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The Federal Building in Santa Ana, California.

The Federal Building in Santa Ana, California.

 

 

 

 

Let me remind everyone that, when entering a Federal Building, you are not allowed(read:prevented) to enter with a camera phone.

 

I had the occasion to go to the Ronald Regan Federal Building at the Civic Center Plaza in Santa Ana this last week, for personal business.  I arrived at 6:50 am and only 10 minutes before the doors opened.  I was first in line but not before I had started out in another line on another side of the building that wasn’t my line.

 

The doors opened promptly at 7am, I entered, and much like the airport, I was asked to put everything in a plastic basket.

“…This is a camera phone, you cannot take this into the building…” the guard said plain and even.

 

There was no joy, mockery or anythng other than “that” federal officiousness in his voice; he had to repeat it three times as I was completely un-able to comprehend the idea.  Normaly, a line “repeat” would mean the sun would set on me starting my car to go home in the Federal Building parking lot; at least that has always been my experience in the past.  No Cell Phone?  Go back to my car?  I heard the harsh, cold metalic slamming of a cell door, not the cool, engergized ring on my Motorola Razor, from the voice of the light blue uniformed judge behind the counter.  I understood now and the artist in me imagined the pain well enough to paint my own “Guernica.”

 

“…you will have to take it back to your car…” he added.

I turned to look at the line and there were only a few people, thankfuly, and as I left to return to my car, i hoped it would stay that way.  I thought to all the other tmes I had waited in lines at your average government office and my stomach started to hurt.  When I returned, there was no line and I went right in and emptied my pockets into the basket.  Passing through the metal detector, I was summoned to take off my boots and my belt and then passed through okay.  I sat down for not more than 5 minutes before they called me to the counter.  There were only 3 people in the waiting room. 

 

I was done with everything and on my way back to the car at 7:21am.  I couldn’t help think how interesting the changes 9/11 has brought to the United States.

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