Once Upon a Time in DC: Chapter Four

Before we headed to breakfast, Vivian kept muttering something about wanting to go to church. This puzzled me, since I’ve never known her to be the religious sort, but the rumbling in my belly made me quickly forget her spiritual awakening. We got to the restaurant just in time because minutes after we were seated, the DC brunch crowd stormed through the doors and hovered around all of us early birds like a pack of hyenas.
We were famished after our late night of hitting it hard in DC, so as soon as the food arrived, all conversation ceased. I needed to focus my energy on finding the perfect balance of breakfast flavors and textures. It didn’t take me long to find my rhythm:

  • French toast
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Bacon
  • Juice
  • Breathe
  • French toast
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Bacon
  • Juice
  • Breathe
  • Repeat until done

When we got the check, I nearly choked on my last crispy bite of bacon. $60 for breakfast? For three people? WTF?!
Okay, let me quickly do the math:
French toast = egg + bread
Scrambled eggs = eggs + butter
Bacon = bacon + grease
Juice = orange + pressure
If my calculations were accurate, this would have come to a grand total of $0.67 for raw materials. And they charged me $20 for that? But in a town where the government pays $700 for a toilet seat, I suppose I got off easy.
After a bit more complaining, Dee, Viv and I left the restaurant and started to head back to the hotel to check out. As we were walking, Vivian tugged at my arm and said, “There! That’s the church I was telling you about! I want to go check it out – come on.”
I stopped dead in my tracks when I turned my head and saw:
“Okay, are you insane? We are not going to a Scientology church! That’s a cult!”
“Jenny, don’t be so judgmental. You just know what you’ve seen on Oprah. A lot of cool people are into Scientology. Kirstie Alley is into it. Lisa Marie Presley.”
“They believe in aliens and that bad alien spirits are stuck to our bodies – that’s nuts”
“I heard Chaka Khan is a Scientologist.”
“Chaka Khan?”
“Chaka Khan.”
“Chaka Khan?”
“I feel for you if you can’t open your mind to new things a little, Jenny. Dee-Dee will come with me, won’t you, Dee?”
Vivian stomped ahead with Dee-Dee in tow, and I watched as they argued a bit outside the church.
Eventually, Dee and I just couldn’t convince her to come with us, so we had to leave Vivian in DC. I don’t really know what happened to her after that.
While waiting in the security line at the airport, I kicked myself for getting in the line behind the little girl and her stuffed tiger. Dee-Dee wisely chose the line with the harried businessmen and their laptops.
“Honey, I’m gonna need you to walk back through and set your tiger on the conveyor belt. Can you do that for me?” inquired the unusually sweet TSA rep. The girl just stood motionless with a puzzled look on her face. I was waiting for her father to tell her what to do, but instead he just waited for the security personnel to shove his daughter back through the metal detector.
“That’s it. Just go through there, and set your tiger up on the machine. He’s going to get an X-ray! Isn’t that neat?”
I looked at my watch and tapped my stocking-footed toes, hoping to god that the little girl hadn’t stashed a switchblade or heroin inside of her doll. She looked awfully nervous, though. As I walked through security and tried to reclaim my shoes, the little girl kept staring at the conveyor belt.
“Where’s Tigger?”
As it turned out, Tigger was stuck because Tigger only weighed two ounces and couldn’t push his way through the little rubber strips hanging in front of the conveyor. I reached in and yanked him out, handed him to the girl, and hurried to catch up with Dee-Dee because I was certain she had made it through security well before I had.
But when I looked ahead toward the gate, I didn’t see her anywhere. Did she go to the bathroom? Did she ditch me? I turned back around toward security and saw Dee-Dee standing by a glass wall. As I moved closer, I realized that she was, in fact, standing inside a glass box. I raised my arms up in the international sign for, “What the hell are you doing in that glass box?” and she waved her hands around wildly in the international sign for, “Please get me the hell out of this glass box.”
Eventually, a gruff looking uniformed woman grabbed Dee out of the glass box and led her by the arm toward what in layman’s terms is known as the pat-down area. My hand instinctively reached down toward my camera, but as I saw Dee being manhandled by a woman who I suspect was an extra on Prisoner: Cell Block H, I decided not to draw attention to myself. Instead, I called Vivian and left her a message with the play-by-play:
“Okay now Dee’s standing up for some reason, and the woman just told her to sit back down. Now she’s saying something about her sweatshirt. Dee’s totally yelling at the lady! Why is she giving her so much attitude? She’s gonna get an anal probe, I just know it – oh my god this is so awesome! Wait… oh, it looks like they’re letting her go now. Oooh, Dee looks pissed! Okay, I gotta go – bye!”
“Dee! What the hell was that all about?”
“Oh, I am so pissed off right now. When I was going through security, they told me that I had to take off my sweatshirt. I told them I couldn’t because I didn’t have appropriate attire underneath.”
“What are you wearing underneath?”
“A bra.”
“Oh. So you said no?”
“Yeah, and then I said that if I were a man, no way would they make me walk shirtless through security. And then I said what’s the difference between a black hooded sweatshirt and a huge bulky sweater? I said you could hide a lot more stuff under a big sweater than this yoga sweatshirt.”
“Uh, okay – you talked about hiding things under your sweatshirt?”
“To prove a point.”
“Never a good idea.”
We made it to the gate on time, and had a pretty uneventful return flight, aside from the woman next to Dee who kept smacking loudly as she ate her food, and then grabbed the bag of pretzels right out of Dee’s seatback.
“Oh, were you gonna eat your rabbit food?” she asked, once she realized that she had forgotten to wear her cloak of invisibility and that Dee could see her take the pretzels.
Dee-Dee just rolled her eyes and sighed, “No, go ahead.”
I turned up the volume on my iPod and thought about how my trip to DC ended exactly as it had begun, with shoulders shaking and eyes watering trying to fight back the laughter.

