How's It Hanging?

Life in the penis gallery, and other mixed nuts in Boulder.

How about annoyance to a cast of thousands? Once again, Boulder rises to the occasion.

Yeah, That's the Ticket!

Since we announced our "My DIA Horror Story" contest, the head of United Airlines, the primary culprit in many tales of woe, has stepped down (collecting at least $3 million as a consolation prize); Argenbright Security, the London-based company that has the contract to provide security-screening services at Denver International Airport and numerous other airports, has been cited for hiring felons (including one who let a traveler with seven knives through in Chicago) and violating probation, and has dumped its CEO; and even Denver officials have recognized that while United and Argenbright are nominally responsible for the mess at DIA, the city should perhaps step in and help out, since being listed as one of the country's top three worst-wait airports is one honor this award-happy, tourist-dependent town can do without.

But before DIA took action to cut down those endless waits, our readers suffered injustices ranging from the major (missed honeymoon flights) to the minor (undue attention paid to cheap nail clippers that the traveler was willing to toss in order to get the line moving). Some problems could have been solved with clearer communication (one woman wasted two hours moving from line to line on the instruction of assorted DIA workers, only to learn that she'd been in the correct line in the first place); others by leaving the flask at home (one fellow was forced to take a nip at 8 a.m. in order to prove he wasn't toting poison); still more if everyone had simply removed their clothes and flown naked. Stories of near-strip searches abounded, with women required to lift sweaters and men to unzip flies; one fellow reported that his shoes were lost.

One fashion disaster was reported by a witness rather than the victim herself, perhaps because she was too embarrassed to admit that she's the last person on the planet to wear a dickey. (For those who missed this stylish invention, a dickey is essentially a bib that lends the look, but not the bulk, of a turtleneck). At security, a screener wanded and frisked this woman, then demanded that she take off her overshirt. I can't, she responded, because all I have underneath is a dicky, not a turtleneck. Take off your shirt, the screener insisted. But I'm wearing a dickey, she repeated. Take off your shirt, or we won't be able to let you through. Finally, the woman reached up and removed...her dickey, flinging it into the crowd.

Winner Kathy Cottrell's horror story had everything: people begging her to cancel her trip to New York, scheduled just two weeks after the terrorist attacks; a sister she hadn't seen for four years waiting at the other end; a five-hour ordeal clearing security (she'd arrived at DIA three hours before the flight, the then-recommended time) that made her miss her plane; standing by for another flight, then having that plane sit at the gate for hours. Finally, she landed at LaGuardia -- only to discover that her luggage was still back in Denver, no doubt being searched for dangerous dickeys. When she arrived at LaGuardia for her return -- three and a half hours early -- the trip from curb to gate took a total of twenty minutes.

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