‘The Voice of Reason’

“Knickers Abroad; a multiple journey”

by

Rose D. Kaye

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For a complete list of chapters in numerical order please go to this page.

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Chapter Three

‘The Voice of Reason’

“Curls And Bows”

“The weeping gets to me every time. Such a contrived ending and they fall for it over and over again.”
“Sounds like a rough gig.”
“Why do you think I’m here in this awful place?”
“It’s not that bad. I like coming here.”
“You would.”
“And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“Oh please! The fake wood, the blaring televisions showing sports; the perky waitresses, excuse me, the servers in tight tops and shorts.”
“I come here for the food.”
“That line may work on Miss October over there, but not on me. I know the truth of why you show up every weekend.”
“Like that’s any of your business. What’s your deal anyway? Can’t get a date?”
“I don’t date guys looking for ‘the one’ and besides, you’ll never find what you’re looking for in this place.”
“How would you know what I’m looking for? You a mind reader or something?”
“Lots worse than that I’m afraid. You see that party of women in the corner?”
“Yeah. You with them?”
“Sorta. It’s a bachelorette party and I was invited.”
“Related to the bride?”
“Let’s put it this way. She’ll be needing my services very soon.”
“Are you a stripper?”
“No, I’m the Divorce Fairy.”

By Rose Dewy Knickers, October 11th, 2007

“Hello, this is Rose here. Actually, it’s Dewy. Let me explain. When I started blogging it was as Dewy Knickers. She’s a sexy, sassy, fun loving girly-girl with world famous rounded assets. Her job is as a reporter for HBNN, (Hysterical Blogger News Network). She travels the world and posts reports that are newsworthy but with a tongue-in-cheek approach. After I came forward publicly, I took the name Rose at first and then Rose Dewy Knickers. Rose, that’s me, writes all the poetry and short stories. Dewy is a character I play at times. She is a facet or aspect of my personality as a multiple.”

“Hello world! This is Dewy Knickers, the ‘Voice of Reason’, on August 30th of 2007. This afternoon I’m reporting from Columbus Ohio, the home of The Ohio State Fair. It’s 90 degrees under partly cloudy skies and the grounds are packed with eager fair goers. I’ve been here since the gates opened and it’s been a whirlwind of activities. I started my day off by hoofing it over to the Voinovich Livestock Center for a beef show. I was very disappointed when I realized the beef was the four-legged variety and not beefcake. After my initial dismay had settled, I parked my rounded assets on the bleachers. Don’t you think there should be better seating at the fair? Who wants to carry around a cushion all day anyway? Unless you are fortunate enough to have a handsome hunky guy to do your very bidding and desire. Let me know ladies, when you have a family outing, does your hubby serve as a pack mule? Speaking of mules, haven’t seen any yet, but I had a decision to make this morning. Should I milk the time by going to the Cooper Arena and watch the Jr. Holsteins? Of cut it close at the Brown Arena for the Jr. and Open Sheep Shearing contest? In the end, that decision was no contest at all. As much as I enjoy a cold, thick, rich, creamy milkshake, I’d had enough of cow dung for this day already. Sheep it was!”

“Ladies and gentlemen, the smell of sawdust and lanolin permeated the warm morning air as the faint bleating of the woolly victims could be heard from somewhere nearby. The contestants, the humans that is, were as tense as their adversaries as they, the sweaters with hoofs, gazed balefully at the sharp implements in their, the humans hands. The strident bell rang and in a flurry of activity the first participant was abruptly seized and slung onto the shearing table. I have to admit to a sense of awe at the speed to which each sheep was carefully and, for the most part, safely removed of its bounty. Style and accuracy counted as well and when the wool settled, the judges had made their decision. The crowd applauded loudly as the winners received their ribbons and the now naked sheep were returned to the pens.”

“After my busy morning, I am now off to partake of the best part of any fair, the Midway. With all the food choices a girl could possibly want. This has been Dewy Knickers, for HBNN from the Ohio State Fair. See you on the Ferris Wheel.”

