Thursday, August 10, 2017

Letters From Nicaragua: Part 26 - Pam versus Miami

If there is any good cop-bad cop in our relationship, Pam is the bad cop. Everybody that deals with us gets told it is for their own good to deal with me when they can. I can control Pam, and keep her in check when needed, except for a few times in life that almost ended with a tazing.
So, when things started going south at customs in the Miami airport, about the best I can say is, the leash broke.
We left our nice flight and went into a terminal full of the largest crowd of people being lined up by the meanest, nastiest workers you can imagine. We had one hour to make our connecting flight to Orlando, and all we had to worry about was our carry-ons. We were heading back home and were almost there, what could possibly go wrong? Now, try to imagine the nice Pam, sweetly speaking Spanish to a maid in Nicaragua, and then imagine her cocking back for a roundhouse swing at a surly customs lady in Miami. I'm not saying that it wouldn't have been deserved, but I was worrying that I might get tazed just for standing next to her.
At first, I thought, "we are so far ahead of Nicaragua." When I saw the fancy kiosk machines that almost automated the whole passport process, then the first worker told us to go get in line. To call what I saw a line would be the kindest thing anybody could ever say about the mess we witnessed. You can be very sure that there were signs, lit up signs, that proclaimed no photos, audio or video recordings allowed. I'm pretty sure that if I did try to record any of it, I would be locked away in some blacksite prison. I wasn't worried about Pam spending my retirement money though, because I was having an extremely hard time keeping her from recording it.
People pushed, people cussed, some giant black football player-looking guys tried to step ahead as if they were late for their super bowl game, but the tongue lashing they got from the meanest old black HSA lady I ever saw, had them whimpering just like me.
Her co-worker was trying to talk her down from her mean place, but she was in a state to take on President Trump head on. Her friend was saying "take the baby, take the baby in your arms...".
I believe my main thought was about renting a car and driving home.....but somehow, in spite all of that, we got through customs and started running for our flight, only to find our bags had to go through security again.  Pam fumed, while I told her sweet nothings, which kept her calm until the scanner lady pulled Pam's bag aside for further ransacking.  Then the lady turned to a coworker and told him she was taking her break and walked over to a friend, while our group grew larger. I was starting to feel like I might need one of those suits the bomb disposal guys wear. Pam was looking like she really might get us in trouble, but somehow found favor with one of the men working the security area and they brought our security lady back.

Pam grumbled a little too loud about the delay and yet one more mean old black lady made sure her bag got done last and took the longest. I can still remember part of the conversation, "What's in this bag? Rocks?", "Yeah, rocks, so what?".

Of course, our gate was at the other end of the terminal from where we were, so we ran faster than anybody else there, me dragging two heavier than usual carry-ons, while Pam carried her handbag, a coffeecup, and dragged her bum foot.
We got there, only seconds before the flight started boarding. We even got offered better seats, and I thought that the adventure was finally over.
That was when the storm hit....

This is dedicated to my mother, Kay Perkins, who pointed me down this path, and my wife, Pam Perkins, who keeps steering me in the right direction.

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