Chapter #2 Outline
This chapter describes my hassle and humiliation while escaping from LAX to Paris with my dog, stacks of carry-ons, and two, identical bulging suitcases -- carefully weighed on my mother’s (now defunct) bathroom scale! I tell of the smug reservationist at check-in dropping one of the heavy cases, snapping off a wheel, giving a convincing impression of a deranged top wildly spinning past me before expiring in the aisle! While pretending not to notice, I’m silently praying, “Please God, let this be the one with the soft unbreakable items, not the one with my dinnerware, art supplies and crockpot!” I describe the hoard of extras I laughingly refer to as carry-ons, including my ugly, enormous artist’s field bag. Thankfully not judging me on my hideous taste in accessories, I successfully convince her that this humongous beast is my purse; perfect for smuggling pesky, last minute important things, and (of course) the victims of impulse packing -- such as my answering machine and steam iron!
As if my experience at check-in is not traumatic enough security is even worse. Alarms go off, lights flash and security becomes chaotic as my mass of carry-ons wobble by the x-ray machine. This is due to the two, lethal-looking three-foot long aluminum tubes containing my carefully rolled up oil paintings. The reservationist at check-in, frazzled by so many feeble explanations and excuses, and figuring I would never get by security anyway, cleverly ignored these two suspicious looking thingamajigs. She was right. Security forced me to unroll every painting, emptying the shiny tubes and giving the bystanders an opportunity to bless me with an impromptu art critique! I tell of the hassle of trying to convince the security guards of my innocence, when finally exasperated, (disengaging jaw before engaging brain) I loudly and firmly declare, “This is stupid!” and begin rolling and replacing my paintings back into the tubes. Probably thinking I am a harmless, semi-bipolar forty-eight year-old menopausal nut, they look surprisingly happy and relieved to get rid of me -- taking a giant step back allowing my dog and I, with piles of paraphernalia to shuffle by.
I conclude this chapter at the gate after receiving my boarding pass collapsing on a chair, taking a deep breath and a last minute inventory of my hoard of belongings. When finally hearing the boarding announcement, Sport and I rush to sneak on with the mommies with babies, people in wheelchairs, and the elderly. It isn’t that we need help, only the chance to snatch extra pillows, blankets and enough storage space for all my "treasures." Yep - we are finally on our way to Paris!