Saturday, December 18, 2010

airports, illegal weapons, and the TSA police

So you may think that this looks like a real gun.... well, so did the police (TSA) at the airport. Adam (Sego) and I were happy to find out that we had the same flight home - so at least I had someone to share the madness with. The airport adventure began like any other. Janet had warned us not to go through the "special scanner" because apparently it strips you naked and the airport personnel can see, well, EVERYTHING. I vowed to avoid that line. Only, I wasn't so lucky. We were running a tad bit late and so I jumped into the shortest line to speed the process along. Bad idea. Yep, you know what happened. There was a reason the line was so short.

So, after enduring that embarrassment, I was waiting patiently for my backpack, carry-on, and shoes to come down the line. Red lights started flashing and an old security guard confiscated my backpack. He said there was something "suspicious" inside. I realized that I hadn't removed my pepper spray and got a little worried! He was frustrated to find that I had my purse and my makeup back inside of my backpack and sighed heavily and told me it was going to "be a while." I wondered whether you could get arrested for bringing pepper spray into the airport. Well, it wasn't the pepper spray (he didn't even find that!). Instead, he found my little bottle of vanilla lotion... which passed the test because it was only 3 ounces. Phew, with that crisis averted, I looked back to get my carry-on bag. What I saw was not good. There was a group of security guards huddled around the monitor x-raying my bag... pointing... muttering... and CALLING THE POLICE. Uh oh. The old man security guard informed me that I was "in lots of trouble." Adam was just laughing... and honestly I was too. I hope it wasn't disrespectful. 

So, the police came and looked at the monitor. The old man security guard asked me whether I had anything I needed to tell him. Whether I needed to "confess." I confessed all right. I told him I had clothes and Christmas presents in there. The police walked over and took me to the side and asked me in a calm manner, "Ma'am, do you have anything in your bag that might resemble, you know... a gun?" I had to think about it for about 3 seconds and realized that I DID have a gun in my bag! Not a real one though. I bought my brother a nifty miniature potato gun for Christmas (see picture below). Unfortunately, it does look like a gun... even made out of metal! Long story short, they confiscated my arsenal and I was allowed to pass w/out handcuffs.

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