Thursday, August 28, 2008

This One is Worth an Extra Cup of Coffee

Screw holding back on the caffeine. I'm chewing my nails to the quick here. Apparently, HR informed me that the department of justice issued a delay on my prints for an unspecified amount of time (could be 20 minutes, could be 20 days). No specific reason is ever given to the district requesting it, so it could have something to do with internal delays or it could have something to do with questionable activity on my record. I'll go with the latter.

Before you go jumping to conclusions thinking I'm an ax murderer, a terrorist, or even a petty thief, let me explain. The 'incident' that I believe is in question began 2 summers ago. I was living in Idaho and had spent 2 wonderful years there. At the time, I worked on a crisis response team for adult mental health and if anyone knows anything about working in such a climate, they know that you have to be slightly, how shall I say this-eccentric to be employed there to begin with. I was the most normal one there, case in point. My particular team consisted mostly of older guys and a woman who eventually became one of my best friends, all of whom had a wickedly dirty and twisted sense of humor. I adored them. We were like a big dysfunctional family. We all loved Idaho, but being that most of us were transplants, we made it a daily habit of making fun of the gun-toting, toothless characters living in our midst and the ridiculously lax weapon laws (basically, there are none-many of our severely mentally ill clients had concealed weapons permits).

So, just over 2 summers ago, I made the decision to move back to California. As a very tongue-in-cheek going away present, my team presented me with a very real Chinese throwing star that they had purchased at the truck stop next door (it even had 'made in China' etched on one of the blades). It was beautifully cheesy and a truly perfect souvenir of their unique sense of humor and the state that was so much different than the one I had come from. I was moving the next day, so I slipped the death star into a small outside pocket of my laptop case and completely forgot about it.

This brings me to the 'incident'. After being gone for a year, I was on my way back to Idaho to visit those very people last summer and I decided to bring my laptop along. I threw my laptop case in my backpack and showed up at airport security and like a good citizen, I arrived an hour and a half ahead of schedule with my 3 oz. liquids out for display in their little ziploc bag. After I walked through the metal detector, I looked over and noticed a small group of TSA agents surrounding my backpack. Confused, I stood calmly waiting until they extracted it from my laptop case...

The death star.

Oh, shit.

I hadn't touched my laptop case in over a year. And I had completely forgotten about the death star. I spent the next 45 minutes trying to explain to the Oakland PD and TSA. Needless to say, they didn't quite get the humor in it. The officer I was tap dancing for indicated that he would have to call his sergeant for further steps. After an agonizing ten minutes waiting for him to get off the phone, he asked to check my criminal record. I was more than happy to open those pages for my guest, take a look around, kick off your shoes and have a cup of tea as you view my completely empty rap sheet. So, he did. And I was cleared. They took the death star (please do, I'd rather not have the memory) and I was informed that I would be let on the plane, but would be sent a very strongly worded letter from the TSA, which I received several weeks later.

And now, here I am, today, certain that an inquiry from both TSA and the Oakland PD would make any department of justice record checker stop in their tracks. I was never charged with anything (and even if I were, I think stupidity in the 1st degree would be quite fitting), so I'm fairly certain that I'll be cleared at some point. But the real question is, WHEN?

(I've provided a visual of some of the hilarity that ensued when they gifted the death star to me. Here I am 'throwing' it at one of my best buddies in Idaho)


Lost in Space said...

What a PITA. That had to be an interesting conversation with TSA!! I hope it all gets cleared up soon.

Your old co-workers sound like a hoot. That pic is hilarious.

AnotherDreamer said...

I hope it gets cleared up soon, and oh my, I was laughing my butt off about the incident. Hilarious.

MamaSoon said...

OMG. OMG. OMG. I can't even imagine what that moment was like. Geez. I am glad you got cleared. That is funny later but probably not at the time.

MamaSoon said...

You are surely right that this is the reason. I am sure if you've never been tagged but since it wasn't an empty file . i hope they let you go on soon