This is a really nice small-city airport, with a coffee bar but no restaurant, and three TSA agents on the day shift to screen the 28 passengers who fit into the Piedmont Airlines/USAirways Express Canadair Dash-8 turboprop that appears to be the only plane scheduled to fly out of here until seven-something tonight.
Hence, the line at security was short, and the inspection was thorough. As I went through security, the TSA agent pulled out my new tube of Crest toothpaste, which had come to Williamsport unquestioned in the same carry-on bag, declared it illegally big, and politely asked me to surrender it for immediate and official discarding. Having no choice, I complied, put my shoes and coat back on, and found a seat in which to await boarding.
This will be my first homeward leg, a 45 minute jump to Philadelphia. It was scheduled to leave at 12:38 PM, and I was supposed to catch a flight to Manchester with only a 42-minute connection in Philly.
Then the weather delays started. The plane will leave at 2:05. No, fifteen minutes later, it becomes 3:27. The US Airways agent has, thankfully, already re-booked me to Manchester on a 5:49 flight out of Philly, so I am cool. Zen-like in my calm.
So, I am sitting here alone. I reread last night's blog post, and crack up in laughter. I call my brother Wally, tell him to read that "luncheon post," and he cracks up, which gets me going again, and we share a brotherly punch session.
So, I am the only passenger still inside the secure area. The others have all gone out to get a bite at the coffee bar, or to visit the rest rooms, etc. I am happily playing Facebook and blog games. The TSA agent approaches.
"Sir, are you going to wait here for three hours?"
"Yes," I say, "That is my intention. Why?"
He replies, "Because we have to stay in here as long as even one passenger is in the area."
I thought about leaving... but instead, I have eaten a Snickers bar for lunch, and kept on bloggin'.