There's a new military out there, and they insist you carry a picture I D.
Often, they will look the other way or grant some exceptions with regard to contents in your carry-on luggage.
Occasionally a grenade, rapid fire weapon, machete, or some plutonium will slip past security, but you will never cross the line without the picture I D.
You can vote without it, but don't show up at the airport without it.
There are some things I can't tolerate but force myself to accept. This is not one of those things.
Recently, I reached into my pocket after 30 minutes of circling the roped maze.
Back and forth I went. I noticed the cute girl every other turn and began to feel we were connecting in a strange sort of way. I could only see her when I was facing east. When I was facing west, she was gone and I yearned to be facing east again.
The relationship grew. "Would she be on my flight?" I thought. "What are the chances we bump into each other when the train accelerates and we exchange sheepish glances." "Are we registered at the same destination resort?" "What are the chances I could marry this women in three days?"
But I digress.
As I approached the next level of security (the human robot that stamps your boarding pass), I reached into my pockets, wallet, jacket, carry-on sleeves and I even stared down the soles of my shoes.
The driver's license I was looking for was in my ski pants, and those pants were a 100 miles away.
I had only minutes before being granted clearance to the next level and I had to think of a plan B. I turned to the weary traveler who was behind me in line (he was also facing west and I had a moment before my girlfriend re-appeared).
"Have you ever gone through airport security without a picture ID?" I asked.
He was a seasoned sort and I knew this was not his first rodeo. The fellow showed signs of depression, lack of self esteem, boredom and bad looks. He glared at me with a curled lip and a sneer in his face and replied, "You'll get on the flight, but you just gained celebrity status, so plan on extra time and get ready. They love when you don't love them."
"Thanks friend," I said, and opted not to exchange phone numbers. It was my turn to talk to the stone-faced woman at the podium.
I stepped forward.
"I have done a real stupid thing," I said. "First I ask for your forgiveness and now your understanding. I do not have my driver's license, and I really need to get on this flight."
I handed her my boarding pass, two credit cards, a bank check, Social Security card, home depot card, a City Market preferred customer card, and a Vail Library card and said, "These library cards are really hard to get."
She got on the walkie-talkie and mumbled something totally in-audible, looked at me, and said, "Step to the side."
Moments later, a large man wearing blue rubber gloves and holding his hands chest high approached me. He directed me to an area behind all the other activity and said, "I have to say all of what I'm about to say before I examine you so please don't interrupt."
"Examine me for what?"
"You just interrupted me. Do I need to call security?"
I stood there like a man and allowed him to violate me. When I was permitted to speak again, I had words: "I was just detained for another 20 minutes while my friend here from another planet made my world and yours a safer place." "I am not a terrorist. Terrorists don't forget their driver's licenses." "Why don't you people laugh more?" "Isn't it time we start phasing this security thing out?" "Why don't you consider profiling?" "Please don't unionize."
"Because of you I have lost sight of the woman I was going to marry."
Only three more airports to check into without an ID.
This should be a great trip.
Greg Ziccardi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.