Friday, February 6, 2009

Purple Shirt of the Week: A Cautionary Tale

So, you know how you see someone with a bright purple shirt, and
you're all like "Now that's a nice purple shirt!"? The color
admiration doesn't always extend to other items.

A few years ago, my sister gave me a full set of purple luggage. It's
bright. I mean, not the "subtle color of purple, like dark eggplant,
that sometimes you see on the baggage return belt that makes it a
little different from all the black bags." No friends, this is the
"hey everyone, look at the GUY with the FLAMING PURPLE MATCHING

I should also point out that I received this gift immediately after I
got off stage at an out of town show we were playing. Big gift-
wrapped pile waiting for me in the middle of the audience.

But I love my sister, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't prone to
calling attention to myself in various ways, so I just played it as
par for the course. Which it was, and is. But initially, I was a bit
hesitant to embrace it. It was like grammar school all over again,
when I would beg and plead with my parents to let me wear docksiders
and white socks with my parochial school uniform, because that's what
everyone else who was a boy wore. And I was the kid with polished
loafers and dark green or black socks on a casual day. Don't even get
me started about being the ONLY kid who wore the uniform in gym class
until like 7th grade...

Anyway, this week I had to fly to Austin, TX. Simple enough, except I
was leaving via a little airport in White Plains, NY (international
designation my ass, it has 4 gates and you have to go outside onto the
tarmac) where the bit of flurries we got messed up incoming and
outgoing flights. Long story short (to late, I know), my flight was
delayed and I was left with a 3 minute layover in Detroit. So I took
the airline's offer to just reschedule the whole mess for the
following day.

"Your checked luggage has already been put on board. What color is
your luggage, so the crew can find it and return it to you?"

Proudly, I pronounced "Flaming Purple," much to her amusement and the
people around me. They found it in no time, and I was on my way back
home to wake for the 5am flight that I had been trying to avoid all

Either it was the luggage, or the roadcase of camera equipment and
wireless transmitters and receivers that doomed the rest of my trip.
Or the sudden changes to my flight itinerary, despite it being at the
airline's own hands. Anyway, I proceeded to get pulled aside for
"Special Search" all through my trip. Maybe it was the whole "same
name as an Irish bank robber wanted for millions even though he's like
30 years my senior". So I ended up getting groped by Homeland
Security at every checkpoint in my trip, having my carry-on laptop bag
and roadcase emptied out and swabbed constantly, and at one point
having the security lady take out a wireless receiver, with the dual
antenna and odd knobs and apparatus, and look at it weird and call her
supervisor over. Hell, I couldn't even check in electronically with
my flight number, and they had to over-ride the check-in system to let
me get on the flipping plane! But I'm used to that; never in my life
have I been allowed to breeze through check-in and scan my ticket/
punch in my flight number and move to the next line. And you thought I
stood out only for my love of purple? Nope. Sure, the woman next to
me who also got called for "special search" got the electronic wand.
Not me, I got Roman Hands to inspect me personally, can you please
close my laptop up because it's turning on and i want to save my
battery power so I don't have to sit between a drink vending machine
and a garbage can again outside the men's room because I'm trying to
leech off the power outlet.

At least my friend Ellen (you remember her from last week) bought me
fleecy purple socks that I'm wearing home. Thank you, they're comfy!


Kitten said...

I'm glad you got home ok!

Ann said...

Because traveling for work is so fun to begin with.
I knew that purple luggage was going to come into play as soon as you told me about it.
Glad you're back safely.

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud! Thanks!


Chrissie, Christine, Chris, Mommy, Mama, Maaaaa... said...

Oh Brian... you blog never leaves me without a chuckle!! Thank you again for a very much needed one! I am so glad you got through your harrowing ordeal in one piece!!

Talking to Walls said...

glad my trials can provide comedy for others! :)