After a summer and early fall of frantic writing I decided to chronicle how I experienced the upcoming trip to London and Paris from my vantage point and the result is this personal travel diary called “Knickers Abroad; a multiple journey”. In order to explain this portion of the book better and to give all of you the chance to hear from the people I met on this trip, I decided to create a unique format. As I mentioned in the beginning, Dewy Knickers was how I originally interacted with the world. She’s famous, or at least, believes she should be. She has her own talk show where she interviews minor celebrities and assorted guests. We both thought that it would be a very cool idea to pretend that this book was a published success and that myself as Rose was doing a promotional book tour. Throughout the rest of this book at various points, you, the reader, are taken from the trip and placed in the audience as Dewy’s special guests on her talk show “Flashing Knickers With Dewy”. This allows a more in-depth discussion of each chapter and although I could have accomplished this through other means, Dewy Knickers is important to me and deserves her own contribution. Dewy is part of me; the part of me that is more comfortable interacting with the real world: the part of me that speaks louder than words.

Travel books are readily available and although many are enjoyable, some are not. Due to the nature of the genre, it’s difficult to make the story flow. Too much detail and the journey bogs down, too little and there is nothing to hold the reader’s attention. Then there is the format. Diary, journal, essay, rant; they all have a place to shine.

The goal is simple; allow the journey itself to take the center. By writing about the places and people you discover you can bring the readers into your life. Let them experience what you, the author, saw and tasted and touched. Let the world you moved through come to life on the printed page. Let the black and white text become dusty and dark, clean and bright, hopeful and desperate, funny and joyous.

My plan, subject to reality of course, was to write as we traveled: to take notes and jottings of my observations and musings. I knew from previous outings that my interests are vastly different from Brian’s, couple that with his tendency to be singularly focused and block me out as a result, it would be a struggle at times to write.

The portion of the trip I was most looking forward to were the meetings with friends I’d made through blogging. If it all worked out I could meet as many as five bloggers and interview them for the book. What? An interview? That wasn’t on the agenda! Well, put it this way. Anybody I met who wanted to be in the book can be in the book, real name or not. That to me is the best part of travel; connecting with a variety of strangers you may never see again.

Ann is our close friend and the hostess who was welcoming us into her home in England. In fact, the real reason we were going to London in the first place was to stay with her. Had she not enthusiastically agreed to put us up in her home, we never would have gone. All the sights and experiences I will relate in the following chapters would not have happened without Ann taking a chance and inviting us over for a cuppa that lasted for ten days. We had all met via our blogs a year before the trip and we talked by phone at least once a week. As the trip grew nearer that tempo of communication increased to the point that several times a day emails were exchanged by all and sundry. Ann has always been a sassy sistah to me and was very supportive when ever I felt that life was getting me down. I knew she had three grown children. Her eldest son and his family lived in Israel, her middle son was recently married and her youngest, her daughter, had moved out only a few months earlier into a place of her own. October 2007 would not have been our first choice of dates, but it was the earliest Ann was available. She was worried we would turn around and get straight back on the plane when we met her, but none of us had the slightest doubt that this would be the best trip of our lives.

When flying internationally they order you to report three hours before your scheduled departure time. The reason being is that it takes that long to check-in and you must be at the gate an hour before boarding, or else. Our flight departure was at 7:25 P.M. so we decided to get to the Miami terminal early, very early. We stayed overnight with friends who live about an hour away from the airport and traffic in the Miami area can be very tricky even at the best of times. Since our flight was leaving just after the evening rush hour, there was no sense in taking chances.

Once arriving at the vicinity of the airport, the first order of business is to frantically scan the passing terminal signs for your airline. After a harrowing ride with our driver, we did just that and hopped out at the drop-off curb, luggage in tow at precisely 3:00 P.M. There are two irrefutable facts about flying that come into play at this point. Number one is that your airline is surrounded by names you’ve never heard before; number two, your check-in location will always be in the farthest bowels of the last terminal before the adjacent landfill. The corollary, of course, is: ‘All departure gates must be the maximum distance from the check-in counter’.

