Last week, I traveled to Washington, D.C. Though I was there only a few days, we managed to see a lot of stuff, mostly drive-bys with the intent of scoping out the territory, so to speak.
But this is not about the trip.
This is about the pre-trip part of the journey.
One of the things I do is pack lightly. I am a master at packing. I can manage to pack for five days in a carry-on and still have room for any shopping I wish to do. I am also cognizant of all travel restrictions so I avoid packing any liquids or fragile items. Also, I dress accordingly: no bulky jackets, no boots, no extra bling, no hair clips. Still, due to the fact that I have a rather unconventional hobby, I am bound to be flagged for swabbing or for a thorough search consisting of a pat down by Guido the Supervisor.
But not this time. This time I was sent through TSA Pre and walked right through the X-ray machine with no incident. I was one happy gal. Until I noticed my bag wasn’t coming through the conveyor belt. The agent took it out and re-ran it through, twice. And the third time she called the supervisor over.
Ok, now I was sweating a bit. I reviewed where the bag had been before. No, not the range (wrong bag for that), and no one had borrowed it. Nope, never left my home unless it was with me. The supervisor signaled me over and asked a few questions, specifically if there was anything in the bag that could cut him or physically harm him in any way. Uh, no, unless you think the mascara wand can be hostile. He swabs the inside and proceeds to test it, honing in on the area that sets off the alarm. He begins to dig through my clothing. I am painfully aware of other people watching as he takes out my undies and places them aside. Why the hell didn’t he move the jacket and shirts?? Finally, the culprit was found.
That’s right. The package of Thin Mints was setting off the TSA alarm.
The supervisor took them out and scanned just in case, and turns to me and says, “You know, we like these cookies…”. And with a smile I replied, “And so do I.” He had the good grace to laugh and let me repack my bag. My mortification was further enhanced when the young girl next to a lady piped up and said, “Mom, she has the same panties you do”. I smiled and nodded to the outed Soma™ addict in commiseration, grabbed my bag and ran to my gate.
The moral of the story: never take cookies in your carry-on, and always pack your undies under everything else. It could have been worse, though. I could have been carrying haggis 🙂