snow and cold that awaits us at home in New York.
Most everything was packed last night, we just have the camera bag, a carry on with some light things (dirty clothes from last night) and the liquor, taped and packed securely in nice white cardboard boxes with our name and address boldly written across the front. Grabbed a sad early breakfast at Blu, took our packages and we headed down to our staging area in the Solstice Theater to await them to call our group (we’re #12) to debark and look for our luggage. Our friend Steve Kramer was with us, seems he was heading home to Kansas City for a 2 week “vacation” before he headed out to work another cruise. Can’t beat his deal, he did 4 one hour shows over the course of the week, never one before midnight – so he got to hang around the boat and bars all day, do the occasional performance, then go hang some more with idiots like us in the nightclub afterwards. Follow that with a couple of weeks to rest up before he has to head out again – not a bad gig. Certainly made an influence on Young Miss Junior Giddy – as she now has full scale plans in the works to open her own comedy club.
Told her that I’d start brushing up my act. She told me she was planning on the club presenting performers who were actually funny.
Our group is called so it’s time to go. The crowd is large and backed up, but eventually starts to move down the gangway to the luggage claim area. They check you off the boat by scanning your cruise card – basically the ships lifeline to your money. Poor Steve had some card problems with the security, and had to stay behind till they figured it out. We haven’t heard from him since, so he either overspent at the bar, or he was a terrorist.
We found our bags and went through customs. Grabbed a cab and got to the airport a little more than two hours before the flight. Turns out that was a good thing, the airport was slammed. Every cruise ship on the east coast it seems was unloading their passengers into the swamp of an airport known as Fort Lauderdale International. Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice enough looking airport. The people working it however, quite simply sucked.
Seriously, every last person we encountered at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport was a steaming cup of asshole. After spending more than a week with people smiling, and offering their assistance, to come upon such a rogue collection of cretins in one place was most disappointing.
Yes, it was crowded, but since when does a crowd give any paplum sucking flunky working a line the right to be a downright schmuck? Not to mention the other assorted brainless twits walking around and bumping into you, or standing still while you’re trying to keep moving with the traffic to your appointed line location. It’s like everyone went into Wal Mart Black Friday stampede mode and to hell with anyone who gets left behind.
We were inside standing with all of our luggage waiting to check our bags. As I mentioned we had some liquor packed nicely in cardboard boxes that we planned on checking. No such luck. Some dwarf angry woman with a Southwest Airlines name tag yelled at us that we can’t take the boxes on the plane (we weren’t planning on doing so you sad excuse for a hobbit) and we can’t check them. Everything had to come out of the boxes and be put in our bags – and God for fucking bid they break, Southwest Airlines would not be responsible. There wasn’t any room in our bags, and we knew that, so we had to leave the line, open up our shit and try to shove the bottles in amongst our clothes and items stolen from the ship. We ditched all of the extra boxes, as well as the nice collectible box the Johnny Walker came in – but we managed to get everything in.
After that harrowing experience we got back on the line and managed to eventually make it up to the counter to check in our bags. It was a joke, it was so crowded, and people are trying to get by with their bags, and of course, this being Southwest, several folks were trying to maneuver around in a wheelchair. Southwest must offer some crazy discounted fares if you need a wheelchair in the airport – because every time we fly them, and it’s quite often, it’s like a friggin convention for wheelchair people. Anyway – we put the heaviest suitcase up on the scale, and its two pounds over the limit. It’s over the fucking limit because we had to stick the bottles in there instead of keeping them in the boxes. The robotic bitch behind the counter says that it’ll be a $25.00, unless we choose to get rid of the extra weight. I quietly wonder to myself what her mother might have done with her given the same choice many years ago.
We pay the graft charge and angrily head over to the mile long line for security. We’ve each been through these things a thousand times and we know the drill. Take off your shoes, have your boarding pass, ID and urine sample ready, put your cell phone through the scanner and walk through the metal detector only when instructed to do so.
Right in front of us, an older woman (surprise, remember, this is a cruise crowd) sets off the metal detector. Seems she forgot to take off her watch – oops. Simple mistake, but not according to King Dick – the biggest prick of all. This ‘roid-raged piss faced fuck of a TSA agent (I’m being kind) starts hammering her for leaving on her watch. She’s like 98 years old for chrissakes. So he gets his jollies off acting like Mr. Tough Guy and then grudgingly waves for me to go through.
Oh-oh, the sound of the ding and it was definitely not safe to move about the country. I forgot to take off my belt. So I step back as he’s literally yelling at me to take off any metal I may have on. Now I’m getting pissed, so I whip off my belt (it’s got a steel buckle which would have made a great looking dent in his fucking face) and stick it through the scanner. No ding this time of course. As I’m walking past now to retrieve the belt he says something derogatory that sounded like “Amazing isn’t it asshole”. What he actually said was “Amazing isn’t it asshole”. I kid you not. Now I’m beyond pissed, I have entered livid mode. I grab my belt and state quite loudly my belief about what you get when you put a uniform on an asshole (you get an asshole in a uniform). I’m cursing like Rosie O’Donnell at a depleted salad bar – all the while proving I’m not an asshole, as I’m just moving forward, away from the offending prick. He was after all about six-ten and 300 pounds of solid muscle, he could probably snap my scrawny ass in half. I may be scrappy, but I’m not stupid.
Next time I fly – sweatpants.
The flight home was uneventful, and we landed on time. It’s cold, and there’s some light snow – but it turns out that it’s actually the warmest it’s been since we left – so we managed to be away at the right time. The cab from the local airport (not more than 10 miles away) cost sixty bucks, so we knew we were back in New York.
Getting home we unpacked quickly to get that nasty task over with, scoured through a ton of un-answered e-mail, and more or less hung around being sad because we were no longer on vacation. Turned on the TV, and the first thing we saw was a promo for the upcoming season of “The Celebrity Apprentice” this year featuring, a very blond Dennis Rodman.
Yes – the Giddy Mystery Cruise was an overall success. Upon our return home Chrissy immediately began the arduous task of planning our next trip…to the moon.