The TSA killed my glasses

I’ve got a new Connecticut driver’s license and it is “certified”. I had to show my birth certificate, my tax bill and two utility bills from my current residence and they gave me a license with a star printed on it.  I was told this would expedite airport security measures.

At Logan Airport I was directed to the “certified” line, much shorter, and I would not have to take my shoes off. As I have always done, I placed my eyeglasses and my wallet into a bin and sent them traveling into the contraption on the conveyor belt. In the old days I would have placed my glasses in a shoe (both of which were still on my feet). Apparently the web like strips that hang down trapping the radiation in but allowing solid objects to pass, swept into the bin and lifted my glasses up and out to who knows where.

At the other end of the machine I looked in the bin and to my dismay, my wallet remained but the glasses were gone, consumed by the mechanics inside the security device. I asked the attendant to stop the machine, and I would have crawled inside if they had let me. But the goal of swift, efficient and secure flying took precedence and she allowed the machine to run while another half dozen travelers loaded their bags in. Finally she stopped it, and ran it backwards, then forwards several times.

I was certain that my glasses had been mangled. But eventually they came out, the lenses scratched, but seemingly intact. I was told to fill out a claim form which may or may not be paid based on the opinion of a TSA claims specialist after a scrutinizing review. But at least I could take in the sights (it didn’t take long for me to get used to the scratches).

On Wednesday, in Padova, we finished in a light rain, just beating a monstrous thunderstorm. My glasses were dirty and I wiped them on my shirt and they immediately broke in half.

Casualty of TSA.
Casualty of TSA.

Normally if you want to see the sights, you are going to need a pair of eyeglasses. And I did not want a big piece of duct tape holding them together.  Perhaps the nerdy tape on the eyepiece would be tolerable, but this was right in the middle. The clerk at the hotel directed me to the eyeglass store which I arrived at barely 5 minutes before closing.

The sales woman had her keys in the door lock and spoke not a word of English, and I no Italian. This was no problem as I simply held my hands out, each one holding half. “Oh” she said, understanding immediately my situation.

I had two choices. A similar pair that would be ready sometime in the morning, or a style different than I am not used to, that seemed to fit the lenses perfectly.

I am now sporting about Italy, and eventually the rest of Europe in my stylin’ Italiano eyewear.

There are Italian "colors" on the eyepiece.
Note the Italian “colors” on the eyepiece.

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