Emily "Integral" Reigel:
I woke up at 4:30 AM to finish packing and to get ready to go to Seattle. I was really pretty excited about going for many and sundry reasons (Yay! I get to see Tree!). I had gotten to bed at 2 AM the night before, so needless to say, I was really tired, but I figured that maybe I would be less afraid to fly and maybe even get to sleep on the plane. It was freezing cold outside and it had rained the night before, so the roads were quite slippery and I guessed that my flight was probably going to be delayed, seeing as planes and ice don’t get along so well. I was bringing along a big bag, which I planned to check, a smaller carry-on, and a purse-type thing that is not a purse because purses are stupid and girly.
I got to the airport at 5:45 or so and went to the Northwest counter to check my bags and get the tickets. I gave the lady behind the counter my name, ID, and confirmation code that I had received in the magical email that reserved the plane tickets 3 weeks before. The lady typed my name into the computer, glanced up at me quickly, and said, "Please wait one minute." She then turned her back to me, picked up the telephone, and dialed a 4-digit number. She had a quick, quiet conversation with whomever was on the other end that I couldn’t hear thanks to the lovely music being piped over the speakers. She hung up the phone, turned back to me, and pretended (poorly) to be examining her little computer monitor very closely.
20 seconds later, 3 army-type guys come striding out of nowhere with faggy little berets and guns at their hips. They approached me and said, "Could you come with us, please?" They formed a sort of v-formation around me with two on either side and one leading the way. One guy came out to take my luggage. They led me past the security checkpoints and through a door marked ‘authorized personnel only’ and down a long, dark hallway with rooms along it that can only be described as interrogation rooms from bad B-movies. We entered one of them, complete with a two-way mirror and a table in the center with chairs on both sides. The only thing missing was a bare lightbulb hanging down in the center of the room- this one had sterile, fluorescent lighting instead.
The military goons exited the room and 2 guys with suits entered. They sat across from me and proceeded to enact the most cliché version of good cop / bad cop ever seen even in the worst Bruce Willis movie.
"Hello, Emily. I am sure you’re wondering why you are here, but I assure you that the more you cooperate, the sooner we can get you out of here and the happier we were all be," said Good Cop.
"We know that you have terrorist affiliations!" said Bad Cop.
At this point, I was really confused. I assumed that they must have me confused with someone else, because last I checked, I hadn’t been associated with any terrorist groups. There was that one time in Thailand, but I was a working girl and he was asking for it. I said calmly, "There must be some mistake. I’m sure you have the wrong person." Again, right out of a bad movie.
"Were you at one point the leader of a group called ‘The Order of Ten-Fat-Tigers?" Asked Good Cop.
When I was in undergrad, I headed up an organization called, as above, The Order of Ten-Fat-Tigers. (http://www.devo.com.tft) We were mainly a political art group, doing things like erecting a giant golden phallus on campus and re-enacting the Jonestown massacre. One of the things we did included stealing the official UW-Madison Student Government stationary and writing declarations of war to other countries in their name. (http://www.devo.com/tft/war/war1.html). Being the head of the organization, my name (middle initial changed) was used on these letters. The gumment obviously got ahold of them and considered them to be terrorist activity. We also held a ‘terrorist training camp’ in a large heavily traversed area on campus where I pretended to teach terrorists from various countries how to efficiently kill people. Fuck.
So I said, "Yes, I was."
"You declared war on foreign lands?" Asked Good cop.
"We did it as a prank. It was never intended to be serious," said my fine self.
"Well, you do realize that it was taken seriously, don’t you?" asked Good Cop.
"Your terrorist acts are known to us!" yelled Bad Cop.
They then proceeded to ask me why I was going to Seattle and why I was taking such a circuitous route (Detroit -->Minneapolis-->Seattle). They asked me if I was planning on using my return ticket, how long I would be there, who I was staying with, etc. I gave them Rich’s number and told them to call him because he is the real brains behind the operation. They did not find that amusing.
They said that there was no way they could let me fly until they did a background check and confirmed that I was who I said I was and that I posed no threat to anyone. Meanwhile, they would search through my luggage and make sure I did not have any weapons or anthrax or whatever. They looked through my non-purse and found a big bottle of pills that in actuality contained Zoloft, vitamins, Sonata (an Ambien-like sleeping drug but with a shorter half-life). And Lorazepam (a tranquilizer that would make me not freak out on the plane). They opened the bottle and dumped out the contents.
"So… what are all of these?" asked Good Cop.
I proceeded to tell them in detail what the drugs were used for,
"You sure seem to know a lot about drugs! Why is that?" Asked Bad Cop.
"I’m in medical school," I said.
"Really? Well, if we say… call the medical school, they will be able to confirm this?" Asked Bad Cop.
I told them to go ahead, and the guy actually took a phone out of his pocket and called. Of course, I am in medical school, so he hung up the phone and said, "Well, it would seem you are in medical school…" very cryptically.
They told me that they were going to go and do a check on me and that they were not sure how long it would take. I told them that I had to go to the bathroom, and they talked in whispers for a minute and then said that I could go as long as I went with one of their army goons. I did, and the goon waited outside of the door while I peed to make sure I didn’t flush myself down the toilet to escape or whatever.
Here began the entertaining 3 hours of waiting, at the end of which I was informed, "Our search was inconclusive. You can either go home or wait here. But we cannot let you board the plane." They saidt hat they would call me as soon as they know more information. Apparently I am too dangerous to go to the bathroom alone, but I am not too dangerous to be unleashed into the general public again.
So after waiting another hour, I went home.
And here I am.
Planning a massive attack on the US government.