Chad’s backpack was vibrating.
For a good, round ten seconds he stared at the bag and scarcely registered the reality of the situation. He heard the low, mechanical hum and saw the hummingbird-like movement from within the front pocket, but for that first long moment his brain rejected the information it was being fed. What’s that sound? he thought, innocent to the end. Whose bag is making that sound?
Then the airport security lady’s hand came down on the bag – his only carry-on luggage – and as though from a long way away he heard her voice ask, “May I take a look in your bag, sir?”
His mind screamed, “NO!” but he heard his voice crack out a hesitant, “Yes…”
The security lady grasped the zipper just above the embroidered words that had congratulated his crew on surpassing one million man-hours without a lost-time accident, and as she began to pull the pocket open Chad heard his coworkers in line behind him trying, and failing, to surprise their giggles.
I won’t let them see that they’ve gotten to me, he thought. I won’t give them the satisfaction.
The security lady’s hand came out of the backpack grasping a little hot-pink remote with two buttons, and attached to that remote was a long hot-pink wire, at the end of which dangled a bright hot-pick ball. The ball vibrated wildly as it swung back and forth in the air in front of her.
Chad’s coworkers were in hysterics now, and although he was trying his hardest not to look her in the eye, he could tell that the security lady was struggling to restrain a smile herself.
“Shall I remove the batteries for you, sir?” she asked as other passengers whispered to one another and snickered. The coworkers roared openly.
That was the day Chad vowed he would have his revenge.