A Turkey in Time Departing from Edmonton International Airport

For ninety-three percent of the people out there traveling the first flight I chose to fly on down to Wisconsin would make you arrive with bright red eyes, blurry vision and a lack of pep in their step. Of course for this guy being awake after midnight is an everyday occurrence and red eye syndrome is not something which occurs often. This could be contributed to only needing around five hours of sleep each night before I’m up and atom heading to work.

The red eye flight departed Edmonton International Airport at 12:05am on Saturday morning. The good it meant I would arrive in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA around 11:00am on the same morning and I would be at moms house for lunch!

By 3:30 pm I was still sitting at work punching away on the keyboard trying to get my colleagues prepared for my holiday and to ensure my project clients would be satisfied during my week long absence. Whilst punching the keys around lunch I figured out that I would treat myself and my Tacoma to underground parking at the airport. This did two things.

  1. Tacoma would be parked in a covered area and not covered with snow at Easy Parkade
  2. The price to park at Easy Parkade is within walking distance of the departure doors
  3. Easy Parkade was only $20 more then the closest Park n’ Fly and this price sealed the deal

Upon arriving at the airport two-hours ahead of the flight… I know… but these are the new domestic flight rules… I stepped up to the WestJet kiosk. Punched in my flight confirmation info, and its dial spun around and around. I’m at the airport, and its 9:55pm, I’m a bit excited I thought to myself. The dial stopped spinning and it message appears on the screen “already checked-in proceed to gate unless checking bags.”

Laughing I head for the main security gate and began searching for the WestJet app to show my round 1 boarding pass: Edmonton, AB to Toronto, ON. The woman looked at me smiled then scanned the smartphone QR code and said, enjoy your travels.” First time for everything I thought then realized my travel mug was full of water.

Standing in the line up, I started chugging down the 16-ounces of water as I spun the 4-wheeled carry-on bag below me with my left hand. My head bouncing to the tune Description of a Fool by A Tribe Called Quest. Water down and mug back into the side pocket of my ugly brown Dakine backpack.

Head bouncing I watched other travellers straining with their one-ounce bottles, perfumes and other liquid items as the TSA guards passed out plastic bags. Giggling I swung the pack around, withdrew a small 50oz. hand sanitizer bottle then pulled it back around and laughed as it was stuffed into a 1,000 ml clear pouch.

Up to the TSA screening area observing others struggle with their luggage and keeping my cool. At that same moment another TSA agent waved me ahead pointing to lineup #2. Please head over there, all electronics are to be pulled out of luggage, please remove belts, jewelry, and other electronic devices. Please take off all jackets, sweaters, and shoes. Do not forget to remove liquids from your bags… her words trailed off as I stepped into the lineup.

Into the grey bin went the backpack, baseball hat, belt, wallet, Burt’s Bees Beeswax lip balm with peppermint oil, and the plastic pouch with hand sanitizer. Next to it I dropped the carry-on bag and waited my turn to walk through the sniffer machine.

Single file, everyone went in, stopped in the middle turned to the left raised hands above their heads, the thing closed POOF a burst of air crosses your body and the little green light at the top blinked “okay to proceed” to the TSA folks. Tonight everyone in front of me went straight through without a hitch.

Walking through, I stopped inside. It POOFED me and the light went red “stop this fool“… “excuse me sir, please step over here,” said the tall man in his TSA uniform with the wand thingy in his hand. “I’m the lucky winner tonight, huh,” I said cracking a smile. He nodded his head. Then patted around my ankles ran his hand up the inner and outer sides of my pants legs. Next he flicked on the wand thingy waving it around my mid-section, up the right side, past my neck line then down my left arm. Beep Beep Beep the wand thingy screamed out. We both looked at my left bicep and laughed as it resonated with the small pocket on the bicep from my black Under Armour shirt. “Anything in that pocket?” I tugged at it, and showed it as empty, “looks good sir, enjoy your Expedia flight.”

Passed security in twenty-two minutes. Checked the phone and it read 10:10pm! Damn it! what am I going to do for the next hour plus in an airport with only the convenience store and two open bars? Drink myself silly? No. Guess I will just run off some of this energy by doing laps and taking a few photos.

~ James Curtis