I arrived at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. It was the first time I’d be going through security since the full-body scanners had been installed. I was happy to see that the scanners were barely being used and I whizzed through the line even during these holiday rush times. Thankfully, no TSA guys would be getting a thrill looking at ‘nudie’ shots of me. But what I didn’t expect is that I’d be stopped because of my rollerboard suitcase. I had dutifully put all my liquid items in a clear, plastic bag. I’d slipped off my shoes. I’d taken out my laptop. I drank the rest of my water and kept my bottle to fill up on ‘the other side.’ I had a lot of gadgets and chargers and other assorted metal crap crammed in my bag and figured it was something in there that was showing up. They’d spotted something ‘suspicious’ on their tiny monitors and called over a supervisor. They ran it through the scanner again. Then they took everything I’d packed so nicely out of it. On the bottom of my suitcase, I’d managed to pack my empty daypack that I love using when I travel to carry my camera and other stuff I need during the day. Can you see where this is going?
Well, in my new, nonchalant and relaxed post-world travel demeanor (some may just call this ‘laziness’), I had failed to thoroughly inspect the inner pockets of this mostly-empty small backpack. There it was: my cute, little ‘Squirt® Leatherman multi-tool. Argh!
Now, I could tell you I was just doing a random test of the TSA security and they passed with flying colors by spotting my contraband. Out of everything in my bag, they zeroed in on this tiny 1-inch long tool which included a tiny knife…and a nail file of course. They rightly ignored my pleas of how little it was or my innocent eyes asking how I could even pick it up on my return through ORD. Couldn’t I just meet-up with one of them? Isn’t there a lost a found? They did say I could go put it in my car. But that wouldn’t work since I sold my car in 2006. It would be a bit hard to track down. They did say I could mail it, but the cost would be ridiculous.
So, I could tell you I did it on purpose. But I’d be lying. I screwed up. And so, I lost my little world traveler tool. And, well, the system kind of works. I feel good and bad at the same time.
Plus the girl before me was stopped because she had these funky earrings made with bullet shells. But she got to keep hers. Sigh.
Now I know what I want for Christmas. My little ‘squirt S4’ back. Anyone? Santa?