Monday, October 17, 2005

Scenes from Rhinebeck II: Airport Security

In Which I Nearly Moon O'Hare Terminal B

To get through airport security I always have to take off my boots, which have steel toes; and my belt, which has a large metal buckle. I was walking through the metal detector when I suddenly felt my new jeans slip downward alarmingly.

I hitched them up as best I could and hoped this time I might be spared a delay in getting through the line, but no: Arab men and pointy sticks are now considered a dangerous combination by the TSA. I was hauled aside as usual for the following dialogue:
Security Guy (indicating needles from which depend unfinished lace stole): Sir, can you tell me what this is?

Franklin (trying to look dignified while keeping up his jeans with one hand): Yes, that's knitting.

Security Guy: Knitting?

Franklin: Yes, I'm knitting a stole. It's lace.

Security Guy: You're knitting this yourself?

Franklin: Yes.

Security Guy: Can you demonstrate to me that you know how to knit with these items?

Franklin: Only if you let me have my belt back first.

18 comments:

sep said...

demonstrate? demonstrate! what the heck would they have you do with it!?

and this post really should have a preliminary warning, what with the afternoon pick-me-up of hot coffee and all... :)

IRV said...

I can't get the vision of you w/ your pants down around your ankles, in the middle of the airport, knitting a stole of lace surrounded by burly security men. It's just TOO F*#%ING HOT!

Jon said...

Wait, I don't understand why you need your belt to demonstrate. I mean, can't you knit with your pants down your ankles?

You need to learn how to do this to advance to the next knitting level. This is the level after First Sweater.

Cheryl said...

Demonstrate huh??? Bet it was turning him on to watch you knit....

JoVE said...

Glad I wasn't having a coffee while reading this. Taking your life in your hands, talking back to a security guard but demonstrating that you can knit is good. Maybe next time, they'll ask if you can teach them how to do it.

I won't comment on what I thought Jon was thinking of in terms of multi-tasking... suffice to say, it would probably distract you from lace knitting and should not be attempted while driving.

Sorka said...

Oh dear. Oh my. Oh man! Ugh!

I hope you had the pattern memorized so that you didn't have to rip out the demonstration part and re work it!

Loved your article in the MenKnit magazine!! You should submit some of your cartoons next time!(this incident woud make a good one!)

Sneaksleep said...

Man, you are totally helping me get through the last hour of my workday--thanks! Now I just have to figure out how to clean lemonade off the computer screen. I really wish I had seen you there! But there were soooo many people...

Ween said...

Oh my, I just laughed out loud. Sorry, but as a white woman, with blond hair I am ALWAYS, never fail, hauled aside to turn on my computer, cell phone, palm, etc. With many questions about what all my papers are for, etc. Then they wipe down my stuff with those little things and take them over to that device that shows if there is some kind of chemicals on my things. I haven't traveled at all since I started knitting this past December ... I've been dreading it...just one more thing for them to question me about. I'm pretty sure I fit the image of a drug smuggler just about as much as you do a terrorist!

Samantha said...

It's funny the way you tell it, but WTF with the "demo"? I'm all about inspecting items before boarding, but I wish the story had ended with you knitting "fuck off" into the lace pattern.

birdfarm said...

bamboo needles seem to help us get on & off planes unmolested. dunno if that's of any use to you.

are you ever glad that the immigration official on ellis island many years back made that fateful mistake that makes the ethnic origin of your last name unidentifiable?

ween, this never happens to me. perhaps your downfall is looking beautiful, wholesome and all-american--perfect poster child for "this is random, we swear it is. no really."

dragon knitter said...

ok, franklin, you about made me piss my pants on that one! "only if you give me my belt back." too frigging funny. did anyone else behind you laugh?

goblinbox said...

Ditto what Irv said. Chuckle.

Anonymous said...

Lord, this is gross! What did they think you were going to do with the needles, stab the pilot?

Folks gotta get a grip.

Linda said...

We can't fly with knitting needles, even the famous Denise needles, at all, in Australia, nor get through airport security to meet people in the terminus. It has turned airports into the most boring places in the world(no, I'm not exaggerating) to me.

birdfarm said...

Well, you probably *could* stab somebody with them (even the bamboo ones), if you had a strong arm and knowledge of anatomy.

But you could certainly do just as much damage with a ballpoint pen (anybody see "Grosse Pointe Blank"?), and when I was a kid, I had a friend who accidentally impaled himself on a pencil that was stuck in a bus seat.

In other words, anything can be a weapon. So I'm with "anonymous." Folks gotta getta grip.

Tina said...

They were just talking about needles on Australian planes at the Yarn Magazine blog - apparently someone was going to try and knit with pencils just to get the flight attendants back for confiscating!

Absolom said...

There's no doubt, the dude is absolutely just.
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