The TSA’s War against Reality

It's funny because it's true. Actually, it's not funny because it's true.

It’s funny because it’s true. Actually, it’s not funny because it’s true.

These are all true stories, every single panel. I did overhear a TSA agent laughing about a dildo in a carryon bag on the X-ray conveyor belt. My husband did get detained because the TSA determined that gluten free flour tested positive for explosives. A TSA agent did take my unopened packages of hummus and yogurt, insisting they were liquids, because, if you turned them upside down, they would fall out. My father does say what he says in panel 4, female Israeli soldiers with Uzis do interrogate you if you walk through the door of El Al, and I really did accidentally carry a switchblade through security, and a TSA agent really did find it, decide it couldn’t possibly be mine, and ask me what I wanted him to do.

Airport security in this country feels broken, perhaps because we’ve given the TSA so much power, and so many of those agent don’t seem especially intelligent, generating a system where ignorant bullies have carte blanche to take out their insecurities on people who just want to go see their families. It would be nice if we weren’t all treated like terrorists, considering that the TSA apparently couldn’t catch a terrorist if they ran naked through security with a stick of dynamite in their mouth. Everything about airline travel is pretty messed up, but security is just a joke. I can’t count the number of times people have told me they didn’t even realize they had knives in their bag until they got home. The TSA misses all the dangerous stuff, and then ruins people’s day over 3 bags of gluten free flour. Plus, they talk to you like you’re the idiot.

It’s frustrating, and all we can do about, as far as I can tell, is bitch on the Internet. I actually wrote the “hummus is liquid” story on one of my old blogs, and I get a lot of mileage out of the switchblade story at parties. We’ve given up real freedom for imaginary security.

4 thoughts on “The TSA’s War against Reality

  1. JJ

    Actually, regular flour is highly flammable and can be used to make a nice little explosion if you release a cloud of it into the air and then ignite it. Of course, the key is having something to ignite it with. I don’t know if gluten-free flour has the same level of flammability or not.

    1. littledragonblue Post author

      My guess is the tapioca might behave that way, probably not the coconut, and definitely not the almond, but in any case, that didn’t seem to be what our luggage had tested positive for; the flours were just not identifiable on the X-ray and then the swab showed traces of something more sinister. If the problem is highly flammable stuff, I think we’ll all have to be sedated in the terminal and shipped naked in coffin-sized containers. I mean, I could soak a book with hairspray and that would also make a nice little explosion if I set it on fire, right? Non-dairy creamer is highly flammable and explosive under those conditions and they actually stock it on the plane…

  2. Dr. Art Friedman

    Yes, I do say things such as what you quote me saying in panel 4, but how did your black father, have a fair-skinned, blond-haired child? Or is that just a really great suntan on me?


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