Just when you think it’s not possible to have any more contempt for the TSA, they find a new way to be even more worthy. I was flying home from Spokane last night, and our Brave Forces in Blue discovered (I’m not making this up, I swear) a deadly weapon in my carry-on bag. After two trips through the xray machine, a ton of digging around in my bag, and a big conference that involved every single TSA Tard on duty crowded around the xray machine, they declared my ballpoint pen (and I quote) a “deadly weapon”. The supervisor informed me of this in very grave tones. I told her it was a ballpoint pen that my son had given me for Fathers’ Day two years ago, and that it had been through TSA well over one hundred times since then. She told me that this was irrelevant, and that since the agent at the scanner had declared it a weapon, I could not bring it on the plane with me. I asked her if she had anybody smarter that could look at it, and she got really huffy about the whole thing. She informed me that I could keep my pen, but that I would have to go put it in my checked luggage. I asked her if she thought the airline would be willing to go dig around through the bags that had already been checked in to find mine so I could add the pen, and she looked thoughtful for a moment, then said she said no, they wouldn’t do that. Asking why she had offered this as an option if she knew it wasn’t possible didn’t improve her mood at all. She finally agreed to give me my pen back, and I could mail it back to myself, but only if she walked it out of the “safe zone” (I think that’s what she called it) and handed it to me in the “unsecured area”. To top it all off, they pretty much almost waved my bag through the second time, since they had already seen it. Good thing I didn’t load it with explosives, guns, and knives while I was out of view mailing my pen to myself.
Thank God we were saved from another potential 9/11 due to my ballpoint pen. So now my pen is entrusted to the second least competent agency of the US Government, the US Postal Service.
PS, Hello NSA guys. I hate you, too.