Thursday, November 14, 2013

Keeping Our Skies Safe From Jam - At Only a Very Minor Risk of Botulism

My checked bag was inspected by the TSA yesterday and I was deeply impressed by their vigilance. They risked life and limb to tear off the produce bag impeding a clear visualization of every single one of 16 small jars of home-canned jam, to make sure they weren’t… [NOTE TO SELF: what? [NOTE TO NOTE-TO-SELF: sorry, haven’t the faintest idea]].


Combining efficiency with thoroughness, they scorned to undo those fiddly twist-ties and simply ripped each bag open. They then liberated the jars that were nestling indecorously in my underpants and gave everyone a stern talking-to about the TSA’s position on unseemly behavior in luggage. (Thank goodness I’d packed the leopard skin bikinis in my carry-on luggage.)  Of course, nothing was actually taken. Every single bag and twist-tie was put back into the suitcase. Even the underwear was released on its own recognizance.

Clearly, the TSA knows best. So what if they removed all the cushioning from the jars, and the bags that would have helped to contain any leaks, and entirely re-arranged the suitcase so as to allow freedom of jostling? They knew I was just an over-concerned packer, and that nothing would come to harm. Nor did they waste the taxpayers’ hard-earned money by stretch-wrapping the jars securely in their boxes, or any such effete nonsense. And, you know, they were right. Nothing did break. (However, I hope some alert entrepreneur will seize the market opportunity and start selling TSA insurance. After this experience, and the agency’s thoroughness with Matt’s art, we would line up to be the first customers.)

The only problem is (and I do hate to complain (not wanting to end up a Bad Person list)) but I can’t be sure they didn’t open any of the jars, because the airplane journey would have resealed any jars that had been opened. But I suppose I behaved so badly, by transmitting dangerous jam through our nation’s fair skies that, really, I deserve it if my family gets botulism for Christmas.

In any case, they probably didn’t let the sniffer-dogs-in-training lick the jars as a reward for their good work. Probably.

I can also be grateful that 9 Chickweed Lane’s Creepy National Furtiveness Agency is just the bugbear of a disturbed and unpatriotic mind. So I don’t have to worry that the NFA has bugged my bikini bottoms. Oh. Wait a minute. Erm. They’ve just heard every word I’ve typed, haven’t they? Well, if this blog goes quiet for a bit, don’t worry. They’ve only called me in to assist with their investigations…

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