Of course the TSA is on Instagram. Why would the TSA not be on Instagram? The TSA took a long, hard look at itself and asked the tough question: “Does the public need sepia-toned images of items we confiscate?” and answered a resounding, “Yes. Yes, the public does.”
If the TSA knows one thing about the public, it is that the public appreciates this sort of thing. The TSA has its finger on the pulse of the public appetite for newfangled gadgetry and fun new apps. That is not the only place the TSA has its finger. Or, to be more precise, the backs of its rubber-gloved hands.
If the technology exists, the TSA has removed it from your personal baggage and looked at it in bewilderment, then called Rick back from his break and stared at it with him, but only after first rifling through your bag to display all your most embarrassing items to the other people on the baggage line — inadvertently, sure, but with unerring instinct nonetheless.
But this is beside the point.
The point is, the TSA is on Instagram. It has already posted 11 images. (The shot of the confiscated credit card knife shows real artistry, I think.) This is perfect if you thought the TSA’s rules for what to bring on planes were not clear enough before. Instead of measuring the knife or going down the list of banned flammables, just ask yourself: “Would this item work as the integral element of an off-center, dreamlike work of found-object art?” “With the right composition and filter, could this evoke a Warhol masterpiece?” If so, then leave it at home, with the big tube of toothpaste, small knives and wiffle bat you can’t remember if it’s okay to bring or not.
Some might be less enthused at this development. The only thing more annoying than the TSA and Instagram separately, they might murmur to themselves, is the two combined, an agency that makes it difficult for you to get on planes and then sends you obnoxious tinted pictures of why afterward. But things could be worse. They could be confiscating salads.