Sometimes the glamorous life of a network news correspondent isn't all that glamorous. Take Sunday morning, for example.
Pope Benedict's final mass was scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. The media was instructed to be at the security check point at 6 a.m. Security has been extremely tight around this pontiff's visit and some experts say it's not this elaborate for a visit by President Bush. Does that strike anyone else as strange?
Anway, the Secret Service is in charge of all the security --- and boy --- do they like to put us media types through the wringer.
Here's what was supposed to happen: Show up at the Sheraton Hotel at 6 a.m., get screened, get your equipment screened, get on a bus, and arrive at Yankee Stadium in time for a hot dog and a bathroom break.
Here's what really happened: I got there at 6 a.m. and was told that the broadcasters would be among the last journalists allowed into the stadium. By NOON, we were finally informed that it was time to go through security.
Friends, if you haven't been searched by the Secret Service, you don't know what you are missing. It's nice to know our tax dollars are hard at work. After waiting in line for six hours, several of us were talking among ourselves --- wondering how the agents would respond to a "Customer Satisfaction Survey."
It would go something like this:
How would you rate your body cavity search today?
B. A bit bumpy
By 1:45, we arrived at the stadium -- just in time to run up the stairs, locate our spots in the tiny press box, discover we did not have phone service, and breathlessly get on the air. It wasn't until I squeezed into my seat that I realized I had forgotten to visit the facilities. It's a rather unpleasant feeling, especially after eight cups of coffee. I was in especially dire straits because my friend, the female religion editor, was my seat mate. Therefore, a Gatorade bottle was out of the question.
Well, as it so happened, this story has a happy ending. I found the facilities, we made it on the air without a hitch and the pope preached a pretty good sermon.
As for Secret Service --- well --- at least there wasn't any waterboarding.