Detroit Airport Bloodfest 2011

Galleons, I’ve been so caught up in future planning (by the by, I may have found myself the most adorable apartment) that I forgot to regale you with the story of my trip home from Michigan on Tuesday.

You’re going to enjoy this.

After catching a bus at the atrocious hour of 3:30 in the morning, I arrived in a grumpy, sleepy, completely befuddled state at the Detroit airport. Now, this is an airport I have been to many a time, but I have never had the dubious honor of going through Detroit security.

Until now.

Two (wrong) elevator stops later, I managed to find the ticketing level. Which was… fucking enormous. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen shots of ticketing areas of this size on TV, so I knew they had to exist (because the television, like the internet, never lies)… but to see one in person, and be expected to navigate it, was another thing entirely.

Spinning in a dazed, still groggy circle, I locate a random set of kiosks that, according to their sign, allow you to check yourself in. I think to myself, “I’ve used similar machines before, sure, but they were always right by the ticketing agents. These are far away… I feel much more autonomous now.” So, I get my boarding passes, then go to check my luggage.

“Please take checked bags to luggage drop zone.”

I have no fucking clue where that is.

Again, I resort to the Bewildered Circling technique to discover my next destination. There are plenty of signs over the various areas… none of which say “Luggage Drop Zone.” Finally, I spot a sign pointing toward some ticketing folks that says something along the lines of “Hey Dumbass, Take Your Luggage There.”

Loathe to disobey these fancy and hard-to-read airport signs, I lug my bag over to the ticketing counter. Where I have to talk with a ticket lady and check my bag the way I always do.

Apparently, autonomy just means “Do some extra walking, you lazy bitch.”

Bag deposited on the conveyor belt, I head over to security. Now galleons, I am a fucking pro at this. I’ve flown a lot. So, when I get to the counter, I swiftly remove my shoes, bags, coat, sweatshirt, jewelry, etc. Ghiert comes out of hiding and gets his own little plastic bin. All is well.

Except that is a gigantic fucking lie.

See, earlier in the week, I’d managed to scrape my arm up. Because I am a complete dumbass. I thought nothing of it- it hardly bled and was now scabbed up.

When removing my overstuffed backpack with the necessary haste for the situation (and my usual disregard for my body’s welfare), I apparently dragged the strap along the scrape. And ripped that scab off.

Now, if you’ve ever ripped a scab off, either by accident or choice, you know that that son-of-a-bitch bleeds like a motherfucker. I felt the twinge of pain at the scab’s hasty departure from my arm, but I thought nothing of it. I’m always hurting myself, after all. I have all my items in bins, perfectly lined up… when I remember I’m still wearing my hoodie. So, off it comes.

To reveal a gushing torrent of blood spewing from my forearm.

As I slowly realize this, my things are entering the x-ray… machine… thing. Which means it’s now time for me to step through their super-special-awesome-sees-you-naked-and-maybe-clones-you scanner. I, however, am at a fucking loss. My former scab home is pouring a rather healthy amount of blood all over my pasty white skin. I feel this is something everyone should notice.

They do not notice, however, until a TSA woman (who may or may not have been repeatedly telling me to go through the detector… I did not hear her, however, because I was distracted by the little red river on my fucking arm) grabs my arm to steer me in the right direction…

I’m really glad she was gloved, because if she’d come into direct contact with my blood, I’m almost positive I would have been dragged aside, cavity searched, disease tested, interrogated, and possibly tortured for my attempt at blood-borne terrorism. As it was, she lets out this strangled noise, snatches her hand back, and starts frantically looking around. For what? Someone to help her? A towel? Because if she gets a towel, I would like one as well- I’m wearing a white shirt and would enjoy not ruining it.

Other members of TSA start to notice what is going on. They all start to freak out a bit. Multiple TSAers rush to the Woman-Who-Touched-Me and start asking her questions and talking really fast and quiet-like. All the while, I keep getting shot these nervous and suspicious glances.

At this point, I’m tired of bleeding everywhere. I calmly request a tissue or napkin or absorbent item of any sort. They ignore me. I try again, this time asking for my purse. Now, this whole incident has taken just a matter of moments, so my purse is still on the edge of entering the gaping maw of the x-ray beast. I can see it. Right there. 5 fucking feet from me.

They snap at me, saying that my purse has to be screened and that I can’t touch it. I’m bleeding and bitchy at this point, so I say that I will just grab it, retrieve a band-aid, and then put it back to be screened.

“Ma’am, stay away from that bag.”

God dammit.

Realizing nobody is dying of some disease I was carrying, the TSAers disperse a bit. And Woman-Who-Touched-Me, now fixing me with the nastiest glare I’ve seen directed my way in some time, tells me to step through the People Scanner.

I would like a tissue first, please. I think it is a reasonable request. She does not.

“Ma’am, step into the scanner. NOW.”

Grumbling, I do as I’m bid, holding my arm at a ridiculous angle in an attempt to prevent blood from destroying my awesome pi shirt. In the scanner, Woman-Who-Touched-Me stands on the other side of the glass. “Put your arms up like it shows in the picture.” She then proceeds to raise her arms like a goalpost. I follow suit.


I finally look at the picture. Apparently, I have to raise my hands just a wee bit higher for them to be satisfied. So, I do.

Blood slides down my inner elbow. Motherfucker.

Finally, I’m released from the machine. I go over to gather my things, realizing I’m now coated in a liberal amount of my own blood. I’m going to have to wash my arm before putting a bandage on. Somehow, I wrangle my shoes on and manage to haul all my shit one-armed to the bathroom.

I was almost disappointed when the incident did not warrant mention on any major news channel the following morning.

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