Florida Vacation 2008: TSA Competency

Terror is so easy.

People who know me long know that I always carry the exact same things in my pocket. Two of these things are banned from air travel by the TSA, perhaps the most pointless and inept division of anything ever. My always-empty zippo lighter is kind of an edge case, so I can see it being ignored…the other thing, not so much.

My ride for the airport arrived at 7:25am Saturday morning, so I was still sort of on autopilot. I tossed everything in my pockets that I normally take with me. When I got to security I unloaded the contents of my pockets into the bin, also on autopilot. When I got to the other side of the metal detector and started hurried putting myself back together, however, I realized what I had just done.

Sitting there in the grey plastic bin was my three-inch pocket knife. On the other side of security.

I tossed it in my pocket without missing a beat and walked off to meet my family. The TSA, who made me remove my $2 Wal-Mart flip flops just in case I was the terrorist equivalent of a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, who quickly patted down my frumpy-looking airport clothes to make sure I didn’t have anything strapped to my thighs or something, had completely missed the one thing they were supposed to spot.

Yet, I shudder to think what would happen if I had accidentally brought the 6 ounce bottle of shampoo.

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