June 2011 – Columbus Airport
I walked into the x-ray, put up my arms, formed the ritualistic triangle above my forehead, got scanned, and stepped-out to face the frumpy TSA woman studying my x-ray.
“Sir, please step forward.”
She’s impressed with my coccyx.
“Male check on 1.”
A guy resembling Michael Chiklis from ‘The Shield’ walked over, said:
“Sir, please raise your arms.”
I assumed the crucifixion pose, and instead of scanning my crotch or legs, or ‘bomb regions’ of the body the TSA agent wanded my armpits ONLY, frowned, and said I could go.
“Why did you wand my armpits?” I asked
“We picked up some metal on the scanner.”
“In my armpits?”
“Yeah, the aluminum in your deodorant set it off.”
Present Day – Roam About Bedroom
Remembering the TSA conversation, I apply my hippie-dippie, aluminum free, no-panda-tears, all-natural, tea-tree scented, JASON deodorant – praying it protects me from the forces of scented evil this inevitably long, taxing day.
It’s 3 am, Marti’s fast asleep and my cat/puma, Thief Richards – inherently nocturnal – looks at me, perplexed and sleepy.
“Why are you up?” Thief asks, raising a hind leg behind his head, licking his inner thigh
“I have to go to Boston all day for a meeting.”
“Yeah. My flight is at 5…..did you just fall asleep?”
Grab my computer bag, toss the deodorant in there in case of an emergency reapply, off to Columbus ‘international’ airport (jumper flights to Windsor, Canada grants the ‘international’ moniker).
Deodorant Level: 10 – Smooth, calm, cultured machismo like Sean Connery Bond. Yesh. Shank you.
I’ve recently developed – not fear – but particular anxieties when flying. I’m straight-up terrified of spiders, and heights, and I’m sure there’s a psychological correlation betwixt the two, or I fell off a cliff in a past life, survived the fall, immobilized by a compound fracture jutting through my shin skin, consumed slowly by mutant tarantulas; the latter the more sensible explanation.
But my flight anxieties are due to a control issue (singular), spear-headed by consecutive rough ‘hopper flights’ aboard a two-prop plane flown by a guy who looked younger than Haley Joel Osment circa ‘Sixth Sense’.
While the inexperienced, cherub-faced Captain Osment – drinking from his sippy-cup – sat in the cockpit yelling ‘Weeeeeee!’ at every bone-jarring column of turbidity, sending cabin-beverages a’soarin’, my sweat glands pooled up against the rickety dam of ph-balance in my hippie deodorant.
Sweat Glands: “Ahhhhhhhhhh!”
Hippie Deodorant: “Sorry, Brah, I’m a pacifist. Surf’s up!”
But everything is cool this flight; smooth ride with a stopover at D.C. local, then, casually glancing at my ticket, I notice there’s only 35 minutes between my connection. Uh-oh.
We tarmac-park 400 yards from the terminal, and I watch, as the US Air employees nonchalantly push the stairs to our plane with the efficiency and expeditiousness of moribund sloths.
I want to tap on the double pane window and mouth, “Does your Union pay you in Benadryl?”
20 minutes left to my connecting flight, 10 before gate closes, I run off the plane, ‘Shuttle’ to the terminal, run up the escalator – last call for my flight on the loud-speaker – Usain Bolt-it to the gate accidentally pushing a rotund gentleman standing in line at Cinnabon.
“Hey!” He yells
“You don’t need it!” I yell back (not really); referring to a gooey cinnamon dough heart attack awaiting consumption – this verbal epiphany, striking the core of his very being.
“He’s…right, I don’t need it. You’re right! Hahaha! I don’t need this! Thank you! I’m free!” He triumphantly declares, born-again, free from the heavy chains of Cinnabon’s coronary captivity – onwards to a life of health, riches, and according to US marketing, a bevy of exotic women.
This is how the interaction played out in my head, anyways.
Deodorant Level 8: Still smooth, less confident, but capable of melting the heart of the 50-something lady gate-agent with my Roger Moore wink.
