A few weeks ago, I helped produce the broadcast and webcast of our university’s commencement ceremonies. Our speaker this year was Vice President Joseph Biden, which made for an…interesting production day, to say the least. Just feeling the motorcade approach was rather exciting. Yes, I said “feel” – the rumble of cycle and car motors was like a small earthquake!
I won’t go into Vice President Biden’s speech, which you can listen to yourself, if you’re so inclined. He was very self-effacing and easygoing, though his security was something of a different story.
Usually, we don’t have to deal with magnetometers when we set up at the production control truck. This year, though, we were warned that safety measures would be similar to an airport security queue.
For those of you who have not traveled through an airport recently, they scan everything, from electronic devices like phones and laptops, to the change in your pockets, to your shoes. I fly fairly regularly – three or four roundtrips per year, on average – so I know what these security queues are like. That said, I don’t know why I didn’t check my work backpack before I left the house that morning. Maybe because I had to get up at four a.m. to be at the truck by six, or maybe because I hadn’t had the opportunity to get in my morning workout routine, or maybe because I didn’t have any peanut butter with my toast. Whatever the reason, I slung my pack over my shoulder and headed to the production field, without giving what was in my bag a second thought.
Until I got into that security queue.
The walkthrough metal detector was for people only. Each backpack, handbag, laptop case, and purse had to go through a manual search. And they didn’t just search. They pulled out everything. Now, Mom always told me to be prepared. So, I make certain to keep preparedness supplies in my bag at all times:
I think it was the string of condoms – or maybe the packet of spare underpants – that made the security guy look at me a little funny. What else could I say, but, “It’s going to be an exciting day.” I suppose I should consider myself lucky he just snickered, put everything back in my pack, and let me on my way.
This has nothing to do with writing. Except, perhaps, to say, always be prepared, for whatever might come at you. And, always be willing to laugh at yourself a little.
That’s so funny! Although I am wondering now why you carry a string of condoms and spare underwear in your work backpack – what sort of university do you work at?! 😉
Thanks, Vanessa! The weird thing is, I really carry only one bag anywhere – even on short vacations! So, it’s all work-and-play at the same time, for me. 😉
Is it weird that I focused more on the screwdriver and wrench? 😀 I feel like you could write a story involving the stuff in your bag. Exciting, indeed! It’s also fun to see a little more into the writer’s life!
Oh, yes, I definitely think you should use the contents of your pack as a writing prompt! 😀 I wonder if any boy scouts are as prepared as you? And what could MacGuyver have made from those, shall we say—diverse—supplies? 😉
That’s awesome. I found myself studying that picture and thinking, ‘okay, she’s got condoms, screwdriver, money…” and imagining where the food was! 🙂 I can’t go anywhere without some sort of snack in tow. So, I was more interested that you didn’t have a granola bar in sight!
Not weird at all, spooney. Those are often the items I *need* to have close at hand when I’m at work. And when I’m at home, too. I can’t let my husband do all the dirty work! 😉
I’m certain MacGyver could have saved the world with what’s in my backpack on a daily basis, JM! 😀 I think I’d have to pass this on to others as a prompt, though. I don’t think my own brain could get away from that funny look from the security agent. 🙂
That’s funny, Kate! Strangely, I don’t make a habit of carrying food with me. I should probably make that a staple, though – it’s hardly being “prepared” without some sort of sustenance.
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LOL. My friend took a fork and knife in his backpack into the Vatican because we used them for breakfast in our room. Security was not amused and confiscated them. Sometimes when you’re prepared people think you’re weird.
I love how prepared you were for any and all events that could transpire that day! 🙂
Oh, my gosh – I can’t imagine what security at the Vatican must be like! I’m surprised they let your friend in at all, after trying to smuggle his cutlery through the doors. Sounds like conventions or sports events, where you MUST eat and drink only what they offer! 😉
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The security guy probably went home from work that night and said “Honey, just when I thought I’d seen it all…” 😉
Life’s all about stories, isn’t it? 😉