Monday, May 6, 2013

I'm a VIP

Most people have to be getting on a plane to get through Airport Security.

I'm not most people.

Most people have to stand in line to get through security.

I'm not most people.

You're probably wondering why I'm so special.  It all comes down to a little song that I used to sing in Elementary School.  The first two lines say it all, "I'm a VIP in my family.  I'm a VIP, you see!"

That should be enough for you, but since you're so needy I'll give you more.

But to explain it I need to back up a bit.

Robyn's parents and her grandma (who is German, and will henceforth be called Oma) were both in town this week.  We've spent lots of quality time together over the last few days, and really enjoyed each other's company.

This afternoon it was time for Oma to fly home.  Robyn and I volunteered to drive her to the airport.

Oma is 93 years old.  She can't walk very far without help.  She has a wheelchair, but it gets a little tricky getting her through security when she's flying by herself.  Someone needs to push her wheelchair, so we usually get an airline employee to escort her through and make sure she gets on the plane okay.

My role was simple.  I drove the car to the airport.  Robyn got out with Oma and helped her get as far as security, and watched her go through.  While all that was happening, I sat in the "Park and Wait" area reading a book.

While Robyn was pushing the wheelchair, she asked Oma to hold her wallet.  (Because her hands were full pushing the wheelchair, and why would she ever have a wallet small enough to fit in her pocket?)

Oma got through security and to her gate safely when she realized that she had an extra wallet.  Luckily, cell phones exist, or else Robyn would have had to wait for her to mail it.

She was able to get a hold of us, but the problem remained, how to get the wallet to us.  Robyn spoke to an airline employee and he said he could print her a temporary pass to get through security.

He asked her, "Do you have id?"

"Well, it's already at the gate."  That presents a problem for getting through security.

"Is there anyone else with you?"  That question is what ruined my peaceful book reading at the Park and Wait.

Robyn called me and told me I was going to go get her wallet from Oma.  I pulled up to the pick up area, and Robyn sat in the car while I ran in.

I found the same employee and told him my wife sent me.

"Is she the one with the grandma?"

"Yes" I said.

He printed me out a nifty spifty little pass that let me get through security.

I asked him if I was going to need to stand in line to get through security.  I was really worried that I wouldn't get there in time and I didn't want Oma to miss her plane.

That's when he told me the secret strategy to avoid a security line.  Apparently, one building over from the regular terminal is the international building.  It has its own security checkpoint.  I ran over to the other building, only to discover that the security checkpoint was closed.   I stood there and whimpered like a cute little puppy dog until a security guru emerged.

I explained my story to him and showed him my nifty little pass.   He agreed to open up the checkpoint just for me.  I still had to empty my pockets and take off my flip flops and everything just like normal.  Then he said,  "We are going to have to give you a full pat down."  I kind of laughed a little bit, then he said, "You think I'm kidding."  I stood there nervously.  I was really concerned about getting there in time, but I wasn't sure if he was joking.  Luckily he said, "I'm just kidding, go on through."

I ran like the wind.  (If the wind could run, it would run like I ran.)  I got to the gate and there were only about 15 billion people standing there waiting to get on the plane.  I had to swim through a sea of people, but finally I located Oma, got the wallet, thanked her and called Robyn to let her know the mission was a success.

After that I walked leisurely back to the car.  I made sure to stand, not walk, on the moving sidewalk.  I had had enough rushing for the day.

Robyn said I was her hero.  Not only am I a VIP, but I'm a hero.  And that's a pretty good thing to be.


  1. You paint a good picture when you tell stories. I can see you whimpering and swimming through the sea of people. Thank goodness you're so awesome.

    And yes, I plan on seeing you both in August! (So don't be in Hawaii or Switzerland or Alaska or China)


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