I get the TSA not allowing you on a plane with a knife or other sharp object. Confiscating my 96-year-old grandmother’s knitting needles was a bit much, but okay: safety first, blah, blah, blah. The whole 3 oz. liquid dangerous bottle of water thingy is a bit much too, but again, okay ya’ll thought there was a threat and responded in the only way a bureaucracy can: inanely. But cupcakes? Because the icing poses a danger to the safety of passengers?
I yearn for the days when flying was pleasurable. Now it’s a chore. The screening procedures add another hour to your pre-boarding routine. Savvy travellers dress for the trials the TSA puts you through when travellers used to dress for the flight. The hassles and tribulations of dealing with what the TSA hath wrought that await you at the airport almost overshadows the trip you are about to take. Leave it to the government to make what should be an enjoyable experience an onerous one instead.
Are we any safer today? You can take the republican party’s view that the freedoms and rights we’ve given up have been effective since there has not been another major terrorist incident on U.S. soil, or you can subscribe to the view that we’ve just been lucky. So far. When it comes to safety that it’s better to be overly cautious seems to be the prevailing attitude, but we’ve quickly headed down the overkill path. I think I’m in more danger of suffering a stroke or a heart attack from the frustration of dealing with airport security procedures than I’d ever be from a terrorist on the plane.
Either way, at some point you do have to question whether it is a safety issue or a power issue thanks to the cop wannabes who get hired as TSA agents because no police force would let them within 100 yards of actual authority. Unfortunately, the government isn’t quite as wise and has given them some. Far too much in fact. When the TSA starts messing around with baked goods, the answer is obvious.
Last December a TSA agent at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas seized a woman’s red velvet cupcake, which was baked inside of an 8 ounce jar. The agent claimed that the frosting on the cupcake constituted a gel-like substance; the manner in which the icing conformed to the container’s shape made him suspicious. If he carried the excess weight most TSA employees seem to it probably also made him hungry.
The passenger offered to remove the cupcake from its container and place it in a zip log bag to conform to TSA regulations, but the TSA agent said that once he had identified the dessert as a security threat the passenger could no longer touch it. One does have to wonder just how dangerous all of the confiscated items are at screening checkpoints since they get dumped into a large trash container that just sits there in the middle of the airport. But then in this case we are talking baked goods specifically, and we all know how threatening those can be.
Rather than admit the agent may have overreacted, the TSA defended his actions in a post on the agency’s website in which it claimed the cupcake icing could have been a cleverly disguised explosive. In part, the missive read:
“Our officers are regularly briefed and trained by TSA explosives specialists on how just about any common appliance, toy or doohickey can be turned into a dangerous explosive. When you think about it, do you think an explosive would be concealed in an ominous item that would draw attention, or something as simple as a cute cupcake jar?”
And rather than allow the issue to die its natural under-baked death, the agency now warns passengers that “if they try to bring cakes, pies, and cupcakes through security they might get some additional screening.” I feel safer already.
I guess you have to cut the TSA some slack, protecting the skies is a difficult job and I’d never considered the countless number of items passengers attempt to board planes with that should be considered suspicious and not allowed on the plane due to security concerns. It’s the innocuous things that pose the greatest danger, the most potentially dangerous those that no one would ever suspect as being part of a terrorist plot. I’ve given the matter much thought and need to pass on an obvious source of danger disguised as innocence that the TSA should immediately begin confiscating at security checkpoints: babies and toddlers.
If you think about it, they are the perfect size for hiding a bomb. And who is gonna be brave enough to actually check inside of a toddler’s diaper? Suicide bombers have to be indoctrinated and trained, a costly and time-consuming part of any terrorist plot. Babies on the other hand haven’t a clue about what you are doing to them. Plus they are easy to make and readily replaceable.
I think by confiscating babies and toddlers our skies will be a safer place. Or at least the hours devoted to air travel will be more enjoyable by not having to deal with little rug rats running amok and babies screaming for hours on end. Thankfully, until the TSA implements its new baby/toddler prohibition the agency has made allowances for those of us still have to suffer thanks to other people’s mistakes. The same week that the TSA declared cupcake icing to be a security threat they decided large amounts of weed were perfectly safe and allowable.
Rapper Freddie Gibbs, flying to Denver for a performance, packed a half ounce of marijuana in his checked baggage and it was found by a TSA officer. Apparently, the TSA officer didn’t confiscate the illegal drug according to Gibbs. He said the marijuana was returned with a handwritten note along the border of the Notice of Bag Inspection that said “C’mon Son.”
Gibbs, who might learn some sage advice by sampling One Toke Over The Line, decided to tweet about his good fortune and even attached a picture of the weed in his bag and the note the TSA left in his luggage, stupidly providing photographic evidence of his possession and transportation of an illegal drug over state lines.
The TSA, who must be tired of having to respond to the stupid things its employees do, issued a statement saying the agency would be investigating the matter and that should Gibbs’ claim be substantiated would “take appropriate disciplinary steps and refer the alleged possession of an illegal substance to law enforcement.”
The TSA needs to reconsider its position on cupcakes; if the agency is going to allow passengers to get stoned on flights then they need to allow us our munchies too.
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