The Accidental Terrorist

  1. Pulling out one of my favorite stories from the “Sarah Does Dumb Stuff” archives. This particular story took place almost 5 years ago and was originally posted on my former blog Sarah’s Brand New Chapter.

This is a story about how Sarah almost didn’t come home from a vacation in Wisconsin.

Okay, that might be a wee bit of an overstatement, but I was in hot water with the TSA for about 20 minutes as I attempted to escape the tundra for our warmer, Southern home.  

It all began with yet another butt pat-down with a TSA official because I’m just that lucky, y’all. Apparently cough lozenge wrappers and fortune cookie wrappers in your back pocket are forbidden on planes these days.  

I was just thinking I was about to escape a handsy TSA officer when another came over, my purse in hand.  

Crap, I thought, So much for being home free.

Chagrined, I walked over where the lady was digging through every pocket of my ever – messy purse, looking for my weapons of mass destruction. Instead, she found a dirty Kleenex, half a box of Reeses Pieces, and half of my local pharmacy’s medication. My keys looked sketchy so they got ran through separately as my purse went through the scanner a second time.  

Still flagged. The TSA agent went back to digging. I tried to help but got snapped at instead. Apparently, touching your bag is a no-no when you are a suspected terrorist. 

“What did it look like?” I asked, trying to be helpful as security continued to raid my belongings.  

“A knife,” she replied, examining my dangerous bobby pins.  

And my heart sank.  

Ryan had recently gave me a tiny knife to carry in my purse in case I felt uncomfortable walking by myself. The knife was barely an inch long, and I didn’t remember taking it out before our trip. I pointed at the zippered inside pocket.  

“It’s in there,” I whispered, feeling about two inches tall and hoping the word “knife” wouldn’t incite terminal-wide panic. The TSA lady dug it out and confirmed that was the offensive object.

“You’re lucky it isn’t any bigger,” she stated. “If it was, we’d have to call the police.”

Well, that makes me feel ten times better. I know I would love trying to explain to my boss that I can’t come to work the next day because I am being detained by the Milwaukee police because I could be a terrorist. That’d be an awesome conversation.

Our choices were to go out of security and mail the evil knife or throw that sucker away. With only 45 minutes until take-off and a wildly busy security area, we knew we would never make our flight if I had to go through the process again, pat down and all.   

So we threw away my knife. A gift from Ryan he entrusted me with, a gift, he informed me as we trudged away, he had bought on a father-son hunting trip years ago.  

Guess which wife just got her name on the list of the top ten worst wives? This girl. I felt like the worst human being ever, a feeling that multiplied when Ryan surprised me with airport Chick-fila during our layover. I love that man. 

But, we made our flights and made it home. Air Tran screwed me over on the first flight by having no window for my “window” seat but made up for it on the second with two windows so I had no reason to knife anyone anyway.

image
No window for you, sucker

And so the moral of the story is “clean out your dang purse, Sarah, or you are going to get yourself on a no-fly list, and that would totally suck.” That really should have been in Aesop’s fables, you guys. It would have saved me 20 minutes for sure.

 

2 thoughts on “The Accidental Terrorist

  1. Great story, very well written. I had the same thing happen to me: a gift from a co-worker, one of those corkscrews with add-ons devices that I never thought twice about – and had to give away to the feds as well!

    1. It sucks! I’ve had to give them toiletry items and OTC liquid medications that I forgot would not pass TSA scrutiny, but this was the worst offense. It sucked because I really liked that little knife. I still manage to get patted down by security every single time we fly since then, and my husband never does.

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