In the midst of all the major screw-ups and minor hassles of air travel, there comes, now and again, a little moment to savor. One such moment occurred this week as we returned from the Canadian Rockies to New Hampshire, clearing Customs in Calgary. Having waited on a predictably interminable line, my husband and I, along with our adopted Puerto Rican son, passed through the airport security routine without incident, only to hear our son’s name being called. He was summoned by a no-nonsense security guard for a further scrutiny. I was prepared to object to what I assumed was racial stereotyping when she explained to us that US security required that anyone traveling without carry-on luggage be subjected to this additional procedure. She then barked out, “Man, please, for pat down!” No man arrived. She repeated her request a little louder, but no one came. She was becoming visibly irritated, so I said, “Men never come when they’re called.” I may be the only traveler who’s ever been given a high five by an airport security guard.
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