Weirdness at the Courthouse

I went to the courthouse today to pay my property taxes. (Who really owns what we own if we have to pay taxes to keep it? But that’s another blog for another day.) In order to get into the courthouse anymore, we have to go through a metal detector outfit that screens purses, wallets and bodies for metal objects. Because we had a shooting outside the courthouse, we have to do this to get in. Makes sense I guess, if your necktie is too tight. So, y’all can tell I’m not thrilled about any of this.

I greeted the fellows and put my purse in the plastic box and walked through the metal detector. They ran my purse through then handed it back to me and I started walking off when I was called back. They weren’t happy and said something about a knife in my purse. No. No knife. I don’t even have fingernail clippers. They ran my purse back through and told me I had a credit card knife in my purse. I told them they will have to show me what that is, because I’ve never heard of it.

I started pulling things out of my purse, even with them telling me not to. It seemed like they just wanted to gingerly poke around in it. I’m thinking, “Oh, no. I’m not going to stand here and play with this. We are going to empty my purse!” I am too old to be carrying things that embarrass men to see, so out it all came. All the notebooks, the Altoids boxes (one with Altoids and one with business cash), comb, coin purse, checkbook, measuring tape, calcium tablets, cards from every store around that wants to give me a card, Kleenex, etc. ALL of it. They were trying to stop me. Ha. No. We’re doing this. I know I don’t have whatever that thing is and they will know it, too, in a minute. They were a bit upset at first, and I don’t care for huffiness. I was as friendly as if we were all old friends having a picnic together in the park by the river on a beautiful day. No one needs to get aggressive with me, so I figured friendliness would diffuse that.

It’s kind of funny now that I look back. My ‘Jones’ kicked in. If you are related to me, or you know any of us Joneses, you know what that means. I really sort of took charge of things in a way, because over their protests, I emptied everything and told them to run it through empty, then put the stuff that was in the purse in the box a bit at a time and run that through, too. In the meantime, they kept trying to explain what those credit card knife things look like. I’m sure they thought they could find it if they looked, and I was acting like the stupid thing was invisible and could only be seen by their metal detector. They did run it through empty, then ran some of the stuff through just loose in the box. I even tossed in the Wet Ones pack and told them to scan that, too.

One of them (there were four or five guys making sure our courthouse is safe!) looked up credit card knives on his phone and showed me a photo of one. I told him I’d never seen one of those. They also showed me the screen, so I could see what they saw. I could identify keys and phone but I’d never seen that other thing. I told them it could be a dangerous thing in the wrong hands. They explained that you can buy credit card knives at convenience stores really cheap. There’s not much I want in a convenience store, so I wouldn’t know. The longer this mess went on, the nicer they all got.

They decided it must have been the purse before my purse and they apologized. I wondered what they thought they needed to do then, with contraband running loose in the courthouse! When I got my purse all packed back up (I told them it’s like packing luggage) and started to walk off, that’s when I noticed the line was out the door to get in. Gee, we kind of held things up. There was a man who came through as I was leaving and he told them, “I don’t like this new system!” and I said, “I don’t either!” He and I were headed off to the same place and I told him we just emptied my purse because they thought I had a credit card knife, but it must have been the purse before mine. Then I told him it’s not those guys’ fault, but I don’t think I could do that for a living. I’d feel like I was violating the Constitution.