The subhead for this post should perhaps be:
Lesson learned: Don't travel on the same day as the President
Although a number of us attended the IAAPA Convention this week, we all seemed to have different schedules. By Tuesday, Will, Mrs. Koch, Eric and Wayne had already gotten a start on their week.
Matt flew out earlier that morning; John and I had a very reasonable flight time out of Louisville: 10:30 am EST.
So we're flying out of Louisville Tuesday morning … remember who was flying in that same day?
(Cue: Hail to the Chief music.)
That's right, Mr. Bush had a speech to give in nearby New Albany.
The gate crew was all a-twitter.
They told us they hoped we could get out ahead of Air Force One's approach, but if we didn't make it, the entire airport–including our flight–would shut down for about 15 minutes. (I later heard her say 30 minutes; it was 45.)
John was all excited to see Air Force One land. I think he'd already had too much coffee, as he couldn't sit still.
"Is that it? Is it landing over there? I can't wait to see it again!"
It suddenly hit me I hadn't put on mascara yet, so I dug it out of my purse.
The nice gate lady came by to put a pink tag on my carry-on luggage.
"You got that by Security?"
"Security let you through with that?"
I looked around and realized she really was addressing me with her question.
"Yes, it's a liquid."
A liquid? It's goop!
"Well, maybe it's a gel then."
No…it's more like tar. What kind of threat is mascara?
I foolishly pointed the wand in her direction and joked, Am I going to poke someone in the eye?
That really wasn't smart of me; since she wasn't a Security Agent I didn't get in trouble. The nice lady left me in peace and moved on to tag someone else's bag.
John was quaking with laughter. My dangerous mascara became the theme of the trip.
We settled back, waiting to hear if we'd get to board our plane before the president arrived.
It was not meant to be.
I was checking emails on my cell (we don't have Blackberries; I call mine a Hollyberry, given the location of our park).
Suddenly, the screen went blank. Then, in place of the email, up popped two words in unusually large type: ACCESS DENIED.
Access denied? What the…? How did John get me fired over the mascara incident so quickly?
We later figured out that when Air Force One is approaching, all wireless communications are halted. Makes sense. Good idea.
Once onboard, we had another delay. Ten minutes later, though, the pilot got on the horn:
"Ladies and gentlemen, Dub-ya has left the premises."
So we got to taxi past Air Force One.
"Nice paint job!" John commented, admiringly. "Can you see it? Look! You don't want to miss it! Isn't it something?!"
Yes, yes, I see it. Very nice. Ugh. You are such a guy.
"At least I don't smuggle make-up past the security guards. I don't think I want to travel with you again. You're a loose cannon."
I started digging in my purse; maybe I could do some damage with that stick of L'Oreal goop after all.