It’s no secret that I enjoy the occasional beer.
In fact, Jamie gave me a beer making book for Christmas. (Stay tuned for more on that later)
Even though most of the beer I drink has twist off caps, (or better yet, groovy hinged-corks), we’ve started collecting bottle openers on our travels. Grabbed 2 new ones just last week in Seaside, Florida.
The first one is shaped like a dolphin, perfect souvenir because we saw several feral dolphins frolicking in the ocean on the trip…and the second one, this is the important one, is shaped like a small pistol. It looks like the kind of toy gun we used to fill with rolls of red caps as kids.
Both made of cast iron, and both just casually wrapped in tissue and tossed into the bottom of my tote bag on the first day of our vacation……..and forgotten for a week.
Flash forward to the last day of our vacation. The final hour actually.
Standing shoeless on the receiving end of the airport security conveyor belt, waiting for my stuff to come through, there is suddenly a great amount of activity as 2, then 3, then 4 TSA agents are huddled around the screening monitor whispering and pointing. One of them is quickly thumbing through a binder and another whispers into a walkie on her shoulder. What’s the hold up? Jamie has his stuff already……Where’s mine? And then I remember how I grabbed one Madeleine’s half-full sippy cups of milk and dropped it into my ……..
OOOHHH Shit! It’s the gun.
“Ummmm,” I toss-out nonchalantly across the motionless conveyor belt, ” Are y’all looking at my gun?”
GUN is a word that TSA agents are just itchin’ to hear…….and why, oh why did I just claim ownership of it?
(After all, Florida is a death penalty state that elected a Bush into office….much like my own state. I should know better than take a gun-shaped object to an airport)
Suddenly there appears a moustached tank of a police officer with hands the size of cantaloupes. He scans the monitor for a quick second and uses those melon hands to pick up my tote bag and escorts me – still shoeless – firmly by the shoulder to a room on the other side of the screening area…… Was I being taken into custody? He has no expression, so it was hard to tell at this point. But it certainly feels like I am.
“Take a seat,” he motions to a chair attached to the wall and sets my bag on a lab table.
After about a split-second of thinking about it, I oblige and take a seat. I don’t want to appear, in any sort of way…….uncooperative.
Jamie stands next to me.
“Do you have your boarding pass and driver’s license?”
Of course I do, and I hand them over to him.
He opens a notebook and begins scribbling my information.
“What time’s your flight?”
“6:30, in about an hour,” looking at my watch-less wrist. Is there a possibility that I might not make it?
“You’re from Dallas?”
“Yes, sir.” Should I be calling him Officer? I can’t remember if they prefer that.
“Do you mind if I go through your bag?”
Am I really going to say “No” here? “Please, please do……it’s just a bottle opener…….shaped like a gun.”
“It’s a joke,” Jamie interjects….not really helping the situation.
Officer melon-hand’s eyebrows go up.
“Ohhhhhhh, No, No, No.” I shake my head and try to sound as sincere as I possibly can. ” He means that it’s a novelty item. Not, ahhh, not a joke.”
He proceeds to unpack my tote bag, one stupid, embarrassing item at a time. The sippy-cup half full of warm milk, a bag of shrimp-flavored chips that I had been feeding gulls with all week, a dashboard hula girl for my brother Ben who is house/Doberman sitting for us, orange pillow cases that we bought that are the perfect shade of Crayola orange, a matchbox car I found on a playground, Target flip-flops, wet swimsuits in zip-loc bags, an enamel toothbrush holder full of store-bought sea shells (that I fully intended to pass off as shells I found on the beach), the cast iron dolphin bottle opener wrapped in tissue….and finally…..in the second wad of tissue, the smoking gun. Almost literally.
“Is this the gun in question?” he lays it on the table and photographs it.
“Yes sir, That’s the one.” Just how many did he think I had?
More questions, and more note taking follows.
“This is your current address? On Cavender?” – “Yes it is.”
“Height?” – “6’2″”
“Weight?” – Now we were getting personal, “About 230. Or 210, if you want to be nice.”…… No reaction in his face, and I’m pretty sure that he wrote 230.
“Social Security number?” He whispers this question – I also whisper the numbers to him just in case someone overhears and wants to steal my identity and crappy credit score.
“Do you have a job?” – Do I have a job? That’s an odd question. I’m wearing a shirt with a collar and we’re in the Florida panhandle. I think that answer is pretty obvious. – “Yes, of course.”
“What do yo do?” – I’m never sure how to answer this question so that it sounds like a really do have a legitimate job. “I do creative work. For (insert name of big fashion designer here)”
His expression still haven’t changed. I don’t think he’s ever heard of my boss.
Just then a TSA agent shuffles into the room and the 2 of them give Jamie and I “full back” and talk about me in hushed tones. (Like I can’t tell) She snickers, but I can’t quite read what she thinks is so funny.
She was laughing at the gun. Thank God. Our officer turns and says, “No one would believe that this is a real gun. You better go, you don’t want to miss your flight.” And just like that, he hands me my boarding pass.
I scoop up my bag, it’s contents, and my shoes……. and we skeddadle as fast as we can to the gate where the Pecks are waiting. (Notice that they didn’t hang around to see if I got arrested of not)
Never doing that again.
But I am going to keep collecting bottle openers.
Here are a few more of ours.
Want your own? The mermaid is available here.
And the same site has many more, all priced under 7 bucks.
We got these Kabuki mask openers at the Chinese Lantern Festival last fall.
I found them online at Amazon, if y’all wanna copy us or anything.
Yes, we know that Kabuki is Japanese, but someone should tell the Chinese Lantern Festival people.
These antler openers were both gifts……Someone knows me all too well.
Found a couple more of those on Etsy. This one is my favorite. Hint, hint.
Finally, here are the 2 new ones that we got in Florida last week.
I found the revolver online here. If your interested in owning your own.
It’s got coolness for days…..
I am so sorry that happened to you in my home state! It did make for a very entertaining story and I just live your bottle openers!
Oh my god – I’m sure it wasn’t funny as it was happening, but it’s a great story. I firmly believe that things we live with should have a story – your bottle opener now has a doozy 😉
I couldn’t agree more….most of our posessions recall memories…
Oh jeez, think they get bored? At least they didn’t make you jump through other hoops. And, those are all awesome openers, therefore worth the hassle. 😀
Can you believe it??? Everyone was so serious about it……at least I’m not on the “No Fly” list….that I know of….
Man, great story, do you still own the pistol bottle opener? Ill buy it off ya.
Sorry, don’t think I could ever part with it.