There is an entire branch of mathematics that deals with the shifting quantum realities of airport operations. The process of flying from the standpoint of higher mathematics is in fact shaped like an hourglass with the sand flowing on the exterior of the four dimensional figure. No matter the actual time on your watch, the sand, which represents the passengers, flows in quantum patterns akin to food shopping for starving teenagers. I offer here my proof.

1. Square footage of terminal is ‘F’.

2. Total passengers per minute is ‘P/m’.

3. Curbside help is ‘C x t’. (the ‘t’ is tips)

4. The ticket counter area is a separate reality entirely represented by ‘-√∞’.

5. Security is the neck of the hourglass and is where the sand passes from the outside to the inside of the quantum flow as expressed by ‘S ³’.

6. The hike to the gate is ‘y/6’, the ‘y’ being in miles and the six being the number of empty chairs at your gate.

7. Finally, the boarding procedure is ’36-50′, which states that your row is always the last to board and all the overhead bins will be full.

Thus the final equation is stated as this. ‘F + P/m – C x t ÷ -√∞ x S³+ y x 6 ÷ 36-50= one and one half hours.

“Hello everyone and welcome to “Flashing Knickers With Dewy”. My name is Dewy Knickers and I will be your hostess for the remainder of this book. The book of course is “Knickers Abroad; a multiple journey” and I would like to start by introducing the author of this travelogue. As we’ve all read the introduction, at least the studio audience has, you understand that I am part of Rose and she a part of me. In effect, I’ll be interviewing myself, but what’s a little split personality among friends? Ladies and gentlemen, please give my very special guest, Rose, a nice round of flashing and applause.”

“Hi Dewy! Thanks for having me on your show! I am so excited about this opportunity to discuss my book in more detail. Is it true you’ll be interviewing everyone in later chapters?”

“Yes it is Rose. I feel strongly that by talking with all the participants, I’ll be able to glean more observations and gain insight into your experiences. Speaking of experiences, how was your first ever flight and how exactly did you come up with this very interesting formula?”

“I was playing around before we left for the airport Dewy and imagining all the things I’d read about. All the horrors of being stuck for days and years in the airport; wandering around and surviving on packaged peanuts and three dollar bottled water. It seemed that there had to be a mathematical explanation for airports. As for my first time, a lady never reveals all the details.”

“Is that so Rose? Nice to know you have some standards. When you checked-in, did the formula hold true?”

“Well Dewy, as you’ll see in this chapter – not exactly – would be the phrase I would use. And as for standards, just who was the one photographed with that celebrity?”

“Must have been my evil twin Rose, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Besides, it’s irrelevant. So before we get into the harrowing tale that is international airline check-in, I’d like to introduce my next guest to the show. She’s witty and charming, talented and smooth and the boss behind the curtain. Give it up for Diane!”

“Hi Dewy! Thanks for having me.”

“You’re very welcome Diane, my pleasure. I take it you only had a minor role in planning and making this trip happen?”

“No Dewy, not at all. In fact, I was the sole planner and was completely responsible for every aspect of the trip. Brian just showed up and carried the money.”

“So all this about him wearing the pants is not true Diane?”

“Hmmmm. I like to let him have his little fantasies Dewy. It keeps his attitude manageable. A full tummy and an active ego keeps our marriage on an even keel.”

“Diane, I have to ask the question that every woman in the audience wants to know. What is it like living with a husband who has other multiple personalities inside of him?”

“Dewy, at first it was very confusing and I didn’t know what to expect. Then I realized that most of these people I had met during our marriage, but never had names for them. Once I understood that, I felt much more at ease. It’s become a slow process of recognition and acceptance on both our parts and has created a larger and loving family.”

“So Diane, what you are saying is that although you are married to Brian, the body now belongs to a total of six people. How does that work in your day to day lives?”

