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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My deadly toothpaste or my bloody Valentine?

I've been home for a while and it's been nice. Though I've taken a couple of roadtrips in recent months, my domestic and international travel schedule has been slow. In fact, the last time I was on a plane was two days after the now infamous Liquid-A-Go-Go Scare of August 2006. Even though I was flying out of a notoriously slow airport (and one that had been visited by 9/11 terrorists), my trip was pretty routine. Mundane, even.

My travel season is about to pick up again with flights both domestic and international. While I'll certainly check my bags when I fly overseas, I prefer to carry-on, if possible, during domestic flights. Anyone who flies on a regular basis knows that lost luggage, or even waiting at the baggage carousel can be a real drag. Plus, carrying-on forces a traveler to pack lighter (read: only what he needs).

Based on the Liquid-A-Go-Go Scare, I wasn't sure what I would now be allowed to carry on and what I would have to leave behind. As I have referenced in previous posts, my middle-aged vanity is getting the better of me and I have a few products that have to come with me, no matter where I go.

So, I hit up the TSA website to determine what was allowed and what was not. Apparently, many liquid and gel products are no longer verboten, as long as you carry three ounces or less. For instance, my clear stick anti-perspirant/deodorant is cool becauase it comes in a 2 oz. container. Same goes for a little hair product I use. However, I'll have to downsize my toothpaste and shaving cream. Once I have made the trip to the drug store for the requisite downsizing, I have to find a way to fit all I need into a single one-quart ziplock bag. Any variaton from said scheme could result in a body cavity search by Hoppy the Long-Fingered TSA Agent.

I'm all for security. I don't even mind having to put forth a little extra effort to make people feel a little safer when they are going to see Grandma for the holidays. If I have to carry a smaller version of my Aquafresh Whitening, so be it.

But, after looking over the TSA site, I think I've found a flaw in the logic somewhere. For instance, while my wife can't carry on more than three ounces of saline solution, anyone (including Joe Terrorist), can carry on the following:

  • Corkscrew--Anyone who has seen True Romance knows that corkscrews, especially in the hands of a woman fighting for her man, can be a really nasty weapons. And I won't even mention what happened to Crispin Glover in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.


  • Knitting needles--Knitting needles? You gotta be kidding me. I mean, yeah, as this guy points out, knitting needles may not be really strong, but making one that is strong wouldn't be a feat of science. Hell, a knitting needle just looks dangerous. I recall one episode of CSI where the writers used it as a murder weapon.

  • Scissors--The web site stipulates that the scissors can be metal with pointed tips, as long as the blades are shorter than four inches in length. Four inches? I can't have more than three ounces of shaving cream, but somebody can carry something that could plunge four inches into my body? I mean four inches is pretty damned deep, no matter what my wife says.

    And here's the one that finally set me over the edge.

  • Toy Transformer Robots--Robots? Fucking robots can get on the plane? Sure, the TSA says they have to be "toys," but how many times have we seen a perfectly innocent looking robot vaporize scores of people with the push of a button. Motherfucking robots.

    So, I'll go to CVS and get my miniature products. And I'll declare them at the gate. And I'll do it all with a smile. But when a robot terrorist stabs an air marshal in the back with a knitting needle, uses a corkscrew to take out his eye, slits his throat with a pair of scissors and then vaporizes the lot of us, don't blame me if I say I told you so.

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    My Thanksgiving flight home found me on the same plane as the UT-Arlington women's basketball team, the majority of which were avid knitters. I couldn't believe no one was stopping them with those things. I can't carry my makeup bag, but they can be armed?? I'd wager it's a hell of a lot easier to kill someone with a knitting needle than with a 2 oz. of face wash.

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