Adventures in flying

September 1, 2008

“What’s in the cup?” asks the woman x-raying our carry-on bags at Orlando International Airport. Our cross-country trip home to Portland is not beginning well.

“Our little boy’s water. It’s his sippy cup,” says my wife, Suzame.

“You say it’s water. But I don’t know it’s water,” the woman says, her tone curt and accusatory, as if an interrogation has begun.

“At other airports this has never been been a problem,” Suzame says. “They must have different rules.”

The rules are the same everywhere,” the woman says. She gestures to a colleague, who takes the cup to a table and displays tools for detecting the presence of explosives. But it’s a sham — he tests nothing.

“She’s nutty,” he says softly so his fellow-employee won’t hear, and gives Suzame the cup.