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The Situation Is Very Fluid

, , , | Right | May 17, 2021

This was a few years back but well after 9/11 and the extra measures put in place after the events. I was waiting in line for the security check and in front of me was a travel group, about thirty individuals, mostly elderly people. They were from a part of the country generally joked about as being slow. Now, it is wrong to treat people according to stereotypes, but sometimes… they just can’t help confirming it.

I belatedly realized I had a liquid lip gloss on me and started to doubt whether it would be considered a liquid or not. I decided to treat it as a liquid and put it separate from the rest of my luggage in a clear plastic bag as per regulations.

An older lady from the group asked me what I was doing and I explained my predicament.

Lady: “Oh, I have a bottle of water with me!”

Me: “You should put it in a separate bag, too. And they might confiscate it for being too much liquid.”

That was all duly indicated with large signs. She got a stubborn expression on her face.

Lady: “They’d better not confiscate my water! I need it in case I get thirsty! I also have my good potato knife with me, in case I have to skin an apple on the plane.”

I held my peace this time and let security do their job.

My remark about the liquid travelled through the group, but they all decided defiantly to hold onto their liquids. I kid you not, each and every member of the group had at least one item confiscated, being it liquids or sharp objects, and most of them wouldn’t give in without a fight. Apart from that, the majority had to be patted down because the metal detector gave an alarm.

I’m still unsure if my lip gloss was considered a liquid but I was the first to walk through without any confiscation and alarm.

A member of the security, frantically trying to keep an overview and prevent anyone giving him the slip, tried to stop me and guide me to the members of the group waiting to be patted down as his colleague told him I could go. I just smiled as he looked a bit dazed and surprised as well as a bit relieved.

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