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Theo Moore Questions... Morphology? Longevity? Incept dates?
Ok, with a title like that, one can be sure I am going to rant a bit. I don't do it often, but every once in a while, I feel the need. This is that "once in a while". If you don't like rants, then I suggest you ignore mine. If you read on, consider yourself warned.

Normally, I am pretty patient with the whole cattle-car approach the TSA and airlines use to get us on the plane to our destination. Ultimately, I am cool with whatever we have to do to get there. I ride very docilely. I have long been disabused of the notion that the ride is supposed to have anything to do with your comfort, or your convenience. It is an assembly line designed to pump people through a narrow channel from one place to the other. I expect nothing more from the process, really. Tell the truth, I am even ok with that.

Every once in a while, though, something occurs that makes me rethink the whole process and, quite honestly, I become very annoyed at it. This past weekend was Memorial Day, of course, and the skies were very busy. Combined with DFW being drenched around rush hour, this made for some serious traveling issues in some parts of the country.

You might think I am going to complain about the long lines. I'm not, though. I've done this long enough to avoid long lines if I want to do so, and this weekend was no exception. Plan smart, and it's not a big deal.

No, my complaint is with the whole security check process. See, I have this backpack issued to me (a nice Ogio...rock on!) for my laptop. I have everything imaginable in that bag. I've pretty much had the same contents in it since I started flying regularly, which is months now. I've gone through security with this bag so many times, I've lost count. This time, however, something odd happened. I had a bag check, which has never happened to me before. Apparently, the Sinckers bar I was carrying looked "dark and organic".....not sure why that required a bag check but it did. I must admit the whole "dark and organic" didn't sound particularly good....I suppose the agent meant that it looked like something dangerous, but it sounded like he was describing a....well, something gross, anyway. Naturally, he didn't confiscate my candy bars, which is a good thing. When I am hungry, I'll darn near kill you over a Snickers bar.

However, in one of the pockets on the bottom (the ones I NEVER open), he found a small bottle with my eyedrops in it. Truth be told, I'd never even realized it was in there. It was empty, or so I thought when I saw it. Anyway, he confiscated the empty bottle. Fine by me, I thought. Whatever. He smiled, said have a nice day, and off I went. A 15 second interruption in my trip. He wasn't rude, I wasn't rude, and overall, it was simple and done. All good.

However, I got to thinking about this, and it occurred to me that MANY agents have seen that bottle over the last several months and done nothing. Had I not being carrying candy bars, they wouldn't have taken any action that time, either. Because I have sweet tooth (My name is Theo M and I amĀ  chocoholic), they found my empty bottle of eyedrops. I had recently discovered my eyeglass cleaner in another one of the pockets (The gods praise the wonderful compartments of the All-Mighty Ogio!), and I realized I had been carrying it for weeks also. I moved that bottle to my one quart plastic bag so I wouldn't be in violation of the rules. The more I thought about the issue with my drops, the more I wondered how effective the whole security screening process is in the first place. Apparently, it isn't terribly efficient or even remotely reliable. Or at least it isn't at CLT or DFW. I mean, I was carrying stuff without even meaning to do so. Imagine what I might do if I tried. I mean, I wouldn't, but what if I did? A clever person could possibly get on all kinds of things. So, if that's the case, why the heck do I have to endure the indignity of someone else rifling through my stuff or using an x-ray to see inside my bags? I understand the notion of protection, and even support it when it makes sense, but this just doesn't make sense to me. I cherish my personal freedoms in a way that I could write volumes about (just ask anyone who knows me well), and I begrudge ANYTIME the government feels it is in its rights to reduce them. It just isn't right to put Americans through this if the results are questionable at best.

Just my two cents (and you wouldn't have likely thought you could get so many words so cheaply, I've no doubt), and if you've read this far, I appreciate your patience. Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 5:46 PM | Back to top

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