Kate the Impaler and the Convention of Liberty

An after-action report in multiple parts

Having been threatened with dire – albeit unspecified – consequences should she fail to attend the Convention of Liberty in the distant realm of Choo Choo – or rather, the renewal of vows of the Beautiful But Evil Space Princess Sarah and her beloved husband the Mathematician Dan along with the wedding of the Redhead of Doom (or the Other Redhead of Doom, nobody is quite sure which one is which) Cedar to her beloved Sanford, the Evil Muse – the warrior maiden Kate the Impaler did rise before the dawn that she might undertake the grueling journey.

And grueling it was, for first the warrior maiden did take her trusty steed Toyota Camry through the treacherous deeps of Philadelphia highways to brave the dread labyrinth known to the world of Mundania as Philadelphia Airport. Yea, and great was Kate the Impaler’s relief when she did espy a small sign displaying the welcome news, “Long Term Parking, Exit 13”, for the airport exit did be number 12 and thus she might avail herself of a trained guide through the dark winding trails of the labyrinth.

After finding stabling for her trusty steed, Kate the Impaler did haul her packs to the shelter proclaiming that any who waited therein might soon board a carriage which bid fair to convey her and all she carried unto the Great Gates of the Dragon US Airways. And indeed – to the warrior maid’s great astonishment – the carriage did indeed arrive as promised, and did convey the warrior and her packs in moderate comfort unto the Great Gates.

At that dread portal did Kate the Impaler steel herself, for if she were not to bring down upon herself the Wrath of the Sarah and the Wrath of the Cedar, she must endure the indignities of the dragon’s minions as though she were but a lowly peasant seeking approval. Were it another time, perhaps she might have both resources and time to do battle with the dire forces of Fly Under Coercive Knuckles, the dragon minion’s union. This was not that day.

Alas, the claims that departure ere the dawn’s first light would bring queues of smallness proved mere fancy as the long lines of the unfortunates bound to fly in the belly of the dragon did prove. Yet did the warrior maiden maintain the pretense of meekness in the face of insult (after paying to fly and paying this and that and the other tax, paying for checked baggage bloody well is an insult thank you very much) and yet longer queues that did bend upon themselves like a drunken serpent and did move at a speed to make a lazy snail seem a very paragon of speed.

Kate the Impaler’s heart did beat the faster when she espied the Fly Under Coercive Knuckles Perpscan, a dread device of humiliation much beloved by the minions. Fear that she might lose her pose of meek forbearance in the face of this horror did fill her, for though the minions did deserve impalement many times over, the Wrath of Cedar – or worse, the Wrath of Sarah – was not to be countenanced.

Thus did the warrior draw closer to the terrible Perpscan, and begin the ritual of self-effacement and removal of shoes, belt, pocket contents, and other items of a personal nature too sensitive to disclose (my cellphone and kindle, you pervs). Finally, she did enter the Perpscan.

And Lo! The vile nature of the device was revealed, for it detected the warrior maiden’s Thighs of Thunder and the minions did detain Kate the Impaler for “extra scanning”.

To be continued….

37 Comments

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37 responses to “Kate the Impaler and the Convention of Liberty

  1. *fighting giggles* I’ve had my braid searched several times. And security in FraPort (Frankfurt, Germany) did an explosives check on my WaterPik.

    This is why I prefer to fly ONLY if it involves crossing very, very large bodies of water, and to drive everywhere else. ISYN, my hand to Bog, it’s actually shorter, time-wise, to drive from Flat State U to TX than to fly airline.

    • The TSA loves to grope my hair. And you should have seen the reaction when I flew with my pentablet… Although that was interesting because I got to explain several times what digital art is and how it’s created 0_o

    • CACS

      …it’s actually shorter, time-wise, to drive from Flat State U to TX than to fly airline.

      As they add more lines and more nonsense before one can obtain entrance to the means of conveyance, there will be more trips where it will be shorter to simply drive.

      Unfortunately, albeit Kate would have transversed some of the loveliest topography in the nation, the trip, even if done on Eisenhower’s legacy (the U.S. interstate system), would be a very strenuous full day’s drive.

      • Kate Paulk

        Two days. I can manage about 8 hours in a day if I don’t have to function afterwards. 5 if I do.

        Next time, I’m going to take longer and *!@#$!!!*** drive. The lower stress levels are worth the extra time and expense.

        • I’ve done twelve hours, but alertness falls off. It really helps to take drives in tandem. It makes a difference with even dinky little six hour drives.

          Having never flown in anything other than small aircraft, this all sounds interesting. A relative wasn’t impressed flying out of DC, but it sounds like your experience has hers beat.

        • MDV

          I live in Alaska, and after my last experience with US Airlines and the Philadelphia airport, I can drive quicker. Long drives make for lots of audio book time. I used to be able to drive 1000 miles in a day, multiple days in a row though.

    • It seems to me, that the goal for sometime now, is to stop people from traveling.
      I know I hate it now, where I used to love it.

      • Kate Paulk

        Ditto here. Flying used to be fun. Now it’s a royal pain in parts of the anatomy reputed to be unfit for mention in public fora.

    • wanderingmuses

      Yep, that’s why we gave in and bought an RV. Now we travel in style. And a fair sight quicker, too.

      • Kate Paulk

        That would be my retirement present for myself. Well… semi-retirement, as in I quit the day job and write full-time.

    • Kate Paulk

      Well, yes. This is why it took the threats of dire (but unspecified) consequences to get me to fly there this time!

