I encountered the newest irritant in air travel today. Going through security at Newark Airport, I was shedding a jacket; unpacking a laptop; unbuckling a belt; removing my bracelets; securing the tab on my ziplock, one-quart, see-through, plastic goodie bag; and hefting my carry-on bag on the conveyor belt.
I was trying to do this speedily and efficiently so I would not hold up the people behind me who also were undressing and unpacking.
I dumped my sandals in one of the bins and started to move through the magnetic archway or whatever it is called.
A TSA person yelled at me. "Put your shoes on the conveyor. Don’t put them in a bin. You know that."
Actually, I did not know that. When I flew two weeks ago, my shoes went in the bin like always.
So I put them on the belt, standing there in my bare feet and trying not to think of the germs and yuk I was collecting on my pedicured toes. I only wear socks in winter but I should stash a pair for this travel scenario.
A strap on one of my sandals got caught somewhere inside that black hole on the belt. The machine stopped. Someone in authority peered in, yanked the offending strap and glared at me.
"No, that was not my fault, you little twerp," I thought.
I was collecting my gear at the other end when the machine stopped again. Shoelaces from a pair of size 13 Reebok’s had gotten caught, just like my sandal strap.
The sneakers were extricated but the laces emerged a bit frayed at the end. The owner was not happy.
It was bad enough when tweezers and nail files were seized but we all got used to that or just did not carry them anymore.
But the shoe thing really annoys me.
-- Gay Nagle Myers