So we made it to the airport in plenty of time despite six million people on their way to work that morning. I'd already printed our tickets so we didn't have to make that stop and we had a TSA pre stamp on them which meant I didn't have to take off my flip flops.
No problem. Just put my lap top and the biggest purse I own in the trays, send them through the machine and we'd be on our way to get a cup of coffee and a Danish before we boarded.
The rollers stopped. The lady looked at me like my mama did when I'd done something horrible...like that time I got caught skipping school. I started thinking: yes, I'd put my pink pocket knife in the checked luggage. No, I did not have a bottle of lotion, not even one that was three ounces or less, in my purse. No, I didn't have fingernail clippers, but I did have an emery board. Was that enough to warrant the old stink eye that she kept shooting my way.
Then she sent her cohort over to gather up three policemen. Oh, no, was it now against the rules to carry chap stick and dental floss?
"Who owns these two bags?" the policeman asked as if he couldn't believe I'd raise my hand.
"I do," I said. I hoped they were still serving breakfast in the jail cell where he took me but I wanted to hear my rights read out loud and if they scarred my pretty wrist watch with cuffs, believe me there would be a hissy in the airport.
"Is there a pistol in the second bag?"
"Yes, sir, there is and you are welcome to open it up and look at it," I said.
The expression on his face said he didn't know whether to send me straight to jail, do not pass go and do not collect $200 and don't even stop long enough for a Danish--or to laugh. Surely a gray haired granny would not try to take a pistol through TSA customs!
"It's in that bag right there, in a side pocket," I told him. "And it's a flash drive, not a gun."
He still didn't believe me but he and two other uniformed guys went to digging. They found my two inch metal pistol in a few seconds, pulled it out and with a look of pure bewilderment, looked over at me again.
"Pull the barrel straight out."
They did and found I was telling the truth. I did have a pistol. It was a flash drive and it did not have bullets. And yes, they took it away from me! You can not carry any form of a pistol on an airplane!!
So there it is--I wasn't even out of Oklahoma and was already causing trouble.
Beware all ye authors at the RWA Conference. I might not have a pistol anymore but I do have an emery board and a keychain!!