Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My toothpaste has been detained

So I went on a trip to Phoenix last weekend to take some time off of the cold, the haze, and the rest of Salt Lake. I had a great time, but on the way through security in Sky Harbor, I ran into a problem. I have always been good at getting through security quickly. I can get my shoes on and off quickly, I can empty my pockets and take off my belt without much effort, and of course, I'm a white male, which is probably the biggest factor. But since the last time I was on the airplane, the TSA has found something new to worry about: liquids.

The liquids policy has been in place for a while, and I knew about it—I just didn't think about it when I packed my carry-on bag. Luckily, I got through Salt Lake International's security without incident, so I was optimistic when I started through security in Sky Harbor. After the bag went through the x-ray machine, A screener asked me to open my bag. He rummaged around in my toiletries bag and started to lecture me about the liquids rule. I ended up having to sacrifice my toothpaste, my face scrub, and my shaving cream to the airplane gods. I guess it wasn't too bad; all of those items were over half-empty anyway, and they they didn't get what was in the side pocket on my toiletries bag.

But seriously, toothpaste? Really? And why is there this three-ounce limit? (Incidentally, the TSA rule says three fluid ounces by volume—but that didn't stop them from taking my toothpaste because it said its weight was more than three ounces.) I guess I'm not an expert on these things, but this kind of effort doesn't seem that it makes people safer. I don't think it makes people feel safer, either, which is the point of most of our security. I think Saturday Night Live says it better than I can (click the picture for the video):

I just hope that my toothpaste doesn't end up in GTMO or something. Good luck little buddy.


micah e. said...

Remind me to tell you about the time I got into an argument with TSA about the distinction between balms and liquids. I need my chap stick on the plane real bad.

Gilberts' Fridge said...

Dylan had a sippy cup full of baby formula when we flew over to see the fam and they actually tested THAT for chemicals, even though they did let us on the plane with it. And it's so hit-and-miss. When I got home last time I discovered that I had chapstick AND a pair of tweezers in my carry-on the whole time. Terrorist me!

Chris said...

You might find this interesting:

Upon clearing airport security, my first task is usually to refill my Nalgene bottle using a drinking fountain. Alas, some airports' fountains have wimpy water pressure, making this task difficult.