Eggs on a plane
October 15, 2013
Perhaps it's because of the government shutdown, but I'm very disappointed in the Transportation Security Administration.
This comes as a shock to me, and those who know me, as I've been so pleased with its work in the past. Not that I've experienced much of the brunt of it firsthand since I understand the inherent risks involved with bringing fingernail-trimming devices, scissors over 4 inches long and liquid containers that hold more that 3.4 ounces onto a plane. Or walking through a metal detector wearing shoes. Or leaving a laptop in a laptop case while it's being X-rayed. So I don't do these things. While others scoff at the seemingly arbitrary nature of these rules, I embrace their precision and thoughtfulness.
(Side note: These days, nail clippers are no longer banned from airplanes, as their threat level has dropped below "orange." See, once you start to see the straightforwardness in the TSA's methods, you can really appreciate it.)
Sure, there was the time I accidentally had a bottle of root beer in my backpack that was confiscated, but that was just an oversight. I know how fizzy and delicious root beer can be, and it has no place in an airline cabin. Mostly, though, I've observed the hardworking TSA folks taking things from other, less aware people. Mostly souvenir liquids — honey, jelly, hot sauce and so forth. Recently, while going through the security line I watched a woman argue with an agent about how the jar of jam they were confiscating was "small." Ha! 3.5 ounces is hardly small, lady. This is the same woman who was asking why her flip-flops had to be X-rayed. C'mon, you're holding up the line!
But during my recent trip to the East Coast, I discovered a flaw in the otherwise airtight system. My wife and I were heading out to visit a friend in NYC, and we brought a dozen eggs as a gift. These eggs were from our chickens, lest you think it's just some sort of random bumpkin offering. I insisted that these eggs were not appropriate for an airplane, and my wife insisted that I shut up. I was prepared to continue the trip without her once I was shuffled along and she was detained at security ("They're here to help us! Just do what they say! See you in a week!"), but to my surprise she was allowed through. With eggs! And they weren't even in her carry-on! They were in her personal item!
Later I checked the TSA website (currently not being updated, an alert says, due to lack of funding) and found no mention of eggs as a banned item. Or an acceptable item. In fact, I found no mention of them at all. If you were to believe the website, you'd think that nobody has ever bothered to fly with eggs before! Like I said, flaw in the system.
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Well, with any luck, this column will find its way into the hands of one of the many capable TSA agents and some changes will be made. You're welcome, fellow travelers who wish to remain as safe as possible.
EGGS ON A PLANE
Outbreak of egg puns. For example, I could make a yolk that wasn't funny, which would fail to crack anyone up, and they would feel a need to make an eggs-ample out of me. Puns of this nature are the sort of thing that makes people consider opening the emergency exit door while still in the air.
These eggs, had they been properly fertilized and kept at an appropriate temperature for a specific length of time, could hatch. One dozen adorable little fluffy chicks wandering up and down the aisle does not make for in-flight safety. Also, the extra room they take up would most likely not have been paid for, and that's unfair to the person who shelled (sorry) out an extra $78 for an inch and a half of additional legroom.
When people saw the food offered in those little meal packs for sale, they would realize that sucking a raw, slightly chicken-poop-covered egg would be preferable. Bad precedent.
Suppose some of these eggs were to be poached and served on buttered toast to the pilot — the pilot who already has a cholesterol problem. Shudder.
Whatever logic keeps me from being able to bring a snow globe on a plane, well — just apply that to an egg, and then multiply it by 12. I can't believe I have to spell this out for you.
Barry Smith's column appears Mondays. More at http://www.barrysmith.com.
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