Airport Nazis, Bedbugs, and People Pushers: A Plethora of Irrational Travel Paranoia


, , , ,

Care to know what five years of marriage will get you?  Babies, possibly.  A home, hopefully.  A divorce, hopefully not.  In my case, it gets me a trip to NYC.  Last summer I decided (on my own volition, mind you) that The Mister and I would do something really awesome for our 5 year anniversary.  Considering the divorce rate these days, I’m thinking it’s okay to be proud of ourselves for continuing to make it work for this long.  So….why not be proud in NYC for a week?  Just makes good sense to me.  The problem is, I haven’t flown in a while and that’s bringing about all sorts of tiny freakouts.  Come….share in my paranoia, one by one.

Freakout #1, also referred to as, “What if it’s too big??”  

No, this isn’t a dirty joke.  Pervert.   I’m talking about my suitcase.  Being the cheapskate that I am, I have made it my mission to pack in the least costly manner possible.  I was appalled and angered when I read the charges for checking a second bag, or for submitting a bag that is either too large or too heavy.  I literally sat in front of the computer, screaming incoherently about gas prices and airport Nazis and I think something about measuring tape.  It’s really all a big blur now.  I do know that I decided then and there that US Airways would not be making one cent more off of our 5 year anniversary trip than they had to.  I’ve measured and remeasured every piece of luggage in our home, folded clothes in different manners to ensure efficient packing methods, and considered wearing multiple outfits on top of one another to avoid having to place them in the suitcase.  Sure, I may look like the Michelin man while wearing 4 sweaters and two coats, but I’m saving money.  Or at least, THAT’S THE PLAN.   I’m fairly certain that I’ll get picked for a strip search or something, because, admittedly, I do look somewhat suspicious.  It’s just my face, I assure you, but I do pretty much always look like I’m up to no good.  It’s an unfair assumption, in that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s also a fairly accurate assumption in that this book is just as sketchy as it looks.  Did that sentence make any sense?  Not sure, but you’ll figure it out.  I’m sure of it.

Freakout #2, also referred to as, “What if the plane crashes??”

Let me just go ahead and say to all of you who are reading Freakout #2 and assuming that I’m an alarmist: You’re exactly right!  Yeah, when I don’t leave the ground for longer than a roller coaster ride or trip on an elevator, I tend to get a little iffy about spending a few hours in a steel tube well above the earth’s surface.  More specifically, I get a little iffy about the possibility of said steel tube making an unplanned and uncontrolled descent back to the earth’s surface.  And it’s not just mechanical failures I’m concerned about.  I’m also concerned about being on the plane with one of “those people”.  You know, the crazy ones who want to blow up a plane?  Yeah, them.  Let me spare you the task of assuming that I’m going to be profiling everyone on the plane for terrorist traits, because I’m not.  Instead, I will be assuming that everyone on the plane is a terrorist.  It’s discrimination,  but in reverse, so it doesn’t count and you can’t judge me for it.  It’s actually the wise way of thinking.   I don’t think that a terrorist looks a certain way or prays to a certain god, blah blah blah.  I think terrorists want to blend in and therefore, I SHOULD SUSPECT EVERYONE.  My only tool of defense, however, will be my trusty “stink eye”, since bringing nunchuks on a plane is highly frowned upon. That’s right; I plan to give enough dirty looks to hopefully thwart the plans of anyone who’s got some meanness up their sleeve.  It’ll probably get me punched in the stomach on my way to the bathroom, but that’s a chance I’m willing to take.  FOR MY COUNTRY.

Freakout #3, also referred to as, “What if the cabby tries to kill us??”
I live in South Carolina, which isn’t exactly known for high employment rates in the taxi cab industry.  I don’t see a lot of taxis and the ones I do see aren’t being driven by someone I’d trust my houseplant with.  I don’t really care too much for houseplants, so if I won’t trust you with mine, you’re probably pretty sketchy-looking.  Also, I’ve seen the movie “The Bone Collector” far too many times, and frankly, I’m afraid of getting in the car with a serial killer.  Seriously, have you seen that movie?!  It’s so not something to would likely happen, but at the same time, IT IS SOOOO something that could totally happen.  I mean, movies have inspired crime before, so….you know…..what if it happens with us?!  That’s not how I want to go out.  My plan to avoid death by taxi is to intimidate the driver without actually threatening him.  I plan to say a lot of things like, “So, honey, do you think the hotel will have a space big enough for us to practice our karate skills…..Because we’re both black belts…Who killed a home invader with our bare hands…..While assisting in the hunt for bin Laden”.   I feel confident that this will instil at least a little bit of fear into the mind of the taxi driver.  Enough, I hope, to encourage him to transfer any homicidal thoughts onto his next set of passengers.  Bless their hearts.

I bet this dude has killed like, 3 people.

I bet this dude has killed like, 3 people.








Freakout #4, also referred to as, “What if our hotel has bedbugs??”

                                                                                                                                 I’m sorry, but the idea of tiny little critters crawling on my toes and legs while I sleep gives me heart palpitations.  Had it not been for the media onslaught of news coverage over NYC’s apparent problem with bedbug infestations, I wouldn’t be worrying about it.  Really.  I’m not a germaphobe, nor am I afraid of bugs.  (Except spiders. Anyone lacking a fear of spiders has no soul).  But I simply cannot accept bugs in my bed.  I sleep with only one other living soul in my bed and that’s my husband.  Occasionally, the cat will sneak in but that’s another story for another day.  Unfortunately, bedbugs aren’t fazed by intimidation or the stink eye, so I”m pretty much relying on the hotel staff to keep this freakout from coming to fruition.

Freakout #5, also referred to as, “What if we get pushed onto the subway tracks?”

Is it me, or are A LOT of people getting pushed onto the tracks lately?  What’s up with that?  As someone who’s never used the subway, I’m pretty much terrified of the whole process.  First, we’ll most likely get on the wrong train several times and end up in Canada (Exaggeration. Not possible. I know. It was for effect. Just go with it).  Then, if we do manage to get on the right train, we have to worry about getting off and waiting for another train, all the while being observant of those around us in case someone gets the idea to play “Push the Southerner“.  (We Southerners are very wary of Northerners and their motives; often assuming that they want us dead.  It’s all very 1865-ish.)   I don’t plan to use intimidating language or the stink eye because frankly, either of those could be viewed as an invitation to push me.  I don’t want to tempt anyone.   I plan to keep myself and The Mister as far away from the edge as possible and to avoid eye contact with everyone but the rats.  Rats can’t push me.  They don’t have the motive or the upper body strength.  Rats=allies.

A courteous rat letting this passenger know that he needs to wake up since his stop is coming up.  Sweet, sweet rat.

A courteous rat letting this passenger know that he needs to awaken since his stop is coming up. Such a thoughtful rat…







So, here’s to our trip and all my irrational fears.  It’s going to be great.  Happy 5 years of US, honey!