We arrived in New York in the early hours of the morning on the 6th of August. When I woke the next morning, my knee had tripled in size and was varying shades of purples, blues and mustard yellows. The pain wasn’t that bad, and I have a pretty high pain threshold, someone as clumsy as me, has to be able to tolerate pain. The family decide to start exploring the city. We all dressed and off we went in search of Central Park Zoo, which we found out was about 20 blocks away. After 20 blocks my knee and ankle we throbbing, after a couple of hours walking through Central Park and visiting the Zoo my knee and ankle were screaming, so Glen and I headed back to the hotel, when I iced me knee, Glen propped it up with pillows making sure I was comfortable, before he went off exploring.
Before we went anywhere the next morning, Glen and I went off to find a pharmacy to see what sort of knee braces they had. Well, let me tell you they had every knee brace known to man, I opted for the heavy duty brace the one with two metal braces down either side of my knee, the brace was kind they use on basketball plays who have done their ACL. I wore that knee brace everywhere we went in New York.
Our last day in New York started early, with a 4 am pick up to head to JFK. I had packed the night before; we were up and ready to be picked up at 4am. I got dressed practically in the dark. I secure my knee brace to my knee and selected a pair of straight legged super skinny jeans to wear. I get Abby up and dressed, making sure we have packed everything, before we are checked out and waiting all before 4am.
We’re all half asleep when we’re picked up at 4am. But we are checked in and waiting at airport security at JFK in recorded time, well before our flight back to Hong Kong was due to depart.
We approach airport security, the lines seemed to go on forever, the guard standing at the end directed us to which line to stand in. Kristal, Gary, and the kids were sent to the queue up the far end. Where families checked in. Mum was directed to another queue which was four up from me. Glen was directed to the one next to me, Dale, Abby and I were directed up the opposite end to where Kristal, Gary and the kids were sent.
I slowly make my way to the front of the line, Dale and Abby go through the metal detectors, while I empty my belongs into 4 separate trays. One for my phone and Ipad, another for my laptop, another for my handbag and shoes and the last one for my carry on.
I watch my bags slide down the convey belt through the x-ray machine as the guard signalls me to walk through the metal detector. Before, I go through I take a mental inventory about my belongings, double checking I have no metal on me. Yep I was right to go through. As I walk through the metal detector the alarm sounds. Hmm that’s Odd, I think to myself, must be glitch.
“Ma’am” the Guard asks “Do you have any metal on you?” I shake my head no
She sends me back through, I walk back through to the other side, she signals me again to walk towards her. Beep, Beep, Beep. It goes off again, “What the hell” I? think to myself, just my luck it decide to play up when its my go, and we are going our flight.
“Ma’am, are you sure you don’t have any metal on your body?” She asks again.
“No, I don’t.” I say. She directs me back through again.
I walk back through, she signals me one last time, to walk towards her. Beep, Beep, Beep. “Yep, it’s definitely broken.”
“Ma’am are you sure you don’t have any metal on you.”
“No, I don’t. Your metal detector must be…” Dread starts to creep up the back of my throat SHIT!!! my knee brace. The colour drains from my face.
“Ma’am, are you alright.”
“I have a knee brace on.”
“Sorry what?” She looks down at my legs in disbelief, looking at my super skinny jeans.
“I have a knee brace on my left jeans.”
“I’m afraid so.” I see the corners of her lips twitch up in a smirk.
"Please step over here." She directs me to a rubber mat which has an image of two feet. "Please stand on the mat, legs shoulder width apart and your arms straight out to the side."
I do what she says immediately.
She wipes the handheld metal detector wand over my body. Starting with my arms, then moving down my abdomen, my right leg and my left. It alarms at my left knee.
"Ma'am, do you think you could take it off?"
"Umm. I'll try." I start to pull at the denim material of my jeans trying to grip the Velcro tabs of my knee brace. I try for the next few minutes which seems like an hour, but I can’t grip them through the material. "Sorry I can't grip them."
I see Dale approach the security area, "What’s the problem Cass?"
"I can't get my knee brace off, and it has metal on it."
"I see. Do you want me to try?" I look at the guard who gives him a nod.
In the middle of JFK security check, Dale kneels in front of me, trying to grip the Velcro tabs from the outside, he pinches the material of my jeans he tries for the next couple of minutes, yanking and pulling but he can’t grip it from the outside, finally he says the words I never thought I would ever hear him say. " Cass, I am going to have to put my hands up your pants. think I could get a better grip."
"Okay." I say, "Do what you have to do."
I feel his hand run up either side of my calf, so, there I am standing in the middle of JKF security, with my brother in-law kneeling in front of me with his hands up my pants, yanking and pulling at my knee brace. Pulling me from side to side. He pulls it so hard I nearly lose my footing; I balance myself by gripping his shoulders
"Maybe if I try pulling the brace straight down." I give him a shrug.
As onlookers watch as he continues trying to grip the Velcro tabs, however it doesn't work. In the end he tries to pull the whole knee brace down, he pulls with so much force I nearly fall over right over his head. He yanks and pulls so hard he nearly pulls my pants down, flashing my bum to the unexpecting passengers behind me I grip the back of my jeans looking over my shoulder give them an apologetic smile. After several minutes of trying with no success he gives up, finally he takes his hands out from under my pants and stands.
"Sorry Cass, I can't get it undone."
"That's okay. At least you tried."
"Since we were unable to remove it, you are going to have to accompany me to the interrogation room." The security guard says. She signals over three additional guards to escort me to the room.
All four escort me to the room, one in front, two next to me and the other behind, marching me past the other security terminals, and my family who were now sitting on a bench seat waiting for me.
They watch me as I am escorted to the interrogation room, shock and confusion across their faces. It was like the scene in Bridget Jones diary the Edge of Reason.
"WTF?" Kristal mimes, I give her a shrug.
The four guards direct me into a small white room. Once in the room, they close the door behind me.
"Can you remove your pants please?" One of the guards ask as they all watch me.
"Now?" I ask.
"With you all watching?"
"Yes, it is protocol."
"Okay." I say as I undo my pants, pushing them down until they pool on the floor.
I look down at my choice of nickers, instantly regretting them. They were my Aqua and pink Wonder Woman boy shorts with the world POW Pinterest across the front and BAM printed across my Ass!!! Each of the guards give each other a sideways glance smirking at each other.
"I am going to remove your knee brace now." The first guard says as she kneels in front of me.
She snaps the Velcro straps off and placing it in a plastic tray which sat beside her. She then stands and exits the room carrying the tray. Leaving me and the other two guards a lone in the room. Where I am still standing with my jeans around my ankles and my knickers still say POW!!! across the front. God how I wished I chose a better pair of knickers. They must think that I am crazy.
"Is it okay if I pull up my pants now?" I ask
"Yes, you can."
I pull up my pants "I am so embarrassed." I say as I do up my pants.
"Don't be. Happens all the time." Says one of the guards.
"Oh, people often wear super skinny jeans, forget that they have metal knee brace on, which they can’t get it off. So, their brother in-law out his hands up their pants as he tries and remove it in the middle of airport security but he can’t, so they have to come to an integration room with four security guards where they have to drop their pants showing their pink and aqua Wonder Woman knickers which say POW across the front and BAM across their ass?" I ask while pulling up my pants and securing them back in place.
They all have a little chuckle, "No, you are the first... But strange things happen in here all the time."
The door opens, "All good." The first guard says to me, handing my brace back to me. "You are good to go."
"Thank you." I say walking as quickly as I can out the door.
I walk over to the family who were waiting to hear, about why I was just marched off to the interrogation room.