Now that the Homeland Security funding crisis is over (at least for now), we know we can be assured of safer air travel. And, potentially, the loss of some of our favorite possessions.
I recall a trip to South Beach Miami to escape the cold East Coast winter. I was seeing sites, meeting people, and burning calories when I encountered a very well-stocked cigar shop.
I am not a big smoker, but I used to play lots of golf and respect the folkways of exchanging stogies with the fellas on the green. When the owner sagaciously offered me a free smoke, I felt obligated to buy something.
I saw this great lighter… he called it a “torch.” It would maintain its flame even in a hurricane. I thought that it does get windy some days, and it would be great to light a cigar in the wind or even a light drizzle.
I said, “I’ll take it!”
At the airport, a TSA agent scanned my bag and asked if I had “A Tradesman’s Tool?” I had no idea what he was talking about. After several repeated searches and x-rays of my bag… he determined the red flag was my brand new lighter.
He said, “I’ll take it!”
And, with that, he confiscated my brand new $80 torch.
That memory came as I stood in the security line at LAX while the TSA guy insisted that I must have had a knife in my laptop bag. He removed all of the contents and nuked the bag repeatedly… but no knife.
Finally, he determined it was one of my pens, but they were not nice enough to confiscate (fortunately, I kept my Mont Blanc and Waterman pens at home). Still, one can’t win them all.