copyright-Rich Voza

‘English? Française? Deut—‘


‘Remove your belt, madam.’

Madam! I’m twenty five!  I remove my belt, an intimate gesture in a crowded place.

‘Your shoes.’

Shit! My toe appears, in all its cracked nail polish glory.

‘Pass through the detector again, please.’

I hobble on dirty floor holding my trousers up, my toe hanging out and my face a red burning furnace.

The detector beeps its objections.

‘Spread your arms.’

I stifle a laugh.

‘Ticklish,’ I explain apologetically.

More beeps around my hip.

‘It’s a pin, I had an operation.’

‘Step through here please.’

The gloves come on.


Click here for more wondrously woven weaves on this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt.

57 comments on “Owned!

  1. Made me smile….and the first thought jumped in my mind was: I wonder how many people would think – what a familiar situation! 🙂

  2. claireful says:

    Loved this. Very funny. I presume she’s telling the truth about the pin, otherwise she wouldn’t be laughing.

  3. Your title set the stage and then you followed up by showing the indignities of flying these days. And it was humorous as well.


  4. deanabo says:

    This was a perfect description of how it goes!

    • Sandra says:

      I’ve been through too many already; I have more experiences that would make anyone cringe of course, but they would not in fit in 100 words.

  5. Tom Poet says:

    This had me laughing, great story. Cringe!…very funny!

  6. oh no! This is exactly, EXACTLY how it feels. “I hobble on dirty floor holding my trousers up, my toe hanging out and my face a red burning furnace.” –love this line.

  7. Oh boy. Do they at least by her dinner afterwards? Sheesh!

    Great story 😉

  8. billgncs says:

    I hate to fly! I have a metal hip… although pat downs are better than those scanners.

    Once though as the were patting me down the man asked me if I had anything sharp on me. I replied, just my wit.

  9. Dear Sandra,
    Funny…well written. I had a similar experience a few years back. I made the unfortunate mistake of wearing a pair of overalls with metal buttons. Set off all the bells and whistles so I had to be patted down. When the lady was through I smiled and said, “You realize that now I have to take you home to meet my parents.” (My husband said she was still laughing as we boarded the flight.).

    • Sandra says:

      Hehe 🙂 You probably made her day! I cannot imagine how horrible it would be to have a job where you have to touch people at the command of a beep!

  10. Sandra says:

    So realistic … how many times has something similar happened. You got it all right there. Well done.

  11. rich says:

    oh, cringe is right! well done.

      • rich says:

        in some places, that personal search with gloves is random. like every tenth person. and in mexico they have a button that everyone presses as you leave the baggage area. you hit the button, and if the light is green, then you go. and if it’s red, they do a thorough search of your suitcase.

      • Sandra says:

        Unlucky if its red!
        I actually never encountered a full body search – the kind that would need gloves at least – I took some artistic license here.

  12. Joe Owens says:

    While fiction here, it is a common experience at airports all over the world. The screeners have to be serious because they do not want to tbe the next ones to let some crazy through!

  13. And yet another reason not to fly! This was adorable.

  14. I went through a 20 min delay once because the extra battery to my camera, which I kept in a plastic bag, looked like a small bomb in the suitcase. Shoes came off, same routine…
    Mine: http://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/3686/

  15. elappleby says:

    HI Sandra – this one made me smile but also made me cringe, just like your protagonist. I hope I am NEVER in that situation!

  16. t says:

    Betcha next time she tells them about the hip before she walks through! Nicely done =)

  17. Yikes, the gloves… I have not felt that ever. But it’s a constant stress. Remember walking through in my Marrimekko flowery socks while I laughed with security how it matched my business suit. 🙂

  18. annisik51 says:

    My husband has to fly extensively and is always worried about having to undergo this indignity! He hasn’t YET! He does encounter racism – not English born. Has two British passports (legally!) because of this. It would be ‘française’ rather than ‘Françoise’ by the way, if the security guard is asking her if she is French, rather than if she is called ‘Françoise’. Ann

  19. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    This was a lovely piece of writing that led to a perfect (for your story) ending. I walked the entire way with her and saw and felt it all. (I did not accompany her into the final room:) Great work.



  20. Sarah Ann says:

    ‘Madam! I’m twenty five!’ – love her reactions, so real.

  21. petrujviljoen says:

    I haven’t been on an aeroplane or at an airport for years (prior to 9/11) … I believe they’re a lot stricter now. Sounded so ominous – ‘the gloves came on’ … hope I don’t have to fly anywhere soon. Was dreaming of visiting the UK … yikes!

  22. writeondude says:

    Very good. I cringed too. Why do we always feel guilty when we walk through those detectors?

  23. Oh, how I hate the “shoes off” rule! But this poor woman – ouch!

  24. Abraham says:

    Very well written. I feel for the poor character.
    Good job!

  25. I love the simplicity of this piece. “Slice of life”, brilliantly told. 🙂

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