South Of The Border

, , , , , | Working | January 15, 2019

(My best friend lives in Southeast Asia, and we try to meet up whenever possible. This year it’s my turn to fly to her. I have to fly to LAX airport in California, spend one night, then board a new flight the next morning. One thing I always like to do is bring her some of her favorite snacks that she can’t buy where she lives, so my carry-on backpack is stuffed with snacks that I’ve confirmed are allowed on the flight — no liquids, etc. One of these snacks is a particular brand of pork rinds that are made by a local company we’d always buy in college. Recently they came out with a new flavor — sea salt and vinegar — which I know she’ll love, so I bought her the biggest bag I could find. As I am going through security at LAX, my backpack gets pulled for a more thorough inspection. I have plenty of time to get to my flight, so I’m not worried. The TSA agent opens my bag and his eyes bug out at the amount of food I have Tetris-packed in there. It turns out, they need to check the seal on the can of mixed nuts I’ve packed and test the outside of it. I guess sealed cans like that are a good place for illegal items? Anyway, the TSA agent is putting the snacks back in my bag when he spots the pork rinds.)

TSA Agent: “What are these?”

Me: *thinking: “It says right there on the label.”* “Salt and vinegar pork rinds.”

TSA Agent: “What?”

Me: “They’re pork rinds, but salt and vinegar flavor. I’m taking them for a friend to try.”

TSA Agent: “Yeah, I’ve had pork rinds. I’ve just never seen anything like that.” *looks at me like I’ve committed some act of witchcraft*

Me: *out of explanations, I shrug* “I’m from the South?”

TSA Agent: “Oh! Well, that makes sense.”

(He seemed happy with my answer, put the pork rinds back in my bag, and handed it to me. The rest of the trip went smoothly, and my friend was delighted with her snack haul.)

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