Place your bets, ladies and gents. Who do you think is more likely to let you accomplish what you're attempting to, but without your ID? The Transportation Safety Administration of these United States, or a restaurant?
Betting is now closed.
I recently flew stand-by, which is a sad tale of woe no one wants to hear. The point is that I did finally, finally, finally, after two asthma attacks and my subsequent frightening of pilots (my grey appearance and completely soaked-in-sweat body, coupled with the wheezing and inhaler apparently isn't the norm around jetways)got on a plane to my layover destination. However, I got on that plane without my wallet. Which had my ID. Of course I did not know that at that time.
I arrive at Houston International, sit down at the Chili's, chosen from a wide variety of options because it serves a damn good margarita, and I'm planning on a nice dinner, beverage, book, relaxation. I have three hours until I hop on the puddle-jumper to The Sticks, a plane that is booked half-full so my odds are good I'm getting on it. In other words, I think that my hellish day is over. I hate it when I'm wrong.
“May I see your ID please?” I've spent the day at DIA. I've been to two different bars there (I guess you are getting some of the stand-by story...sheesh, I should have packed my BREVITY card...) and I know full well that it's policy to card EVERYONE. I reach for my wallet. It's not there. I panic, I search; kind man next to me allows me the use of the bar space in front of him to literally dump out my entire purse and laptop bag. No wallet.
Maybe my ID is still somewhere tucked with my boarding passes (I had amassed a collection). Nope. Maybe it's in my roller bag, which I was forced to check at the gate which caused me a mad scramble of re-arranging items. Perhaps during a three hour lay-over, they'd be able to retrieve the bag, probably already sitting at the terminal, waiting to be loaded onto my tiny plane. I have hope.
However, the I-Have-A-Problem-With-My-Luggage Office is downstairs, near, baggage claim. I'm not saying that they've chosen a bad place for said office, it's just that it's OUTSIDE SECURITY WHICH I WOULD THEN HAVE TO GO BACK THROUGH WITHOUT AN ID. I'm not stupid, though by this time I will admit to being completely wiped out from travel, and asthma and my blood-sugar is dropping, so I ask for advice. From the supervisor of the entire TSA team. He says that getting back through security will not be a problem because, “Robert's gonna come with ya' honey, it'll be fine.”
I take this to mean I'll be escorted, and the magic gates opened, and I'll waltz right back through, like an employee. I hate being wrong, did I mention that?
Turns out that pulling the bag would “take a minimum of four hours ma'am” so I head off into the sunset, just looking for a margarita. I'm willing to skip dinner at this point since I only found a ten in my purse. I have priorities. They are at this point TEQUILA.
An hour later, after being interrogated by the “good” cop and the “bad” cop, a phone call to some mysterious office, where questions to prove my identity were generated, and then my providing the correct answers to these questions, I am through security. Robert (big surprise!) mislead me. No VIP escort.
Back to Chili's. May I see your ID? “I'm sorry, it's our policy to card everyone. I can't serve you anything without an ID.”
Sigh. I love traveling. I hate stupid rules.
P.S. Don't worry. The Engineer overnighted me my passport so I'm good to go home tomorrow. You've been hearing this all week, but I WILL respond to comments on Monday. Thanks for sticking with me.