In the ropes

On the way back from Dublin, OH I stopped to fill gas. Since I was headed back to Philly, I was prepared for getting through security as fast as possible just like any frequent traveller. I usually just keep my DL and boarding pass in my pockets and stuff the wallet into my laptop bag. This way, I don’t have to place my wallet in the ‘security cup’ as it goes down the line. I am afraid I might miss picking it up or some fast hand can do damage to it. I even put my cell phone in the bag.

Anyway, while filling gas the gas pump had a broken reader. I couldn’t read the display well. Also, it was cold and I had my gloves on. When it asked me for the zip code, I started keying in and mistyped the zip. The transaction got cancelled. So I thought I will swipe again and pulled my credit card or what I thought it was. It was my DL. I put it back in the pocket. The gas station attendant called out asking me to come inside and pay. I did that, filled the gas and was on my way back to the airport.

At the rental return, picked up my carry-on, laptop bag, got the receipt from the attendant. I also had my Chipotle lunch with the free chips they gave me that morning! All-in-all, I had my hands full. I walked into the airport, settled down at the first seat, and finished lunch. My mango lassi from yesterday’s dinner was a mess. Finally I walked to the security lines; there was no one. As I took out my boarding pass and I couldn’t find my DL. All I got was the credit card in the pocket. I knew something was wrong.

I searched all my n-number of pockets but all I got was my credit card. I was sure I hadn’t put the DL into the bag. However, searching there too was in vain. I walked all the way back to the car rental; they pulled out the Cube I had returned. I couldn’t find anything in there. I also walked the same path I did from where I thought I had returned the car.

I went to the security line again and said I had lost my ID. The TSA personnel called her manager. He asked me if I had any photo ID. I didn’t. He took my boarding pass and went inside. Then two or three TSA people came out and made me stand within the ‘ropes’. They were very nice. The lead person asked me again if I had any photo ID. I said I don’t carry any except my DL. In the meantime I had called Rama to look up my digital copy of the DL and email it to me. A digital copy isn’t accepted as it is susceptible to alteration.

I finally recognized that my Costco card had my photo on the back of it. That was a relief as the TSA accepted it. Still he wanted to see something with my name and address on it. Again, I remember my visiting card! That finally worked and I was out of the ropes, still in time for my 1:33 flight.

Some excitement to end the trip. The good news was after landing back in Philly as I was driving home, I remember the only place I could have lost it was the gas station when I had accidentally pulled out my DL and while putting it back, it should have slipped out of my back pocket onto the ground. Once home, I looked up the gas station (I had the receipt), called them and asked if someone had turned in my DL. The chap checked and read out my name partly. I fully repeated my name and address and it was mine. I requested it to be mailed to my home. Hopefully they do, else I have to pick it up on my next visit.

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