TSA 1 – JVH 0
We were fortunate enough to be asked to play Family Feud in the Paylock booth at the IPI. It was the last day and for some reason (probably some kind of Texas sly move) IPI Chair elect Lilliana Rambo of the City of Houston and her “Texas Family” threw the game and the Parking Today Family won. I was singularly unsuccessful but my team (Andy, Marcy, and a ringer from ACS Tamara) held up their end. WE WON! What does any of this have to do with the TSA – Read on.
We were given great prizes, the one I will cherish is a Starship Enterprise pizza cutter. It’s really ABFAB. Andy won a wine opener and since I am the heavy drinker in the family, he graciously gave it to me. Whatta boy! And therein turns the tale.
I was to fly to LA on Wednesday evening. However weather was against me and flights were late so I elected to reschedule and take an early AM flight on Thursday. I tossed everything in my bag and made it to the airport with barely 45 minutes to spare. The lines were long and when I got through the scanner I noticed that the TSA person at the monitor was calling everyone over to look at the exray of my bag. Then they asked nicely if I would mind if they searched my luggage. The plot thickens. I was sure they were after the pizza cutter.
They spread my unmentionables all over the place and then asked “Do you have a set of brass knuckles in your bag?” Whoops – the corkscrew was in the shape of a great pair of brass knuckles.
Oh yeah, says I. it was a prize I won playing Family Feud. I rummaged around and came up with the offending item. I figured I would simply toss it and that would be the end. HA At that point TSA went in to Slow Motion – I was cursing Cory.
They spent five minutes looking for paperwork and begin filling it out. I asked if I couldn’t simply throw it away. Nope – gotta fill out two pages of data with everything about me. I was cursing Bart.
Then it got interesting. The police arrived. I looked confused. They didn’t. A big strapping patrol officer told me that he was now trying to decide whether or not to arrest me for a felony – bringing a weapon (that of course is not even allowed in Pennsylvania) through security and trying to sneak it on an airplane. I am now cursing Matt.
He was actually reading the fine print on the blister pack that held the offending item. He looked at me. “I am running you. Is there anything you want to tell me?” I am cursing Cory’s parents.
(I have this minor problem. There are two of me. Same name, same birth date, both live in LA. My doppelganger is a felon. I tell him. He says – Oh, that’s ok. We run into that all the time. Usually DNA tests can get you out of prison} I am cursing even the concept of booting and enforcement.
He finishes reading the fine print and decides that I’m probably not a felon and says that yes it’s a “curio.” He will let me off with a strong warning. He says it’s legal to sell the item as a “curio” but it’s illegal to own one. I look at him and he just smiles – “Yeah, I know,” he says.” Makes no sense.”
Things are starting to look up. TSA now reappears in the form of a non uniformed woman whose job it was to make me understand that they were only doing their jobs and that if I thought about it, I was really the one in the wrong here. She did not succeed, but I kept my mouth shut. First time for everything.
The TSA uniform returns with the paperwork and my tickets and ID. The cop returns with a form that I should sign. He said he would fill it in later =-= all routine, nothing to see here.
I signed and hurried to my plane. Was able to walk on board just as the door closed. Whew
Thinking back on it, all’s well that ends well. So thanks to Cory, Matt, Bart, and the rest of the Paylock team and their various relatives and parents, this is a story I will be able to tell forever. But because of the TSA I won’t have the pleasure of wearing brass knuckles when I open a fine vintage red.