Most Read: Politics

In The Loop
Posted at 12:18 PM ET, 07/09/2012

TSA blog: True tales of dumb passengers

Transportation Security Administration security agents check a traveler's luggage. (Andrew Burton - Reuters)
Just in case you’re not sufficiently horrified by Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” segment, which reveals shocking levels of stupidity by random people on the street, you might want to check out the Transportation Security Administration’s blog chronicling the downright dumb things people pull at airport security.

With summer-vacation travel season in full swing, it’s worth a look, if only to understand why those lines might be so long.

Why, it could be that some guy ahead of you plunked down a grenade (but, he insists, it’s just a harmless paperweight!). Or maybe it’s because a passenger who accidentally packed a loaded .22 caliber pistol in his carry-on bag decided that instead of checking the gun, he’d just hide it in a potted plant in the airport. Of course, TSA’s crack team of “Behavior Detection Officers” witnessed the none-too-stealthy dropoff.

The blog’s “Week in Review” reads a bit like a roundup of the world’s dumbest would-be criminals. Hmmm ... where to hide that knife you’d like to sneak by security? Why not put it in a sock and stuff it into an envelope filled with dolls? That fool-proof strategy didn’t work for a passenger in Tampa.

And how to cleverly disguise a stun gun? Try putting it in a walking cane, like a James Bond wannabe did at the Knoxville, Tenn., airport. “Yes, a stun cane!” the blog notes. “That’s a first for the Week in Review posts … ”

Maybe the cane’s former owner should get points for creativity, if not for brilliance.

The blog includes helpful tips for travellers, such as this one, prompted by the aforementioned grenade-toting passenger: “While I know that inert grenades are cool conversation pieces and make great paperweights ... inert items cause problems at checkpoints,” a TSA blogger notes. “We don’t know they’re inert until we check them out, and checking them out can often inconvenience your fellow passengers.”

We also enjoy the site’s whimsical headlines describing various confiscated taboo items, such as “Eau de Kaboom” (a cologne bottle shaped like — you guessed it — a grenade) and “Holy Bat Stars, Batman” (sharp throwing stars).

And we wonder why restaurants have to label their steaming cups of coffee with labels identifying them as “hot.”

By  |  12:18 PM ET, 07/09/2012

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company