Friday, November 12, 2004

My Thursday

I spent the last few days in Baltimore and Washington DC (once again it rained while I was in Baltimore). I arrived at Dulles around 5:00 PM for my 8:00 PM flight home, only to find that there had been a security breech (no one knew what had been breeched, only that something had been breeched) and that everyone that had cleared security and was in the concourses had to evacuate and go through security again. Well the Dulles security line is always long and winds through the terminal but generally you can get through in under an hour. Well, now the terminal is packed with twice as many people as normal. Somehow this large group of people managed to actually form two log “U” shaped lines. No one was moving because the security stations were still closed, but it was two well formed lines. This we will call “Phase 1”.

It’s now 6:00 PM and we have not moved at all, not even the distance of one floor tile. Someone from TSA comes out and either mumbles or quietly says something. I don’t know because I’ve been standing still so long that the lack of blood moving through my body has caused my extremities to shut down and the shut down started with my ears. Whatever the TSA person said caused the two nicely formed lines to suddenly enter “Phase 2”. “Phase 2” lasted about 2 minutes because we now had intermingling of the two lines and believe me after an hour I was not about to give my spot up to anyone. TSA showed back up and managed to unmingled our intermingling lines. About this time we look out the window of the terminal and see two things happening, first there are local news vans with cameras starting to show up. This must means that we are going to be stuck here for a while. Second we see just a sea of airborne airplane lights up in the sky. Since no planes are leaving that means no planes can land.

Somewhere around 7:45 they announce that the security screeners are opening up. This is what I am going to call “Phase 3”. At some point during TSA’s disaster training/ evacuation training/ mob control training they left out the part that says “Hey when you have a line that makes a 180 degree turn, put one of the fabric fences between the two lines of people”. They have those retractable fences all over the airport, if anyone had any sense or foresight they would have done that because at 7:46 PM we entered what I like to call “Phase 3”. It was like a European sporting event the line collapsed onto itself. People that were walking north just turned around and started walking south. It was a mob scene. I heard cussing in 6 different languages. People were using their roll aboard luggage like the cattle guard on the front of the train. You don’t ever want to hear my rant about roll aboard luggage.

I finally get to my gate around 8:15 PM for my 8:00 PM flight. That’s OK because there was no one to board the planes because we were all stuck in the terminal. Anyways my 8:00 PM flight had been moved to 8:25 then 8:40 then 9:10 then 9:30 and finally 10:00. I got into my bed at 1:01 AM. I could not even sleep in because of an 8:20 AM dermatologist appointment this morning.


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