Who knew that the TSA had a blog?! And that this blog details the delightful smorgasbord of crap that TSA agents confiscate from airline travelers?! A spear gun here. 240 live fish there. Countless live and inert grenades. Consider my mind grapes blown.
Because I still believe in humanity, I am choosing to assume that no one is that stupid. Instead, I will assume that people do this for the same reason they show up in the ER with odd objects – bottles of shampoo, beepers, books (all true) — inside them: because they wanted to see if they could. (Ok, that may be the second reason people show up in the ER with objects inside them, but the first reason is outside of the scope of this blog.)
I understand that “well, maybe I’ll pull it off” feeling (important note: this refers only to the TSA portion of the above, NOT to the shampoo bottle/beeper/book portion). My weapon of choice? Mott’s apple sauce.
A few years ago, when I was a poor PR rep instead of a poor grad student, I did not want to pay an arm and a leg for food at the airport. So, before leaving my apartment, I put a container of apple sauce in my purse even though it was more than 3 oz and I was pretty sure it was considered a liquid/gel. Yeah, I’m a wild woman. I also apparently have the snack preferences of a risk-averse toddler.
While waiting in line to get my boarding pass, I began chatting with a cute guy. Mid-conversation, I imagined what he would say at our wedding: “When I saw her baggy sweatpants, baby blue neck pillow stained from years of soda and coffee spills during turbulence and her armload of celebrity gossip magazines, I knew I wanted to marry her.” Yes, this was the kind of unshakable love upon which so many Nicholas Sparks novels are based. After we both had our documents in hand, we proceeded to security together.
And then things got…embarrassing. A TSA agent pulled the apple sauce out of my purse and informed me that it could not be carried on. I gave him my best “I’m small and hungry” face to no avail. I argued with him about the classification of the product as a gel. He wouldn’t budge. Meanwhile, my gentleman friend had slowly edged away, moved to a different security line and was already removing his shoes. I can’t imagine why – what man wouldn’t want to hang with a 26-year-old woman making a scene about a container of apple sauce?
The TSA agent gave me the option of throwing out the apple sauce or eating it before I proceeded through the checkpoint. I locked eyes with my man, now through the X-ray machine. I had a tough decision to make. Potential future bliss and lifelong companionship? Or No Sugar Added, Vitamin C-rich apple deliciousness?
As I sat there snacking, I sarcastically thanked the TSA agent for costing me a chance with my soul mate. And in a moment I’ll never forget, the TSA agent looked me right in the eye and said “Your soul mate would have stood by you while you ate your apple sauce.” Wise words, Mr. TSA agent. Wise words.
Tell me your airport security war stories!