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A Wrench In Our Plans


    Past travel experiences have taught me that one cannot travel through security checks with more than three ounces of mouthwash, pointy scissors, nail files, lighters, or a half finished grande mocha cappuccino, no matter how tasty it is.  I am now highly aware that there are additional items that are frowned upon, as well.  This list includes a backpack full or wires and a giant wrench.   When you send that through the xray machine, you are guaranteed a free trip to a special area, away from passengers, who don’t travel with such odd items.  It’s certainly a genetic downfall that plagues my family as we simply can’t navigate the security checkpoints with ease.  
    On our recent trip to the Caribbean, my family began the three hour long boarding process on the Mariner of the Seas.  My brother had passed through the security checkpoint first.  It is not unusual for him to travel with enough computer equipment to operate a small business from his cabin.  This time he was traveling with a 27 inch computer monitor, several hard drives and a computer processor.   Most travel with an ipad or laptop.  Not us.  My son enters the line and sends his backpack through the screening stop and the conveyor belt shuts down.  The lady behind the xray machine yells, “We have a problem here.”   Without even looking, I knew it had to be us.  She pulls out my son’s backpack and removes a giant wrench, not unlike those used to build ships, or possibly take them apart.  It was retrieved from a bed of wires and cables housed within his backpack.  She looks at him and then immediately turns to the responsible adult, which would be me, and asks “Should I be concerned?”  I explained that he was a Disc Jockey and had obviously forgotten to take his tools out of his pack. We received a special escort to the island of misfit toys where his giant wrench joined a large collection of confiscated alcohol, lighters, and nail files.  We signed for our contraband material and then we were released. 
    I’m certain our on-ship profile includes a special note that we attempted to board with large industrial tools and enough computer equipment to attempt a small take-over of the ship.  My only goal was to get poolside with a fruity drink in hand, not reroute the ship or rob the casino.  Ironically, my friend Sam and I went to the casino and played the quarter slots where we managed to break the machine after hitting a small jackpot in the first few spins.  A gazillion quarters rained down and then the door of the unit popped open.  Quarter after quarter continued to trickle out until the attendant finally arrived to fix it.  He shut the door, banged on the machine a few times with his fist and secured the machine once again.  I hope they don’t think we did that with our giant wrench!   I imagine a second note was added to our family profile.   

    Upon arrival to Grand Cayman, my children left the ship and immediately sought out American food.  Within the first few minutes I had spent 420 Cayman Islands dollars on frozen lemon aid, mocha latte and a giant pile of french fries.   I should have been buying fajitas and pico de gallo, but I was toting around frozen Dairy Queen products.  As luck would have it, we had to enter another security screening station to reenter the ship.  While it is not unacceptable to bring drinks on board, I now know that you should not send a melted frozen lemon aid through the xray scanner.   I can add this to my list of things they frown upon, especially when it spills half way through.  I’m certain the notes on my family profile continue to grow and we’ll be lucky if they let us through any further check points.  There is the ship pool, though, and I can always stay there until we return home to the states and our giant wrench that waits at the port.  

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