Saturday, June 30, 2007

Vegetable Oil Terrorist at JFK

Today I had to drive to Kennedy airport to pick up my sweetheart who was arriving from Los Angeles. I took the surface streets instead of the freeway through Brooklyn and had a nice drive that left me with time to get an ice cream from the good humor man and stop at the beach in Canarsie. I parked in the airport garage, very happy to find that the ceiling clearance is high enough to accomodate the fuel pump and vegetable oil that I carry on my roof. I arrived 15 minutes early and after I parked the van I decided to call my friend, Eun Young.

The phone was ringing as a couple of armed US Military security dudes in fatigues and the whole bit began to approach my van. Soon I was being surrounded by military and port authority police who were demanding that I step down from the vehicle. I thought it had something to do with me talking on my cellphone (don't ask) and as I got out of the van I must have looked completely puzzled because the police started asking me if I knew why they were questioning me. I had no idea but that's when he finally pointed to the roof and said "What's in those containers?" What I was unaware of was that earlier that day a car bomb had been detonated at an airport in the UK. The police did all the questioning as the military surrounded the van. In my bewildered state I did my best to explain that it was just vegetable oil and a fuel filter but the man questioning became quite aggressive when I told him that in fact, I DIDN'T have any identification on me, due to having had my wallet stolen twice and leaving my passport back at my friend's house in Williamsburg. "Well," he said "we're going to be here for a long time, until you can prove your identity." and that's when I put one of my most underused skills into action and burst into tears!

At that point the cop dispersed the military dudes and softened up considerably. He explained that they were on high alert for suspicious vehicles and that as soon as the K-9 unit was done inspecting my van I would be free to go. We waited for about 20 minutes for the dogs to arrive and he and another cop asked me a bunch of questions about vegetable oil fuel. When the K-9 unit still hadn't shown up he simply escorted me to the terminal and wished me a nice day.

When Brenndan arrived we went back to Williamsburg to have a barbeque. I made squid stuffed with shrimp and cabbage and shrimp and mango brochettes with jalapeno-cilantro sauce and we watched the sunset from Rufus and Lauren's rooftop. I wasn't able to take any pics of the cops questioning me so instead here's one of the door handle of my van which came off while I was thrifting in the Bronx the day before.

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