Not the Picture of Innocence

It’s not every day I get selected for a bag search by security. And, as a tiny little girl, I could get away with a lot more than I try to get away with. It’s a good thing I wasn’t trying to get away with anything the other night however, because I wasn’t even able to get away with something I hadn’t been planning to do: wreak havoc on the county fair with my .54 oz. bottle of pepper spray.

You’d better watch your back, allegedly.

As I tried to enter the fair to have fun with cows and fair food, the on-guard security guy gave me a quick up-down, decided I was the most dangerous threat ever to cross his threshold, and proceeded to do everything short of tackling me. He could not, under ANY circumstances, allow me to enter the fairground. I was a danger to the public and he was going to prove it.

Being the terrified child that I am, once the bodybuilder approached, I bashfully asked, “Dear security guard who spares the lives of suspected criminals, do you need to check my bag for reasons unbeknownst to me?” I cautiously removed my pack so he  would not mistake my movements for threatening gestures. I was fearing for my life. This guy looked like he ate nails for breakfast.

As I watched this security guard violate my privacy by going through my bag, I thought three things:

  1. “I am going to prison.” Someone might have put a gun in my bag, I didn’t see them, and this guard was about to tackle me to the ground. Perhaps I forgot I had left a small shiv in there and he would misinterpret my crafty shiv-making skills for malevolent chicken-butchering intent.
  2. “He is hitting on me.” Being a security guard gives one a lot of opportunities to go through a woman’s purse. The contents of a woman’s purse are a pretty good indication of who she is. And this guy had to be thinking I was a psychotic mastermind. In my opinion, the contents of my purse revealed I am broke, but rich enough to afford tissues.
  3. “He thinks I’m a spy.” And for good reason, too! I have a pen that also functions as a flashlight, and this guy could not figure out what it was for the life of him. He looked at it like it was a spy gadget one would use to lazer a prison fence to free their cronies from the brig. Or chickens from a wire cage. It IS a flashlight pen, so it definitely is the most spy-gadgetty thing I own, but you would have thought this guy had never seen a pen before.

It took a little while for this guy to have his eureka moment when he reached into my bag, grabbed my pepper spray, and raised it in the air for onlookers to behold. “AHA!” he exclaimed, looking me in the eye to further validate my guilt. He continued in true Arnold Schwarzenegger fashion with, “You can’t bring that in here. No knives, no pepper spray. You have to return it to your car. Return it. Now.”

This is so close to the truth, it’s terrifying.

So, like Frodo taking the ring to Mordor, I traversed the parking lot, without my Samwise, to safely return my only defense to my glove box. This security guard may have viewed himself as the Aragorn of this story, but, little does he know, he was just a lowly Uruk-hai.

Lesson learned: The security at public events are so confident in their abilities to keep everyone safe, they won’t even allow anyone to try and defend themselves. Also, next time a beefy security guard goes through your bag, try to look as pathetic as possible. Tears are disarming.


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