It's Saturday morning and I'm at Penn Station in NYC sitting in the Amtrak waiting area.
It's 11:00 AM and I just went to the bathroom for the first time at a train station, while traveling alone in this post 9/11 world.
I mention this because most of the time, when traveling by train or plane, it's with my wife Carol.
This time I'm traveling on my own, and I've got two bags and a tripod. I've got a sweet seat with a power adapter, so I didn't want to give it up, and I didn't want to lug everything for a short trip to the bathroom.
So I asked a fellow passenger to watch my bag while I stepped away. He said he would, BUT he was only staying until 11:30. I told him I'd be back in 5 minutes.
As I made my way to the bathroom, I noticed police officers all around and then realized that I had just left unattended baggage! Oh my.
What if the guy I asked to watch my bags had to answer questions about the unattended bags? I'm sure all he could say was that someone that he didn't know, asked him to watch the bags.
At that point I'm sure that they'd evacuate Penn Station because of my unattended bag, and then I'd emerge from the rest room with a phalanx of police aiming their AK 47's at my head.
"Down on the ground," they'd yell.
While on the ground I'd realize that shoving my Powerbook power adapter into my suitcase with the wires hanging out probably wasn't the greatest idea.
Ordering a large cranberry juice at breakfast wasn't the greatest idea either.
That, combined with two cups of decaf coffee, lead to the unattended baggage ordeal, which ended up with me face down on the dirty floor of Penn Station.
"Let's see some ID," they'd yell.
As I would slowly open my wallet, they'd glance at the contents and immediately want to know why there were TWO Massachusetts drivers licenses peaking over their holding areas.
Note: I've got two licenses because we always order a duplicate for my wife and I always carry it in my wallet so she doesn't have to carry a pocketbook on the weekends.
"We've got something fishy over here!" I'd overhear the officer yell into a shoulder mounted walkie-talkie.
The next thing that would happen is that I'd be taken away for questioning and the bomb squad would be called in to destroy my suitcase with it's contents of shirts, shorts and camera equipment.
Upon questioning that'd want to know why I was in NYC. I'd explain that I was here to film a behind the scenes documentary for an internet TV show, evolvetv.tv. What type of show they wanted to know.
I'd explain as best I could that it was a talk show that was out to provide an alternative to the typical Sunday Morning talk shows. This show would feature intelligent conversations between the most respected authorities on a subject and a knowledgeable interviewer.
"We've got a liberal, atheist, artist over here. Code red! Code red! Get the Saudi Arabian torture express gassed up and ready to roll."
Oh my. Unattended baggage is a poor life choice.
That guy who watched my bags earlier, just asked me to watch his.
"Sure, no problem," I replied.
Time for my train.