13 Responses to “Once Upon a Time in DC: Chapter Four”

  1. Sarah Says:

    You’re killing me here!! Killing me! (PS, I think I went to the tapas place referred to in the post below. Can’t remember the name, but I believe we spent like $175 a head.)

  2. Tracy Lynn Says:

    Dude, That would have totally been me in the glass box. I get offended when they want me to remove my shoes.

  3. teahouseblossom Says:

    Hey, I’m glad you didn’t enter the Church of Scientology. I don’t think there’s much of a chance you guys ever would have gotten out.

  4. shari Says:

    She just took the pretzels? With Dee sitting right there?! Bwahahahahahaha!! I fear I might have offered her a lint-covered breathmint from the bowels of my purse too, just to see if she’d take it.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Jenny,
    As you know by now, the Scientologists wouldn’t take me. I am going to try the Quakers.
    P.S. I am so sorry I missed seeing Dee-Dee in a glass box.

  6. ms. sizzle Says:

    ha ha ha. . . the anal probe comment made me laugh out loud.
    sounds like a great trip!

  7. jenny Says:

    Sarah: I can’t remember the name either – but it was really big, modern, floor to ceiling windows, and SUPER loud!
    Tracy Lynn: The shoe thing does kind of irritate me, too, but now I just know to wear slip on shoes.
    THB: Yeah, we were even a little skeevy about taking the pictures. I’ll probably be getting a call from Tom Cruise any day now!
    Shari: Indeed. Right in front of Dee-Dee. I was dying.
    Viv: What about the Shakers? One downfall though – they believe in strict celibacy. Wonder why they’re dying out?
    Sizz: The whole thing made me laugh out loud. I soooo desperately wanted to take a picture of her in the box, but figured that wasn’t a wise decision. :)

  8. Jessica Says:

    Jen, I’m horrified that you would make fun of my religion like this….sheesh.

  9. Dave Says:

    Just a heads up, the Giant Chocholate Bunny should be at the train station any day now. ;-)

  10. Kevin Says:

    Never ever EVER try to make a point with airport security. It’s not worth the hassle and you only wind up in more trouble than before. Why not just say “it’s not like I have a bomb in here”? They’ll bust you just for saying “bomb.”
    You should’ve taken pictures.

  11. Katie Says:

    This is a really funny post! All that money for breakfast? Yikes!

  12. sandra Says:

    So how was the church-going experience?

  13. Scott-san Says:

    I particularly liked the part where you trashed that Cult. (Note to Chef: See how I capitalized the “C” in Cult?)
    And loved the sympathy for your security-troubled friend.