On the way to San Francisco on Friday afternoon, I accidentally left my laptop at the security checkpoint at JFK. They were taking an unusually long time with my carry-ons, and my items didn’t come out of the machine in the same order they went in. (I think the Eileen’s cheesecake I was carrying had something to do with it; the screener, who looked a bit like Eileen herself, was sort of eyeing me with a bemused but knowing look as she ran my bakery box back and forth through the scanner.)
Anyway, as we were all waiting to board the plane, I saw photographer and viral-video star Noah Kalina walk up up to the gate. I was like, “Hey! That’s Noah Kalina! I’m going to tweet that we’re on the same flight and then go introduce myself.” (I’ve been a fan of his work since I started seeing his restaurant interior shots on Eater years ago, and I think he’s commented once or twice on my Flickr photos, and I know a lot of the same people he does, but I’ve never met him.)
I wanted to @message him in the tweet, and since I couldn’t remember if he was @noahkalina or @kalina, I figured I’d consult the web via my laptop instead of trying to blindly guess it on my phone (he’s @noahkalina).
So when I went to pull out my laptop and … “FUCK! I left my machine at security!”
With only minutes to initial boarding, I ran back through the terminal and retrieved the computer. Luckily it was still there and they hadn’t sent it to lost and found or blown it up as a suspicious package. Conveniently—but perhaps not super securely—they didn’t even challenge me to prove the computer was mine. So I guess if you ever want a free laptop, just skulk around the security area and watch for someone to leave a computer. Then just run around a bit, get sweaty and frantic-looking, and then tell them you left your MacBook and can you get it back.
By the time I got back to the gate, Noah had already boarded and was in his seat with earbuds in. I ended up finding him at baggage claim at SFO, introduced myself, and thanked him for saving my stupid ass.
Noah, if you’re reading this, thanks again!