Not too long ago, I flew down to Portland, Oregon to meet my wife to finish out her vacation (more about that peculiar, fascinating, flawed, wonderful city in the future).
At the airport, I stood in the security line, business as usual. This time I was extra careful to take off my belt, get everything out of my pockets. When I went through the scanning gizmo, an extremely nervous security guard held up an authoritative hand. Stopped me dead.
"Um, Christine?" he called out to his superior. Christine was too busy or chose to ignore the noobie. I glanced at my scan. Within the outline of my body (the kind you'd see drawn in chalk on sidewalks at crime scenes), my crotch was absolutely glowing! On fire! Yow!
Noobie and I were on our own, charting unpleasant landscapes.
Clearly neither the guard or I wanted to be in this uncomfortable situation. Timid, afraid to go to areas the he'd rather not explore, the guard grunted, sighed. At his touch, I jumped, squealed in fright. Hardly the start of a beautiful relationship. It took forever, too. Everyone stopped to watch. Checked out my glowing crotch scan.
"Um, sir, I'm going to have to pat down your buttocks and investigate your genital area. Do you require a private room?"
"What? No! But why--"
"I'm going to use the back of my hand on sensitive areas like this..." He wiped the back of his gloved hand on my shoulder. "Will that be all right?"
"I guess! But why is my crotch glowing with radiation! Am I dying? What's hap--"
"Here we go, sir."
Finally, the (very long) humiliation ended, both of us relieved. "You can go, sir."
I had to clear my throat several times to be heard, but good sport that I am, I wanted the audience to know I wasn't a terrorist. "Ah...why'd the scan show that?" I pointed, refusing to mention "crotch," "groin," "genitals," amidst the crowd.
Noobie shrugged, said, "You probably moved. Or something." He didn't look sold on the theory.
Purple-faced, I skedaddled on board.
Once I landed in Portland, I told my wife about my misadventure. And warned her to beware my radioactive crotch.
She said, "Wait. Did you use that steroid cream?"
Let's back up a minute (and I probably should've led with that, but it woulda' been a worse tale)... Lately I've had sort of a heat rash on my thighs. Doc said to get this steroid cream, put it on there twice daily. "Jock itch," she said, although I'm not a jock and it didn't itch. But I applied the ointment nonetheless.
"Yeah, I did," I answered her.
"Sometimes," my wife explained, ever the professor, "the tiniest trace of elements in creams can show up."
AH! Maybe I'm not radioactive down yonder after all.
But recently I read a news story about a man who smuggled a monkey on board a plane. In his shirt. Sure, the machine picks up my crotch cream, but not a monkey?