Picture this: Preparing for winter holiday season. A security checkpoint line at the airport, as long as the eye can see. The children are poking along as parents go through the identity check, and said kids hopefully say their correct names when asked by the stern security guard. People looking forward to their Christmas vacations are busily unwrapping the gifts they plan to give, while others hush bored children and take off their shoes.
A familiar scene, no doubt, played out over and over throughout the holiday travel season. For me, last year, the line was the first part of our exciting, wonderful family vacation in Hawaii. We weren’t able to make use of our accrued American Airlines frequent flier miles over this peak flying season (whenever we can take a family trip seems to be blackout days), so we booked cheap tickets (well, relatively cheap tickets) on Delta. And yes, those were my bored kids getting hushed. Thanks for reminding me.
But what’s this? The elderly woman ahead of me on line is upset, her voice raising angrily. It seems that the TSA has decided to ban snow globes in carry-on bags, so hers was confiscated. A gift, she explains, for grandchildren in Hawaii who have never seen snow. No matter; her Christmas themed snow globe is taken from her, and she bitterly passes through the metal detector. When it’s my turn, I ask the security dude why the TSA has decided to ban snow globes on airplanes, and he explained that terrorists could replace the water inside the globe with nitroglycerin. I glance at the elderly woman, who is unhappily putting on her shoes, yanking her travel size purse on to her shoulder, and recovering her Sudoku book and AARP magazine. Ladies and gentlemen, there it is: The face of terrorism! Go, TSA. Nice to know they’ve got the grannies-who-love-sudoku terrorist cell covered.