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Author's Note: 10 Weirdest Things Spotted by the TSA

My best TSA confiscation story doesn't involve the actual TSA, but an eagle-eyed airport security officer in Mexico. My wife and I were living in Mexico at the time and had just had our second child, a baby boy less than 6 weeks old. It was June, and we were flying back to the U.S. for an extended trip to visit both of our parents. We had our flights booked for months and roused the whole family at 3:30 a.m. to drive the hour-and-a-half to the airport.

Once we negotiated the usual confusion at the ticket counter, we finally breathed easy and made our way through security. I held our 20-month-old's hand and my wife carried the newborn in a colorful sling wrapped tightly around her shoulder and hip. Only after we had passed through the metal detectors and went to grab our carry-on luggage did one of the security agents ask my wife if she could take off her "shawl." My wife smilingly explained that "the baby's sleeping." "What baby?" asked the security officer. It was then that we realized that nobody in the security area or at the ticket counter had any idea that my wife was smuggling a newborn human. For the record, the baby's pacifier did not double as a stun gun.

Sources

  • Burns, Bob. "TSA Blog Year in Review: 2013." The TSA Blog. Jan. 24, 2014. (March 20, 2014) http://blog.tsa.gov/2014/01/tsa-blog-year-in-review-2013.html
  • Burns, Bob. "42 Firearms Discovered This Week at TSA Checkpoints (38 Loaded)." The TSA Blog. Oct. 26, 2012. (March 20, 2014) http://blog.tsa.gov/2012/10/tsa-week-in-review-42-firearms.html
  • Burns, Bob. "46 Firearms Discovered This Week at TSA Checkpoints (40 Loaded)." The TSA Blog. Sept. 20, 2013. (March 20, 2014) http://blog.tsa.gov/2013/09/tsa-week-in-review-46-firearms.html
  • Burns, Bob. "TSA Week in Review: Disassembled Gun and Ammo Found in Three Stuffed Animals." The TSA Blog. May 11, 2012. (March 20, 2014) http://blog.tsa.gov/2012/05/tsa-week-in-review-disassembled-gun-and.html
  • Burns, Bob. "TSA Week in Review: Eels on a Plane?" The TSA Blog. March 9, 2012. (March 20, 2014) http://blog.tsa.gov/2012/03/tsa-week-in-review-eels-on-plane.html
  • Burns, Bob. "TSA Week in Review: Gassed Up Chainsaw and Deadly Lipstick." The TSA Blog. Jan. 13, 2012. (March 20, 2014) http://blog.tsa.gov/2012/01/tsa-week-in-review-gassed-up-chainsaw.html
  • Burns, Bob. "TSA Week in Review: Inert Detonator Discovered in Checked Bag." The TSA Blog. June 8, 2012. (March 20, 2014) http://blog.tsa.gov/2012/06/tsa-week-in-review-inert-detonator.html
  • Burns, Bob. "TSA Week in Review: Inert Suicide Vest, Grenades, Guns and More..." The TSA Blog. March 8, 2013. (March 20, 2014) http://blog.tsa.gov/2013/03/tsa-week-in-review-inert-suicide-vest.html
  • Burns, Bob. "TSA Week in Review: Plastic Dagger Found with Body Scanner." The TSA Blog. May 4, 2012. (March 20, 2014) http://blog.tsa.gov/2012/05/tsa-week-in-review-plastic-dagger-found.html
  • Martín, Hugo. "Controversial full-body scanners to be removed from airports." Los Angeles Times. Jan. 18, 2013. (March 20, 2014) http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/18/business/la-fi-tsa-rapiscan-20130119
  • Plungis, Jeff. "Naked-Image Scanners to Be Removed From U.S. Airports." Bloomberg. Jan. 18, 2013. (March 20, 2014) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-18/naked-image-scanners-to-be-removed-from-u-s-airports.html
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