  2. CACS

    Even all its lovely rebuilding to make your flying experience easier (really?), the Philadelphia Airport remains, in the word of one friend special.

    • Kate Paulk

      Oh, yes. Very special. From the moment you start trying to navigate the endless circles of hell that constitute the airport roads it’s a class of special unrivalled in the world.

    • I will never forget the day… back *mumble* years ago, in college, I was meeting up with a friend at the Philadelphia airport (both of us flying in) Her plane had changed or mine, this is pre-internet and pre-cellphone, so we were attempting to page each other over the intercom. My name came out something like “Euphonia Dayze” and hers (Hungarian in origin) was completely incomprehensible. But we figured it out anyway. My guess is the intercom people are carefully chosen from the hearing-impaired English as a second language/speech impediment community. Sigh.

  3. Great name for the security minions union.

  4. Be glad you don’t do it 30-40 times a year like I do… sigh

  5. Interestingly the scan didn’t show Charlotte’s embedded pain pump (about the size of a grenade) in her 99th?y, but did highlight her a,kles for an extra look.

    • Birthday girl

      Interesting about the ankles. When I go through the airport peepshow, I am almost always pulled aside and my left ankle patted down … just my ankle, and always the left one … why? No one will say why.

  6. Damn typos, it is tummy hurts and ankles.

    • Kate Paulk

      Typos are not fun. And the scan is… interesting. I don’t have anything that shouldn’t be there (unless it was pinging on my long-gone gall bladder, which I doubt).

      • Holly

        My parents are both cyborgs, my dad is of the species that radiation could kill (if it stops his pacemaker, he’s dead). I gather Dad finds the security theater rather difficult. Mom hasn’t found a necessity to fly post-surgery, but I bet they’d find her metal hip required extra singing and dancing.
        My husband, kids, and I, had a very nice experience with Amtrak a few years back. Okay, eight years back. If nothing has changed with them, I would still recommend traveling by train if you’re on their route. Biggest problem with them is too darn few routes. They didn’t charge extra for luggage, didn’t charge extra for lap baby, didn’t charge extra for car seats (3), had plenty of space. Okay, the food was overpriced and the kids got motion sickness, but part of that was probably that, as it turned out, we had already contracted Noro virus, we just didn’t know what it was.

  7. I hate typos. I particularly hate the ones that come about because I can’t freaken remember which are double letters and which aren’t, but I guess that makes them spelling errors and not typos.
    All right, internet friends, as I have mentioned on Sarah’s Diner today, my goal is to review Mad Genius Club members and associates, which includes Sarah’s Diner’s members. And I guess there are no associates, since it’s a group.
    here are TWO Amazon and blog reviews done today. One of them is Max Florschutz with “One Drink,” the other is Jack L Knapp with “Darwin’s World.” THAT CATCHES ME UP as long as I don’t read anything else until I finish Laura Montgomery’s “Sleepiung Duty.” See right there? That was a typo, not a spellinf ewrror.
    http://habakkuk21.blogspot.com/2015/07/one-drink-by-max-florschitz.html
    http://habakkuk21.blogspot.com/2015/07/darwins-world-by-jack-l-knapp.html

  8. Amtrak. Why travel without a bar car?

  9. And all of this joy, all so that the government can intercept 3% of malicious devices and weapons people attempt to smuggle.

    The pain-to-productivity ratio of TSA is the worst in the country.

    • This. As my braid was being patted down at [redacted] Intl Airport, the other guards/agents/minions were swarming a kitten in a carrier, ooh- and aah-ing and completely ignoring the rest of the known galaxy. I’m pretty much down to two airlines, because on Airline #1 the passengers tend to be very aggressive about dealing with fools and Airline #2 has pretty savvy and watchful crew. (If only El Al flew within the US!)

  10. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Is it safe to ask Kate the Impaler about the next Con book? [Nervous Smile]

  11. Uncle Lar

    Haven’t flown in several years, but my last trip was on a corporate Gulfstream flying on government orders. No TSA through the business terminal. After showing ID and travel orders we boarded directly. I walked on with keys and a pocket knife in my pants. 13 seats, each very Laz-e-boy like in style and comfort. Crew of three: pilot, co-pilot, and steward. Two hour flight with hot coffee, juice, danish, fresh fruit. Same thing on the return only with snacks and soft drinks. Used to be able to buy alcohol from what was termed the “black box” but they abolished that a while back.
    So, knowing as I do what flying should be like, there is no earthly way I’m going to consign myself to the tender mercies of the perversion the powers that be have turned air travel into.

  12. CACS

    Oh, I forgot to mention. I enjoyed this piece of writing and do hope you will continue with the multiple parts.

  13. Back before I had children (and before the financial desolation that was 2008), I had the joy of owning a Piper Cherokee.

    Ah, the bliss of being able to fly myself wherever I wanted to go, without ever having to deal with the airlines or especially the TSA!

    Yes, it costs more to fly GA and, depending on distance, can take longer, but it is SO WORTH IT!

    Now, if the kids would just get freaking jobs already (so what my oldest is only 7! She’s smart, always willing to help, and a hard worker. Woman needs to start getting paid. 😉 ), I could use my money for another plane.

    Someday.

    • Kate Paulk

      I’ve considered learning to fly so I could hire for the flight…. then I remember this little problem called “narcolepsy”, sigh, and put the thought away.

  14. Pingback: Rich Hailey » CONclusion: At Last the Long Winded Bugger is Through!