Cab ride from Logan airport; it’s 9 am – meeting starts at 10. I give the cabbie the address, and we take a very long detour around Boston. Not paying attention, busy reviewing a presentation, I get the inkling we’re going the wrong way.
“What’s the address you typed in?”
The cabbie repeats it back to me.
“The one I gave you is downtown, where are you going?”
I half expect Dr. No’s crony to turn around, and say, “To meet your maker, Mr. Bond,” flicking a switch, pouring pink smoke in the backseat from the air vent, choking me out.
This doesn’t happen. Instead the cabbie apologizes. His iphone software “was just updated”, and the new navigator (googlemaps) took us half-way to fucking Connecticut.
Deodorant Level 6: Slightly beat-up, anxieties bordering stink, scent of weak origin script – Daniel Craig as James Blonde…er…Bond.
To protect my precious annual salary, I can’t delve into meeting details, but I arrive on time, converse, present, worry, mitigate, high-five, pizza-break, and the meeting lasts until 4 pm. I contemplate a deo. reapply upon leaving, if only for the sake of my co-worker, who is now synced with my travel agenda. Nah.
Back at Logan airport, a couple of beers after a hard day, 14 hours into B.O. DMZ, and the hippies have stopped protesting the war in my armpits, if you will, and I sit at the FOX sports SkyBar, ragged, tired, wafting.
Deodorant Level: 3 – ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ – George Lazenby Bond. Smelly Telly Savalas. Before you get all pissy about how low this Bond is ranked: 1. I don’t believe you’ve even heard of George Lazenby’s Bond 2. I realize this is the closest to Ian Fleming’s image of Bond, James Bond, but no one replaces Sean Connery as James Bond. Not even Sean Connery.
Two-hour stop-over in Philly, co-worker is thankfully (for her sake) not sitting next to me. I’m reading a short story by genius David Foster Wallace with my arms firmly against my body, and everything is cool as we reach cruising altitude at dusk.
Brilliant flashes far off the horizon, above the sparkling lights below, like some far away battle, I ignore it, and doze off, as gracefully as any 6’2” human can in Economy.
It starts with a slight tremor; a shark fin nicking the boat.
Then – Wham! Double Wham! I’m awake, and I feel the plane diving for cover a few thousand below.
Seat belt bong.
Turbulence warning from Captain (who sounds more Bruce Willis than Osment, double-plus good)
Anxiety – Deodorant Level: 00.7 – Pierce Brosnan-everything-after-‘Golden Eye’ Bond. Frankly, I stink.
I’m (we’re) at the mercy of the Captain’s abilities BUMP and whatever computer system is keeping us from barrel rolling into the sea of finite darkness WHAM and I hope the system’s an Apple product because I like the sleek look of Apple products BANGBAMBANGDIP oh my L. Ron I’m too young to die and I’ve never been to Asia WHAM and I’ve never even seen the band Asia in concert although their songs escape me now and I wonder how this gentleman next to me is sleeping so soundly maybe it’s his headphones WHOOOMPSHAKE and he’s probably been to Asia which is why he is so calm and innocent and fulfilled DIPPITYDIPSHERK and he’s probably LISTENING to Asia and his last thoughts won’t be his own but the chorus of ‘HEAT OF THE MOMENT’ that’s the song I was trying to think of and now it will be my last thoughts as well!
We land, hard, and awkward, and I thank the checklist of gods, even Xenu, just for kicks, and disembark the plane .
Deodorant Level: -3 Timothy Dalton Bond. That’s, all I’ll say: Timothy. Dalton. Bond.
I get home, head straight for the shower, and rejuvenate my original Bond prowess.
Thief hands me a towel, and perhaps due to my slaphappy tiredness, now talks like Sean Connery.
“It’sch been a loong dahy, and yoo musht get yohr beauty schleep.” – Thief
“Thanks, Bud. Before I go to bed, you mind saying it for me, one more time?”
