Editor’s note: William Dunk is an international business consultant in Chapel Hill and a frequent contributor to Local Tech Wire.
______________________________________________________________________________________Furtive types that we are, we arrived an hour and one half before our plane was to dash off for New York recently, quietly checked our bags, and slithered down to the airline club.

All this gave us plenty of time to chat with the club hostesses, down an unhealthy Krispy Kreme financially-tinged, fatty donut, use the facilities, send off cryptic messages to points north and west from the lumbering computer put there for those of us who travel without laptops, scan some trashy newspapers, and, an hour later, start to amble out the door towards our plane.

But Jenny hailed us and told us they needed to see us up at security. Something wrong with our bags.

We hightailed it back through the security gates and, 700 feet up the way, encountered an airline employee.

“Your bags have set off our bomb alarm. We’ll have to go to the curb and see what it’s about.”

Our belongings, from a very small bag, were scattered about the security cage which housed the electronic equipment that had marked us down as a terrorist. As best the employees could figure out, a small, forgotten vial with 4 generic pills had set off the alarm. Nobody ever was quite sure of the cause, and nobody could tell us why it took an hour for the machine operators to discover there was a problem.

As we repacked the bag, the Federalistas lazily took down some vital information about us (our presumed address and telephone number) and then sent us on our way, with nary a “sorry” to be had. Nobody notified the gate personnel that we were cleared for takeoff, so the plane sat on the ground yet another 15 minutes while frantic calls were made in all directions to see if the bag, now aboard the plane, was really safe.

We had now unwillingly joined the distinguished outlaw band of Senator Edward Kennedy, Cat Stevens, and some other notable terrorists who have been doubletreble checkmated by Homeland Security.

A Homeless Person

Of course, we should be stopped, if any shamus ever looked into our address. Perhaps eight years ago a very creative employee at the Department of Motor Vehicles (a “child left behind,” to quote Bush the Younger) had so misspelled the street name on our driver’s license that you would be hard put to find the safe house we call home if you were to look at it.

This week we were up for renewal. To be helpful we tried to point out this hilarious mistake to the folks at the DMV, but we were then asked to supply a document proving that the correct address was correct. Please understand, the address as written on the license simply does not exist.

We gave up trying to get it changed, since, as you might expect, none of the 50 or so cards we had at hand bear any address whatsoever, and the bureaucracy had clear orders, which they had to follow, not to do anything without a paper trail.

We are homeless terrorists.

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