Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sticking up for myself

I had an interesting moment while traveling to DC last week.

At Midway Airport, Adam and I got randomly selected to go through the TSA PreCheck lanes. It was so nice not to have to remove my laptop, shoes, or 3-1-1 bag. Wheeee!!!

Alas, lest I sashay too gallantly through security, the TSA agent working the bag x-ray pulled my suitcase off of the conveyer and set it aside. He called for an inspection. Ruh roh.

???

I started racking my brain for what might have triggered the inspection. Were they going to nail me for the bottle of BodyGlide that I had stuffed into my running shoes instead of inside my Ziploc bag? I was pretty sure the bottle was less than 3 ounces but maybe not? Or perhaps the foil in the GU packets was causing suspicion. It would be terrible if they confiscated those. I had brought the Salted Caramel flavor, which are my favorite!

The inspection agent came by. She picked up my bag and asked me to confirm that it was mine and that I had packed it myself. Yes and yes.

She brought it over to the inspection table and showed me what had come up on the x-ray.

I peered at the screen and instantly realized the problem. It looked like I had a police baton in my bag! E.g.:


The culprit for the offending picture? It was actually my portable massage roller ("The Stick"!)


Since The Stick is much more portable than a foam roller, it is easily my go-to muscle-rolling tool when I'm traveling.

I tried not to laugh while I told the agent what it was. I offered to take it out of the suitcase for closer inspection. Adam, who was standing nearby, jokingly added, "...and if anyone is in need of some muscle relief..."

The agent smiled when she saw The Stick. She swabbed it for explosive residue and found none, of course. Then she said, "I had a pretty good feeling what it was. But the guy working the machine is new. He doesn't know." I also smiled and told her, "No worries, I'd rather that we are safe with these things."

--
Linking up with April, Patty, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.


21 comments:

  1. Oh man! We used to have to travel with our skates in our carry on... that would NEVER fly these days!

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    1. LOL at the airline pun. Nicely done!!! =D

      Wow - that would be rough to travel with your skates in your carry-on! Although, I imagine the alternative of putting your skates in your checked luggage is not great, either. How DO folks travel with skates these days?

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  2. omg thats funny about the stick, lol!! Those things are super dangerous, right?? ! ha!

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    1. LOL, yes! Watch out for the attack of the killer massage roller!

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  3. Oh man, one of my CARA group leaders had that problem once when flying to a race as well, and the TSA agent asked her, "Ma'am, is this appropriate to take out in front of children?" LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. At least your TSA agent didn't think it was some terrifying sex toy!

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    1. Oh. My. God. How mortifying!!! But TOO FUNNY! That story does put things into perspective, LOL. I can only imagine some of the crazy things that TSA agents must have seen in carry-on bags over the years!!!

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  4. Funny story. I have never carried my "Stick" onto a plane. Okay, now I realize what I just wrote so I will end this now! :)

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    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is this a good time to say "That's what she said" - both literally and figuratively? =D

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  5. My stick has never set it off, but I did have my stack of medals from the Star Wars Rebel Challenge (3 chunky RunDisney medals) arouse suspicion in the x-ray. The security spent a while checking them out for the fun of it even after they were swabbed clear. :)

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    1. Ahhhhh, you did the Star Wars Rebel Challenge!!! SO COOL!!! But indeed, that is a HECK of a lot of bling to be carrying around in your bag, LOL. Did your bag end up being overweight because of all those medals? ;-P I can imagine that the security would enjoy doing a, uh, closer inspection of those fabulous medals, too. How could anyone not?!?!?

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  6. This is FUNNY. But, it makes you realize what they have seen over the years. Yikes.

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    1. I seriously shudder to think of what must have come through the x-ray! Incidentally, I once watched a documentary on the U.S.-Mexican border crossings, and the things/methods people try to sneak over the border. Shudder!

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  7. I always travel with my stick and have never been questioned about it. I probably would have criedd if they made me get rid of my GUs..haha. Here is a tip just in case you ever have to get rid of something, some airports will let you take your item to lost and found and then you can pick it up upon your return.

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    1. YES on wanting to cry if the GUs got confiscated! Especially if it was your favorite flavor!!! Thanks very much for the tip on the lost and found - that is really helpful to know! I wonder how many other runners might have left behind their Sticks, hee hee.

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  8. Oh my! When I was a teen, I flew to Europe and I was on crew so I took this forearm strengthener thing that was a pvc pipe with a string through it attached to a soda can filled with concrete. It was difficult to explain what it was for to the armed guards in the Berlin airport (should I mention that it was while the wall was coming down?). It's pretty funny in retrospect!

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    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! That is TOO FUNNY! I can only imagine what those armed guards in Berlin must have been thinking, especially amidst all the craziness with the wall. Us crazy Americans, right? Did they let you take it through!?!?!?

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  9. I've gotten stopped for the stick before, too! Sounds like your TSA agent was cool, I've had some people give me the stink-eye like this was some type of fetish toy (although I suppose rolling IT bands probably would count for masochistic behavior).

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has gotten stopped for the Stick! Yes, thankfully I had a very cool TSA agent this time. Heaven knows I've had plenty of TSA agents over the years who weren't understanding in the least bit. LOL at the IT band rolling counting for masochistic behavior because it is SO true. When I first started using a foam roller, I had to fight back tears. Truly it "hurt so good!" The things that us runners put ourselves through, right?

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  10. BAHAHAHAHA! At least it wasn't some other sort of "personal massager". :-D

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    1. LOL, agreed. I am sure the TSA agents have seen plenty of those personal devices, and probably much worse! If I ever get the chance to talk to a TSA agent offline, I would love to ask for some of their horror stories!

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