Flying Is No Fun Anymore, Part 2
Last weekend, Airport Security left a bad taste in my mouth. Literally.
The TSA folks took my toothpaste. They also absconded with my beloved tube of rich and creamy Gold Bond Lotion, the magical substance that keeps my collagen-deprived skin from looking like oven-roasted crepe paper.
I had assumed since the items were not really liquids and both containers only held small amounts of product, they would pass muster. Apparently not. Only Barbie-sized bottles of potentially explosive liquids, creams, and gels are legit these days.
"What happens to these things?" I asked, relieved that I didn't bring my Elizabeth Arden miracle elixir that costs as much as a one-way plane ticket. "Can I come claim them later?" (These days, I need every drop of help I can get in the skin department.)
"Nope," the burly toothpaste gatekeeper murmured seriously. "We get rid of them. We don't even donate them to charity."
Well, of course not, I thought to myself. I mean, they're potentially dangerous, life-threatening items, right? Imagine the carnage if a big tube of toothpaste exploded on impact at the local night shelter. There could be all sorts of terror lurking inside that crumpled tube. Nitro glycerin. Nerve gas. An atom bomb. I certainly hope the rejected toiletries are handled carefully by a properly-trained HazMat team.
I was also deemed a problem traveler because the plastic bag holding my creamy contraband exceeded TSA plastic bag size regulations. Not wishing to be a felon, I worked to suppress a snappy comeback when I heard these words:
"Um, ma'am — your Baggie's too big."
What? I beg your pardon?
I must have missed the memo saying it had to be one quart sized. After some discussion, and some peering into my supersized Baggie to determine there was nothing else in it, (Duh!) I was allowed to pass.
Kate was the next problem child. She held up the snakey line of cranky 6 a.m. travelers for a good five minutes by befuddling the X-ray machine with her mystery shoes, new ballet flats which had some kind of hidden steel-lined sole that the machine couldn't see through. After a good bit of head scratching from several TSA employees, a mother's plea that the child could hardly visit New York City barefoot, and a consultation with a supervisor, we were finally let through.
Later, I saw Kate pull a 4-oz bottle of spray perfume from her purse. I guess they overlooked it, even though I'm pretty sure it's a flammable liquid violation.
And sadly, not useful as a mouthwash.