“Oooh I doon’t know.”
“Pretty please?” – Me
“Itsch bean a while…”
“Aw, c’mon! For old times’ sake!”
“…Mahrtini – Shaken, not shtirred.”
I dry off, and go to schleep. – Mike
29 comments on “Deodorant Fail – James Bond Style”
OK, you may not know this since you’re a dude, but when you get a mammogram you can’t wear any deodorant. I have a panic attack every year, not that I may have cancer, but that I will stink when I raise my arm up and she puts my boob in the squishy machine. Needless to say, I’m feeling very George Lazenby on mammogram day.
I think they should call mammograms ‘George lazenby’s’ from now on
Before your next flight, carry your Walther PPK around in your pocket for a few days to see if you can avoid the armpit-wanding. Or maybe just fire it off a few times in the backyard just before you catch a cab to the airport to give the TSA something else to think about, As well as your neighbors.
Hahaha, sounds like a legit plan. I can take my knife and grenade collection through as well, have some laughs
You are now my favorite blogger! This post is hilarious. 🙂 Thanks for the laughs before I sink into the mediocrity of my corporate workday.
Aww thanks Tisha. Glad I could ‘unmundane’ your day for a bit. I thought you a world traveler, not a corporate person…
Haha, I have to be both… at least until I can find someone to sponsor my travels! 😉
Let me know when you find that sponsor – I may try to piggyback. 🙂
You made me laugh outloud with your face as James Bond. This was very, very funny. You’re extremely entertaining my son.
Thanks, mah. 🙂
Wow! Even your mom follows you!
Timothy. Dalton. Bond. Mike, that’s not good.
You are good, really really talented, I love your blog.
Oh yeah, roam about mom is a huge supporter.
Thanks Maggie, made my day.
very funny 🙂 Great images in my mind, thanks for that!
Thanks for reading!
Thief should converse with my cat…Chaiman Meow. Either way this is a fantastic post.
That would be highly dangerous, they might try to take over the world together… Thanks, Jag!
Is it weird that I kinda miss the days before Europe (at least Western Europe) really embraced deodorant? Nothing said you are out the US of A more than the waft of humanity in every bus. It was certainly better than Germany’s current obsession with “AXE, don’t worry breathing isn’t that important anyway, Death,,,er, Body Spray.”
I failed to include what I was wearing at the time…Axe – ‘it’s metallic poison’ fill-in-the-blank-scent. good luck convincing them otherwise.
Hmm. This is good information. I am always pulled out of the TSA line, wanded, put in the gas machine, patted down, and x-rayed. We have to build extra time in to our travel plans to get me through security. Maybe if I forgo the deodorant I`ll be put on the “don`t touch or risk certain asphyxiation” list.
Hahah, the secretive TSA gas machine – how lucky you are!
I think it might be easier for cyborgs to get through the highly subjective (in my opinion) selection process.
LAX- you stand in it and it blows air on you. Go figure. My kids say it detected the wrong type of gas.
Your kids sound hilarious!
So how did the Fresh Balls hold up on the plane. Hope there is aluminum in that for wanding. LOL Another great post Mike.
Well, they didn’t wand my crotch (this time) so, Fresh Balls 1: TSA 0.
Thank you much TWL. Been meaning to check out your bike training. How goes it?
Haven’t got wheels yet but lost some weight so, less to pedal. Cheers.
I laughed so hard my Bailey’s soaked coffee came out of my nose just a little bit. Now, because of the sticky goodness that makes it so wonderful (well, that and the booze) all I can smell is sugar and the dusky smell of the Brazillian roast that went with it. Which, all things considered, is better than smelling Timothy Dalton. Any day of the week. So, thanks for the giggles.
Hahaha! Sorry about that – although, I hear snorting booze coffee is a new high…
Thanks for stopping by, jharland!
Love this post! Made me laugh! I love James Bond! 🙂
Awesome – thanks so much! I love Bond too…well, the Sean Connery Bond.