I was looking through the pictures on my phone recently and came across one that was taken at the airport on the day that Justin and I left for our honeymoon:
Pretty standard, right? A cheesy “got my coffee, ready to fly!” shot that airport Starbucks employees probably see 3 million times a day? Well it’s not. This one is different. This one is more of a “got my coffee, not rotting in the airport prison!” shot.
It all started at around 4:00 that morning. Justin and I had been married for all of 36 hours and we were doing some last-minute packing for our trip to Kauai, Hawaii. I made a game time decision to switch my carry-on; the laptop that we were bringing couldn’t fit in my backpack and Justin suggested I take his work bag instead.
As a side-note, there is something that you should know about Justin. He, along with my brother PJ, share a fondness for knives. Not in a creepy way, more of a want-to-be-prepared-for-anything way. At any given time, they will each be carrying at least 2 knives: a Leatherman on their keychain and a bigger Leatherman in their pocket. They talk about new models that have recently come out and they give each other knives for Christmas. This fondness for knives has also landed them both in some hot water a couple of times; PJ got corralled at the airport because he forgot to leave his knife at home and he barely made his flight. Not 2 months after hearing this story, Justin did the same thing. As a result, it seemed to me that a reasonable question to ask Justin when I borrowed his bag for our honeymoon was “are there are any knives hidden in this bag?” which was met with a big ol’ eye roll and an snippy response. Silly me for asking. (To be fair to him, it was 4am.)
Back to that fateful day: We arrive at the airport, ditch our shoes at security (yucko) and cruise through the metal detectors like old pros. Justin gets his bag and heads on over to Starbucks while I wait to pick up mine. And I wait. I see the official squinting at the screen and start to get a little nervous. Did I put my face wash in there by mistake? I know it’s over 3 ounces but I could have sworn I put it in my checked bag…
The official calls another woman over who picks up my bag and tells me that she has to take a look through it. Sure, no problem. She brings me over to a little table and starts to root through my carefully (and heavily) packed bag. I start to mourn the loss of my face wash and wonder if I’ll be able to find a CVS in Hawaii. She looks a little puzzled and brings it back to the machine, where they put it back on the belt and take another look at the X-Ray. More puzzled looks. Another guy goes over to check it out. They take the bag out and start rooting through it again. Back to the machine. Lather, rinse, repeat. I glance over at Justin who waves cheerily from the Starbucks line. I turn back in time to hear hear one of the women gasp and say incredulously “Oh my gosh, it’s in the lining.” The employees all turn to me with looks of horror. I think I actually pull one of those moves when I glance around to see what could possibly be lurking behind me that would cause those horrified expressions before realizing that yes, it’s me they’re looking at. I begin to think that it may be about more than face wash.
A new guy comes out and brings me back to that little table.
New Guy: Miss, is this your bag?
Me: Yes, it is.
NG: You’re sure? No one gave it to you?
Me: Well, I guess technically it’s my husbands bag, but I borrowed it. He’s right over there.
Cut to Justin, still happy as a clam, trying to decide what to get for breakfast.
NG: Right. Well, we found a knife in the lining of the bag. Can you explain that?
Me: [nervous laughter that is probably way too loud and sounds like a donkey braying since that’s what I do when I’m nervous] Oh, well it’s his work bag, he must have forgotten to take his Leatherman out.
NG: It’s not a Leatherman.
At this point, New Guy pulls out a knife that, if my memory serves me right, looks something like a saber.
Me: Wow. Nope, I can’t explain that.
NG: We are obligated to alert the state police when a passenger is caught with a knife this big.
NG: …so we’re going to have to call them.
Me: All right.
NG: …because the knife is so big.
Me. Right, gotcha. What happens after that?
Then I’ll get interrogated, we’ll miss our flight, we’ll lose our deposit, we’ll miss our honeymoon, my parents will have to bail me out because Justin will still be standing in the line at Starbucks, completely unaware that any of this is going on…
NG: …fine, we won’t call them. But don’t bring knives to the airport again!
And that was that. I thanked NG, grabbed that blasted bag, ran over to Justin and demanded to know why he had planted a knife in the lining of the bag. Was he trying to get me arrested? Was this all a scheme that he had cooked up years ago? What is he even DOING with a knife that big?? Was Justin even his real name? He managed to talk me down by explaining that it wasn’t actually planted in the lining of the bag, there’s a hidden pocket there. No, he hadn’t been planning this whole thing for the past 7 years, what would he get out of it other than a chuckle at me getting hauled off by the police? It’s a survival knife, that’s why its so big (again, silly me for asking. Of course he would need a survival knife in the ‘burbs). And yes, that’s his real name, here’s a passport to prove it (pssh as if that couldn’t be forged). I think I believe him. He hasn’t tried to pull any other stunts like that since, but believe me that I’m keeping an eye on him.
And I think I’ll just use my own bag from now on, thank you very much.