I had a new experience at the Fargo Airport on Saturday morning – I got an “expedited” card from TSA. In all my years of travel I have never received such a card before. An expedited card basically means that you do not have to take off your shoes or a light jacket when you go through security. I have no idea why I was given such a card, but I must say, it made me feel extra special.
I left on my jacket and my boots as folks around me took off their jackets, coats, and shoes. I strode up to the metal detector confidently with my yellow expedited card in hand thinking to myself – oh yes, this is the way I would like to start every trip. But I was stopped a couple steps shy of the metal detector by a TSA agent who said I had to take off my leather jacket. I confidently waved my yellow expedited card. He was unimpressed. The card says “light jackets” he noted, and my jacket was not such a jacket. Okay, fair enough – I took off the jacket. I still had my boots on at least – my special status was not entirely stripped away.
Prior to crossing the threshold of the metal detector another TSA agent said to me, “We’ll see if those boots will make it through.” Again I flashed my card to show him that I was awarded special expedited status. He waved me through the detector and lo and behold it went off. I had to back up and take off the boots.
Well now, at that point I started to feel not so special, or at least not the right kind of special. I started to feel like a big goober with a yellow card to identify me as such. I wasn’t loving that feeling.
Once I made it to the other side I asked the TSA agent why I was given the expedited card and he explained that it is something that was stamped on my ticket by the agent at check-in. I had completely missed it in my half awake state. I wondered aloud to the TSA agent if it was based on my security clearance, but he was unsure why exactly the designation was given. I wondered if it was because I was upgraded to first class by Delta – I posited that perhaps it is a perk that goes with premium seating. The TSA agent didn’t know. Then it occured to me that it just may have been a discretionary decision on the part of the young gal who checked me in who got a good look at me and understood that I was close to incoherent. Perhaps she thought I just wasn’t capable of taking off my jacket and boots at that time in the morning – 5:45 AM. That may be the most plausible explanation of all.
The ticket that got me a yellow card
I don’t know that I will get too excited if I am ever expedited again. But I will definitely think to ask straight away why I have been afforded special treatment. I also will just conduct myself as I would if I wasn’t expedited as my yellow card yesterday actually caused me to hold up the line not breeze through it. I am pretty sure that the folks behind me thought I was special in all the wrong ways. Kind of like a Bill Engvall – here’s your sign moment. Here’s your yellow card ma’am…yes,indeed…I am a goober with a yellow card to prove it.
Day one thousand two hundred and twelve of the new forty – obla di obla da