Begin forwarded message:
From: Tim Meehan <meehant () gmail com>
Date: November 13, 2006 9:03:31 PM EST
To: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Cc: Declan <declan () well com>, Loretta Nall <cnall1 () charter net>
Subject: Tampon Rage - Ala. Gubernatorial candidate once again
experiences security problems...
You may remember Loretta:
And from this just past electoral campaign:
And now, the final insult...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Loretta Nall <cnall1 () charter net>
Date: Nov 13, 2006 8:33 PM
My trip to California the day after the election was my first trip on
a plane in over a year. I haven't missed flying not one iota. I hate
to fly. For one thing landing makes my eardrums feel like they are
turning inside out while having ice picks driven into them. It's
AWFUL! Not to mention that hurtling through the air in a metal
over 600 miles per hour 36,000 feet off the ground is a tad unnerving
in its own right.
Not to be outdone in the unpleasant department the federal government
has made airport security such a cluster-fuck that from now on I
I will just show up in my bathrobe completely naked underneath with
some lube and a rubber glove for the untrained TSA agent that
apparently just walked in off the street. That oughta simplify shit
Here is what happened this go round.
Not having flown in over a year I had forgotten the latest assertion
by the government that Gatorade and other liquids can magically
transform themselves into bombs and blow up planes. Other liquids
apparently include mouthwash, Oil of Olay, shampoo, body wash and
lotion. You see....I bought a bunch of travel sized goodies for my
trip and packed them in my carry-on luggage just like I always do.
When my backpack went through the x-ray machine it was pulled and I
got the usual "Who's bag is this?" from the TSA agent.
Dammit, it's five a.m. too early for this...what could possibly be in
the bag to set it off?
Me: "It's mine"
TSA Agent: "May I have a look inside?"
Me: I wonder what would happen if I said no and if I really have any
choice in the matter at all...
"Yes you can look in the bag."
The TSA Agent proceeds to paw through my personal belongings pulling
out things like tampons, hair rollers, socks and so forth. He takes
out my travel size Listerine, shampoo, body wash, my full size Oil of
Olay, my chap stick and a few other small but costly items.
TSA Agent: "All of the liquid toilet items must be under 3 ounces and
they must all be in a clear plastic bag if they are in your carry-on.
You can check them and they do not have to be in a clear plastic
I tell him I do not have a clear plastic bag and ask what difference
it makes whether they are in a clear plastic bag in my carry on or
loose in my checked baggage. He has no answer to that question.
TSA Agent: "Dem's jus da rules ma'am."
I am not sure there is any phrase that infuriates me more than that
one. I'd almost prefer going deaf to ever hearing it again. Of course
ome smart ass government official would teach it to the TSA agents
all other government nazi's in sign language so I suppose even
deafness would offer no sanctuary.
He tells me that the sandwich shop clear on the other side of the
airport will sell me one for $1.50 but in order to go and get one I
would have to go all the way back through security and come back
again. Not gonna happen.
He tells me that I can keep all of the stuff if I place it in my
checked baggage. That too would entail going all the way back to the
check in gate with a bag that had things I did not want in checked
baggage packed in it, waiting in line and having to basically do the
whole process over.
The TSA Agent eyes my tampon box and says "This is too big."
Me: Oh bloody Christ please spare me from a public fight with a TSA
agent over the size of my tampon box at 5 a.m. I really don't think I
can take it.
"You can't take my tampons. I'm sorry but I simply have to draw a
there. They are not liquid...are you now confiscating things that
might absorb liquid at some point in the future?"
He shoots me a "OK wise-ass" look but wisely leaves the pons alone
then tells me that if I don't have a clear plastic bag for all of the
items I will either have to place them in checked baggage or they
I look at the stuff and decide to give it up....this time. There
way I am about to navigate hell's gauntlet again over some toothpaste
and shampoo. He takes my goods away. The total cost of lost goods was
Me and the tampons proceed to our gate. I sit down and begin to take
inventory of my goods. After all of the fuss and the adamant claim
that I could not board the plane unless those items were in a plastic
bag or the plane would blow up I find in the bottom of my bag the
matching conditioner for the shampoo, my tooth paste, my
make-up and tubes of lip gloss. All of those items are also on the
banned unless bagged list and I guess I have single-handedly proven
that they are indeed safe outside the confines of a damn ziplock. No
one was hurt and it didn't take and goddamned government study at
taxpayer expense to figure out that these airport rules they change
every week do not keep anyone safe whilst navigating the friendly
skies....if for no other reason than an untrained TSA Agent
half of the contraband.
God help us all! And I want my stuff back. I wonder what happens to
the things they confiscate? I guess TSA agents and their families get
to divy up the loot and live like kings and queens in toiletry heaven
happily ever after.
The river I step in is not the river I stand in.
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