Honestly, I didn’t mean it to happen. I had no idea that just walking through the airport on the way to baggage claim would be the cause of the Heathrow Riots of 2006.
I know, I know, hard to beleive isn’t it? Little old me, responsible for 24 hour shut down of London’s Heathrow Airport. Let me tell you how it happened.
It started when I was born in 1976. People always said I looked like Angelina Jolie. No, I’m serious. My mom told me all the time. My dad even said so. They always said that if it weren’t for my blond hair and blue eyes and that I was too short by about a foot, that I’d be a dead ringer. Oh, and that I didn’t have quite the impressive rack or superb body. I didn’t work out or anything, so that part was a little off too, but still. Mommy and Daddy said so, so how could they be wrong?
At any rate, early last year I decided to travel to England. To make money, I decided to visit Vegas and get work as an Angelina impersonator. I got myself a dark wig and contacts and a boob job, and ended up in a dive off the strip that catered to drunks and pimps almost exclusively. There was a Tina Turner, Meg Ryan, Jessica Simpson, and me.
Surprisingly, the place would almost empty out by the time I got up to do my act. I had fitted myself out with a skintight bodysuit and got a bunch of knives that I would strap all over my arms and legs. My act consisted of throwing the knives at a dart board. I wasn’t very good at it, though, and the place had to let me go after I nearly skewered four or five of the patrons. No matter. I had my five days’ pay, and went back home with renewed confidence in my resemblance to Ms. Jolie. I always thought it odd that no one else noticed what was so apparent to my parents.
At any rate, it took me over a year to save the cash to take my dream vacation. Finally I had the money saved (surprisingly there was no work for an unemployed Angelina Jolie impersonator in Seattle, and so I made the money by working Starbucks on the weekends.) and I made my arrangements early in 2006.
I left the country on August 27, flying straight from Seattle to New York, then to Heathrow Airport. I was so excited! The morning of my flight, for fun, I decided to put on my brown wig that was left over from my impersonator days, popped in my contacts, stuck my iPod on my belt, and I was out the door. My flight left on time, I even got bumped to First Class! That was exciting.
I landed in New York at 3:00 AM. I had a plane change and almost missed the flight because there were people following me from my one plane to the next. I didn’t know what I wanted, but they almost made me miss my plane. Finally, I sank into my first class seat (upgraded again!), stuck my headphones on my ears, and crashed out.
I woke up when we were circling into the Heathrow airspace. There was a smiling, British-accented flight attendant bending over me, shaking my shoulder and offering me a warm towel. Wtf? What are you supposed to use that for?
No sooner than I refused the warm towel, than another flight attendant showed up, shoving a napkin at me and asking for my autograph. I was a little surprised, you know, because I’m not famous. But, hey, you know, I signed it anyway. Why not? The lady seemed really happy and ran off clutching the napkin to her chest like it was something really special. Chalk one up for 2N.
I exited the plane first, which was cool, and made my way out of the tunnel into the airport proper. One of the attendants at the door waved at me as I was leaving, then turned and whispered excitedly to the attendant next to her. In no time, I had a bunch of people behind me, just like in New York. I was puzzled, but not too worried…not at that point, at least.
I stopped at a Starbucks on my way to baggage claim. The lady behind the counter could barely speak – I remember thinking that they would hire anyone these days – and forgot to charge me for my drink. I tried to pay, but i couldn’t understand a word she was saying. So I accepted the drink and continued on my way. At this point, I was starting to get a little concerned. I ducked into the bathroom to change my sweater – I had a ton of dog hair on it that I didn’t notice till then – and when I came out, there was a group of people all surrounding the bathroom! I tried to duck through, thinking that they might be waiting for someone else. As soon as I neared the fringe of the crowd, though, people started reaching out and grabbing my sleeve, or my arm, or even my hair!
I started to get really freaked out. I pulled my hood up over my head, and physically pushed my way through the crowd. People started yelling, “Angelina! Angelina!” My ears were filled with the sounds of people asking for autographs and even personal items! Someone even asked for my underwear! Talk about being freaked out!!
I broke into a run, my laptop bag banging against my legs. As previously mentioned, I don’t work out, so I was out of breath within three minutes. That alone should have convinced those idiots that I wasn’t Angelina! But they were paying no attention. I just kept running until I thought I was going to collapse. Finally, I could see the security checkpoint up ahead. I started screaming my head off, shouting for security. I sailed through the checkpoint, made it one…two…three strides…until I was tackled from behind. My sunglasses went flying, my laptop in one direction, my purse in another, and the whole time the security guard was yelling in my ear. I started yelling back, and I could hear my crowd of “fans” yelling too, from behind me. Suddenly, the security guard was yanked off me. I could see garbage cans flying through the air, garbage spewing everywhere. I heard walkie talkies spitting and hissing instructions as security guards converged from everywhere. Sharp British accents screamed orders, barely cutting over the roar of the crowd behind the checkpoint. People were gathering snapping photos, shouting at the security guards. Stuff started sailing through the air. Sirens started blaring and lights were flashing everywhere. Suddenly whatever passed for the National Guard swarmed all over the place, and voices started shouting that the airport was in lockdown.
I was bewildered. How could this happen?
I guess it just goes to show…Mommy and Daddy are always right.