On the way back I decided I need a slightly more boring life.
Not totally boring, but just a teensy, weensy bit less...ummm.... weird.
...and here's why.
My GPS took me to the facility (big, brick, imposing, razor wire...gulp!). When I pulled into the driveway, guards were using those poles with mirrors and opening the doors to vehicles which seemed kind of neat. What was NOT neat, however, was that the guard was waving his arms and scowling and yelling. At me. Me! Sweet, innocent, non-terrorist me.
He did it for a little while and I kept looking around trying to figure out what had his boxers in a bunch.
Finally, when it was my turn to pull up, he started yelling at me. "Can you read?" he asked in a really loud, horrible voice. "Can you read?"
And I said, "Huh?" in a puzzled fashion.
"This is the EXIT!...can you read? See? Out! OUT!!!!!"
I said, "Oh."
He started talking to me like I was a moron (which perhaps I was because even after he told me it was the EXIT! I couldn't see a sign saying that).
He told me(very slowly like I was mentally challenged) to park my car in a certain place and to walk back up to the guardhouse.
I parked. I walked back up to the guardhouse. I was the only person there except for Mr. Crabby Pants.
He was still glaring at me. I thought he might just arrest me and throw me in the klinker for stupidity. Instead, he just decided to bully me some more!
"Didn't you see me waving my arms at you!" he said in a loud and mean voice.
"Yes, yes I did! But I thought maybe you were trying to land a plane," I retorted.
And then I got scared. I wondered if it was like a federal offense to be a smart aleck to a guard. With a gun. Who looked pretty darned ticked off.
That fear must have shown on my face, because all of the sudden he got nicer.
"Parking a plane...heh, heh..." he chuckled, "I haven't heard that one before. You looked all scared or something?"
"Yeah, do you think? Scared...I mean...geez, you don't have to scream at people! Do you? Is that part of your job? I mean when they hire you..."
I have this tendency to babble and ask wayyyy too many questions at inappropriate times.
But sometimes when I babble, it makes other people babble, too.
And as it turns out, his name was Robert, but his friends call him Bob. He'd been working for the Feds for almost 18 years. He was divorced.
After our little chat, he apologized to me. And told me what to do and what would happen next so I could get into the court room. And he was really, really nice and helpful.
Through the rest of the ordeal, four of the five other guards who checked my ID, escorted me, or looked at me with squinty eyes, were nice. One just looked constipated, so I cut him some slack.
When I was finished and being handed back through the chain of guards to the entry, I realized it was a beautiful day and I had survived. I exhaled and looked around and on the last little stretch walking up to the deserted guardhouse I realized someone was singing.
The song was 'Jennifer Juniper' and it was being sung badly. By Robert. Bob to his friends. And he was singing it to me!
He told me it was his favorite name...his daughter was named Jennifer. It was the only good thing his ex-wife had ever done...letting him name their only child Jennifer.
He told me to come back again soon. I told him I hoped that I wouldn't have to.
And then he shouted "Bye!" to me as I crossed the dusty driveway to get to my car.
When I was driving back, I called Mr. Jenny to tell him about the whole experience.
When I told him about the guard he said, "I'm not surprised. People always do weird stuff around you."
Is that a curse do you think?
But the good thing is that I know how to visit a Homeland Security Facility correctly now.
And now you know how to do it, too, should the need arise.
And if you have to go and Bob tries to yell at you, just tell him you're a friend of mine.
And sing a little bit of 'Jennifer Juniper' to him.