Robert M. Coles

Author, World Traveler, Public Speaker

Category: fun

How I Unintentionally Bypassed Airport Screening and Accidentally Smuggled In A Bottle of Water

I recently took a weekend trip to New York City to meet with some clients, catch up with friends, and spend some time in the city that I love so much. It was a very fast trip only putting me in the city for less than 3 days, but a great experience none-the-less. I’ve been a traveler for most of my life. My family would take trips most every summer, venturing to Wyoming for one vacation, another to Maine, and of course the beach. As an adult, my travel has grown more to mean working trips with vacation fit in on that “extra day” where the company or client has already paid your flight and you splurge on extending your hotel. One thing is for sure, in all my travels, I’ve hated going to the airport.

I am by no means a small man. I am of average height, but am a bigger guy and sometimes that can be less fun to travel by plane. You always read the blogs and posts about the people complaining about the fat guy sitting next to them. Well, I am that guy. The flight doesn’t normally bother me as much as going through airport security. I already suffer from mild claustrophobia and standing in that tube with my hands in the air while someone looks at my junk on a TV screen doesn’t necessarily make me happy, but I do it because we live in a post-9/11 America, and safety in flying is a big concern.

On Sunday, December 7th I was traveling from Newark, NJ back to Nashville, TN and walked into the airport calmly, fully expecting my security stop anxieties to begin any minute. I approached the line with boarding pass and driver’s license in hand and saw that things were quite a bit backed up.

Let me stop here for a moment and say that I have never gone through the TSA pre-screening process. I have often thought about it, but never actually done it, but will probably do it soon as travel is starting to pick up. But, it’s important for you to know right now that I’ve never done it.

I walked up to the person standing in the front of the line assigning people which pathway to take. The couple standing in front of me had just been informed that one of them could go through the TSA pre-screen line, but the other could not as he did not complete his paperwork and did not have the proper documentation. I walked up to him, he looked at me and said, “Are you traveling alone?” to which I replied, “Yes,” and he pointed for me to go through the lesser of the two lines. I thought I had struck gold. For the first time this trip traveling alone had paid off in a big way.

I walked through the line and stopped with only two people in front of me. The gentleman standing at the entrance of the security area took out a swab and whipped down the lady’s hand in front of me looking for explosive residue. It’s good to note here that she was carrying a 1 year old strapped to her back… I walked up to him and held out my hand, he motioned for me to move forward, and mumbled something to the effect of “You’re good.”

I walked up to the conveyer belt and started to take off my belt and shoes. The lady standing there said, “Sir, please do not remove anything unless asked to,” so I left everything on and placed my bags on the belt. I told her that I was traveling with 3 laptops (long story involving last minute project deadlines and failing computers) and she said that was fine and to leave them in my bag. So I laid it on the belt and walked through the metal detector. It started to beep. She did nothing. So I asked her, “Do I need to do anything?” and she replied, “No. You’re fine.”

The weirdest part was that I watched my bags go through the scanner with no one watching a screen to see what was inside.

After I got through security I opened my bag to get out my wallet and realized I had accidentally smuggled in a bottle of water. My fault for accidentally bringing it into the airport? Or the TSA’s fault for not catching what could have been a bottle full of lighter fluid? You decide.

So, that’s my story of how I didn’t go through Airport Security, right under their noses, and smuggles in a bottle of water. I expect the FBI to arrive to arrest me at any minute.

10 Best Movie Quotes of All Time (According to Me)

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From Bond, to Baseball, These Quotes Stand Out Above the Rest

I supposed today I’m in a movie mood. Earlier, I posted a status on Facebook saying, “I’m not crazy, I’ve just been in a very bad mood for 40 years.” If you haven’t already figured it out, that’s a famous quote from Steel Magnolias, the 1989 adaptation of Robert Harling’s play of the same name. The Oscars (my favorite day of the year, besides my birthday) are coming up quickly, and soon my journey to watch all the nominated films will begin, and no one will hear from me for a week. Before that, let’s reminisce about all the great movies of the past. So, for today’s blog post I figured I’d stick with my mood and post the 10 Best Movie Quotes of All Time, in my opinion.

