Thursday, February 01, 2007

tales from the couch

I know that I haven't been posting (much) of late. That's mostly because I'm bloody exhausted after two weeks of school, and the only thoughts that seem to come to my mind are about how I really, really abhor law school. Since that's pretty much the theme of every post I've posted since I started this blog, I figured that you're all pretty much tired of hearing me ramble on and on about how law school was the biggest mistake of my life.

I also realized that, through not posting, I also didn't tell some of my awesome vacation stories. (For those of you that don't know, I spent a week at Disney World, two weeks in Florida, and a week in Richmond.) (Side note: how obvious is it that I want nothing to do with Madison?)

So now, I give you Volume One of my Tales from the Couch: Me vs. the TSA

Setting: Orlando International Airport
Actors: Me, Mom, Dad, Sister, TSA Worker

So we're at the airport on our way home from Disney World. Mom has all the breakable items in her carry-on bag, mostly because anything you actually want to keep should not be touched by the baggage handlers. (Especially if you're traveling through O'Hare, as I've now learned.)

One of these items is my sister's cup that sort of doubles as a snow globe. (The sides of the cup have little pieces of glitter and plastic stars floating in liquid inside.) I wish I could explain it better than that, but whatever.

TSA Worker lady starts searching my mom's bag, mostly because it's a bunch of large objects wrapped in several layers of paper. The Worker asks Mom if she has any liquid, and Mom mentions the liquid in the sides of the cup. Worker then tells Mom that, if she wanted to keep the cup, she shouldn't have mentioned it - since it's liquid, it can't go through security.

At this point, I'm just stepping through the metal detector and hearing the tail end of this conversation. So I hear the TSA Worker telling my mother that because the sides of the cup could freeze and burst, it can't be taken on a plane. I ask about the 3-ounces-of-liquid rule, but the Worker brushes me off. So then I (not so politely) tell her that, if they're going to pull this crap on tourists, that they need to do a better job of explaining that vacation souvenirs need to be shipped home via the postal service (because baggage handlers suck). She snottily replies that they "tell the theme parks" that, but it obviously didn't work because there's obviously no one at the park who's concerned with anything other than getting their $20 for a sparkly plastic cup. At this point, my mother pretty much drags me away, because she apparently didn't want to have to worry about me getting arrested in Florida.

We take the tram over to the other terminal, still angry at these people (except my sister, who is crying because (a) we're all mad, and (b) it was about the only souvenir she actually wanted). So I mention the 3-ounces rule again, and that basic physics would mean that an 8-ounce cup with barely-quarter-inch sides probably didn't contain over 3 ounces of liquid. So my parents decide to go back to the TSA Worker to get a better explanation of why this cup was problematic.

Fast-forward twenty minutes of my sister and I talking about how we're going to make it home if Mom and Dad end up arrested. Parents come back with the cup. TSA Worker, instead of asking us to wait at the security checkpoint, waited until we left to actually talk to her supervisor about the cup with very little liquid. She then explains to the Parents that, well, if we had put the cup in a plastic bag before running it through security, there would be no problem.

Why they couldn't just re-run the cup through security while we were still there, I don't know. Why people think that terrorists are more likely to put liquid bombs in souvenir cups from Disney World than they are into cell phones, laptops, PSPs, PDAs, or iPods, I don't know. All I know is that I managed to tell off a TSA Worker without getting arrested. I win.

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At 7:00 PM, Blogger some guy said...

It's absolutely terrifying that people with this level of intelligence are responsible for our nation's security. These are the people that are supposed to prevent another 9-11? Scary.


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