Saturday, December 23, 2006

Good Thing She's a Little White Girl

When it came to dishing out the common sense genes in my family, I think I wound up with slightly more than my sis, but we're both cursed with pretty meager servings. So this is not to lord it over her, this story, because god knows I've pulled some boneheaded stunts while traveling and precisely why i haven't ended up sobbing, passport-less in more consulates in this big world is kind of a mystery.

But this is about her boneheaded stunt, reprinted without permission.

So little sister is traveling from her home in New York to Texas for the holidays. She's running late, she's frazzled, so she accidentally leaves her carry-on at the security checkpoint and dashes to the gate.

Turns out her flight is canceled, so she has time to notice that she has left her bag unattended in a New York airport. Woopsie-daisy. Back to the checkpoint, she notices a cluster of security guards ringing her bag. At this point, naturally, one's mind frantically catalogs the contents. Oh god, what's in there? Tampons? Beef jerky? At least, that's what I would be thinking. Little sister had a little more to worry about.

What was in her unattended bag in a New York airport? Why, her Arabic dictionary, some journals on terrorism, and her hand-written notes on Al-Qaeda for an article she was preparing for work. Talk about pretending to be a terrorist.

For all that, it defused pretty quickly. She announced that the bag was hers, the guards gave her a stern once-over and told her not to do it again. It's true, she doesn't look very threatening, but times are tense and girlfriend was maybe one allahu akbar away from getting herself disappeared. Instead she was upgraded to first class; there is no justice to be had in airports.


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