Additional Screening and Wart Removal


This past Wednesday afternoon I got on a plane from the Oklahoma City airport bound for Saint Louis. In general, traveling makes me nervous. It's not that I mind the crowds or the strangers or being alone. It's just that I tend to stress myself out thinking about not making my flight, getting stranded in a strange airport, and never making it to my destination. 

Also, while I like flying and don't mind the airport itself, security always makes me sweat. Apparently I look like someone who could cause possible harm to others, because I am always without a doubt asked to step aside for "additional screening." 

On this particular Wednesday I had nothing in my pockets, my hair in a ponytail, held two carry-on bags, and was wearing flip flops, shorts, and a tank top, and yet they still nodded at me and ushered me to the side. What, I wondered, did they think I was hiding in my yellow and black Vera Bradley bag? 

I was asked by a kind-looking security guard to hold out my palms so he could swipe them with this weird stick. He then ran the swab in front of a screen.

As I sat calmly in the uncomfortable blue chair he'd forced me into, he looked over at me and said, "What did ya do to yerself?"

"What?" I asked. I assumed he had found some odd residue on the swab and wanted to know what I'd been up to earlier in the day. 

"Did ya fall or something?"
"What?" I asked again. 
"Yer wrist," he said, gesturing to my right arm. 

I looked down and saw the small, hard bump that rests permanently on the join of my right wrist.

"It's a cyst," I said. "It's filled with water."
"Oh. I thought maybe ya fell on it when you were a kid or something."
"No, I've had it for a few years now. It won't go away unless I have surgery." 
"Hmmm," he said. He nodded at my bags and told me I was free to go. Then, as I turned, away, he hit with an inspired gem of a [read: not] helpful idea. 

"Why don't cha try to freeze it, like they do with warts?"
I almost laughed. "Uh...yeah. Okay."
"OR!" he continued, oblivious to the stupidity of his suggestions. "Ya know they have that wart remover stuff. Ya might try it."

At that point I mumbled thanks and something about giving it a try. Then I walked off, shaking my head and wondering why I hadn't first considered wart removal cream to get rid of my cyst. And why they always pull me aside for additional screening. 

After all, they've got a security guard who recommended freezing a cyst off. Clearly there are bigger things to worry about than me and my Vera bags.