“I mainly deal with Brian and Rose, the others are present but they lead quiet lives and are not around much. I see them under special circumstances Dewy and I love each and every one.”

“Diane mentioned that she planned the entire trip. Did you help her at all Rose?”

“I tried Dewy, but I was more interested in learning about our destinations. I did however take on the responsibility of contacting the blogging friends I hoped to meet during our stay.”

Brian had utilized the check-in procedures on the Virgin Atlantic website, twenty-four hours in advance is when the window to a flight is opened, so when we approached the bag drop at the counter there was no wait at all. Being this early paid off as it took a couple of minutes to receive the boarding passes and baggage claim stickers. Everything I’d read about the Miami International Airport had been fairly negative, but this small slice of Terminal E was very pleasant. They poked around several shops; Diane was looking for some magazines to read, but had no luck. Rather than exploring any further, they headed towards ‘S³’ and the anticipated problems.

In the rather short line, there was a very beautiful woman in front of me wearing a knee length ecru lace summer dress. As she went through the security checkpoint, the surreal nature of this process struck me. Watching her remove first her jacket and then her shoes, I thought to myself, why not strip completely? Surely this does not catch anything! Brian and Diane also removed their shoes, put the carry-on bags through the scanner and stepped through the X-ray machine. Diane kept her insulin pump attached, as was recommended to her by the security officer, and Brian forgot to remove his belt and sunglasses, but they went through with no alarms or problems and only fifteen minutes after being dropped off, we were on our way to the departure gate. So much for my quantum theories! Our plane did board from the last gate in the terminal though.

“Diane, I need to ask you about the process of airport security. How does having a disability affect you?”

“Dewy, the fact that I wear an insulin pump can sometimes cause a bit of excitement. The TSA website recommends a hand pat down since the manufacturer suggests not going through the X-ray machine. I won’t take it off though and I don’t want a stranger’s hands on my body.”

“Were there any other concerns you had about the security checkpoint Diane?”

“Carrying a duffle bag filled with pump supplies and prescription drugs I was concerned Dewy I would not be allowed through without a fuss. Some countries have strict controls on medications that are legal in America. We had no such problems and my doctor’s notes and documentation were not needed.”

“Thank you Diane. Rose, were you surprised at the ease of check-in as well?”

“Extremely so Dewy. We had been led to believe that the delays and strictness of the regulations would take us hours to get through the checkpoint. We could have shown up several hours later instead, however, Brian insisted on being early and following the recommendations to the letter.”

“Speaking of Brian, I think it is time to introduce him ladies. Please throw your knickers on the stage everyone and welcome, the one and only, thank God, Brian.”

“Thank you so much for your thrilling and wonderful introduction Dewy. I am very happy to be with my three favorite ladies and have no need of extra knickers. I do like the black silk French cut ones over there though.”

“You’re such a man Brian!”

“That’s why you love me Rose.”

“If I may continue with my questions everyone? Thank you. Brian, do you have anything to add about the process of check-in and security?”

“Not that much Dewy. This was the first time I’d flown in ten years and while it was obvious some things had become much stricter in terms of carry-on, it was also clear that deciding to fly meant giving up some personal liberties. I’m not at all convinced that the resultant security restrictions actually work. Searching children and the elderly while putting liquids in sealed plastic bags may make us feel safer, but it only makes us more isolated and poorer in so many ways.”

“But shouldn’t we be concerned by terrorism and seek to properly secure our borders?”

“Dewy, I think that all legitimate travelers share the desire to have safe transit, but many people are concerned that the methodology applied by the United States government is flawed. The philosophy to search everyone as potential terrorists causes more fatigue, not less, in the screeners and by doing so, reduces the effectiveness of the searching. The technology and techniques already exist that are less invasive and more successful in keeping travelers safe, but the U.S. lags far behind other countries in training personnel to spot potential threats, before they arrive at security checkpoints.”

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