An almost uneventful TSA experience

The TSA is in the news a lot lately, not much of it good. Long lines, senior people getting fired, and the generally negative perception and frustration with the agency. So, I thought I’d write something about them that is not so negative.

To tell the truth, I don’t think I’ve ever had any real issues with the TSA at my home airport, Lambert International. Sure there have been long lines, and the physical design of the various checkpoints leaves much to be desired, but when it comes to the people of TSA at Lambert I’ve never had an issue. (I can’t say the same about other airports; the experience at Orlando earlier this year was horrendous.) No issue with the people today, either. So why the “almost” in my “almost uneventful” title?

As I was waiting for my stuff to come through the X-ray machine, the agent monitoring the scans held up my laptop bag and asked who owned it. Of course I said, “That’s mine, what’s up?” (Actually, just the “that’s mine”.)

“Do you have anything sharp or fragile? Do you mind if I open the bag and take a look?”

“I don’t think so,” and, “No, go ahead.”

As he opened the bag, he glanced up at the scan and then back at the bag. Then the screen. Then I looked in the bag at what he was looking at.

“I do have a fountain pen in there.” A nice, Levenger L-Tech to be exact. On retrospect, I can see how it might look like an Xacto knife or something on the scan.

The agent, having figured out what he was looking for from the scan, pulled the pen part of the way out of its slot in the bag and commented, “We don’t see many like this one.” Then he slid it back into its slot, handed me the bag and wished me a good day.

Which is about as eventful as I like my encounters with the TSA to be.