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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Comedy Unfolding

One of my hobbies is trying to blow up planes.

Oh, I'm only kidding. I just try to think of ways that other people could blow up planes, then see if I can get around the security measures, just for kicks. I smuggled a quarter-ton of electronics into the Super Bowl, and I went through airport security with a live vibrator smuggled in my pants.

My latest experiment with TSA security happened by accident. I recently flew to Memphis on business, and while I was there I bought my wife a souvenir bottle of Vidalia onion salad dressing (pictured at left). Vidalia onions are one of the four food groups of the South, the other three being barbecue, fried foods, and gravy.

I purchased this Vidalia onion dressing at a Memphis souvenir shop (couldn't locate the Elvis Gravy), and told the cashier I was on my way out of town, so she wrapped it thoroughly in brown paper. I packed it in my carry-on bag, and forgot about it until I went through TSA screening at the airport, where I got singled out for a bag search.

Ah, yes. The "three ounces or less" rule. According to the TSA Web site, all liquids must be in "three-ounce or smaller containers," placed in a "single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag." I had a 12-ounce bottle of salad dressing, wrapped in suspicious brown paper. I felt this was close enough.

The TSA agent thought differently. "Sorry, we can't allow this on," she told me, unwrapping the bottle.

"It's only salad dressing," I told her, hoping to get her sympathy. "For my wife." Chicks love it when you talk about your wife. Unless they're your second wife.

"Sorry," she said. "I'll have to confiscate it."

"I'm pretty sure it doesn't contain explosives," I said, trying to win her over. "Unless we're talking about an explosion of flavor."

"You can take it back to the ticket counter and see if you can get it into your checked luggage," she said, smiling. "Your bag might still be there."

"That's true." I've been flying U.S. Airways a lot, and sometimes they do in fact keep the luggage right there at the counter, often for three or four weeks. Then they thoughtfully ship it to Central America. "My flight is in half an hour," I said, glancing at my watch as I put it back on. "I won't make it."

"We'll need to dispose of it, then," she said. "I'm sorry."

"All right," I sighed, defeated. "You guys can sell my dressing on the black market." I had seen a piece on 60 Minutes about how the government sells our confiscated items on eBay.

"Actually," she said, "we throw liquid items in that barrel right there." She nodded toward a blue trash barrel located next to the moving walkway.

"Okay," I said, putting my shoes back on. "Thanks for telling me that."
took my time packing up my things, watching her wrap the bottle loosely in the paper and drop it into the trash barrel.

I looked around casually. There weren't very many TSA agents servicing the area, and they were joking around, screening oncoming passengers, watching the X-ray monitor. Everyone's attention was focused elsewhere. No one was watching me.

I moseyed over to the walkway and glanced in the barrel. It was filled with half-empty coffee cups and discarded water bottles. There, on top of the trash, wrapped in its protective paper, was my salad dressing.

Now, keep in mind this was a trash barrel full of highly dangerous liquids and gels! More than three ounces of this stuff could take down an entire plane, and I was standing next to gallons of it!

Questions about the deadly liquids flooded my mind: why would these be dropped into an ordinary trash barrel, and not a special explosion-proof containment unit? Why would they combine the hazardous liquids so carelessly? Most importantly, why would they leave a barrel of liquid dynamite right next to innocent American air travelers?

Calmly, I reached down into that unstable barrel of atomic liquid and grabbed my salad dressing. Then I calmly boarded the moving walkway, and stuffed the salad dressing down my pants. The TSA lets you keep things there, apparently.

No one came after me. I have to be honest, it was almost like they wanted me to take it. The hardest part was returning a few minutes later to take these pictures on my cameraphone.
So I made it home with my salad dressing, which I proudly presented to my wife, leaving out the part about the filthy trash barrel and stuffing it down my pants. Risking arrest over salad dressing is romantic, but nestling it next to your yambag is a little weird.

The dressing, by the way, tasted like ass. I don't know why the TSA was so worried. It didn't blow us away at all.
via-Comedy articles

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