#10 – “Show me the money!” – Jerry Maguire

show-me-the-money

In probably one of my favorite movies, Jerry has a total mental breakdown when he’s trying to save face with a client and get him to leave the big flashy sports agency the client is signed with and instead join Jerry in his new venture. It’s Jerry’s commitment to show him the money that convinces Rod to take the leap.

Sean Connery as James Bond

#9 – “Bond. James Bond.” – Every Bond Film Ever Made

If you’re like me, you grew up watching James Bond, probably with your dad on a Saturday when it played all day on AMC. There was something about Bond and the way he said his name that was just so cool and iconic. That probably is why he’s the second most successful film franchise of all time, trailing behind Harry Potter.

#8 – “You can’t handle the truth!” – A Few Good Men

600full-a-few-good-men-screenshotWe all remember that moment when Jack Nicholson lost his cool while being questioned and blurted out the famous line, but what few know is that this film is based on a stage play of the same name, and the story packs a much bigger punch when you’re watching it live. If you can find a showing that promises to be at least halfway decent, check it out. You wont be disappointed.

#7 – “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” – Gone with the Wind

GWTW_8lgSure, this movie made huge strides in film making, and changed the way the motion picture industry worked, but when screenings of a film need an intermission, the film is just too long. I have a feeling my thoughts on the length of this film would have been met with a “Frankly, Robby, I don’t give a damn,” by one of the three directors. Imagine, a film so long it needed three directors!

#6 – “There’s no place like home.” – The Wizard of Oz

the-wizard-of-ozDorothy’s adventure was probably one of my all-time favorite childhood movies, but I’d fast forward through the scary parts (and still do, actually), but there’s just something about her clicking her heels together and saying that famous line over and over again that brings comfort. Perhaps that’s why it’s stitched on pillows across the nation.

#5 – “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump

forrest_gump_image_1Who couldn’t fall in love with a character like Forrest Gump? He’s so naive and his loyalty to his mother, his state, his former girlfriend, and his son knows no bounds. Plus, he ran for a really long time, and that’s impressive.

#4 – “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” – Silence of the Lambs

936full-the-silence-of-the-lambs-screenshotI watching this movie for the first time when I was about 10 years old. It was a lot to take in at that age, and I still fear lotion, but Anthony Hopkins scared the bejeezus out of me with his story of eating a man’s liver with fava beans. I still can’t eat them, but I do love me some Chianti!

#3 – “I’ll have what she’s having.” – When Harry Met Sally

when-harry-met-sally-original1There is just something about Meg Ryan that made her the romantic comedy queen of the 90s and early 2000s, and when she sits at that table and acts out a “climax” there’s nothing funnier than the woman at the next table thinking she’s received those special “good feelings” from her lunch.

#2 – “Houston, we have a problem.” – Apollo 13

apollo-13Tom Hanks (who appears on this list three times) is brilliant as Jim Lovell in Apollo 13, and I remember as a kid watching the movie and going to school the next day and saying that to my teachers and friends over and over again. Aside from that, this film takes a serious turn at this point, and it’s very clear in Hanks’ voice that the situation is in fact serious.

#1 – “There’s no crying in baseball!” – A League of Their Own

A-league-of-their-ownFinally, my favorite quote of all time. It appears on the AFI Top 100 Movie Quotes as number 54, but it’s number 1 to me. The movie as a whole is excellent, but what makes it my top quote is Tom Hanks and his performance as Jimmy Dugan, the rough, often drunk coach that eventually warms up to the female baseball team.

With Mr. Tom Hanks appearing on this list three times, can you tell who one of my favorite actors happens to be?

What are some of your favorite movie quotes?

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