I was of the opinion that every time I had to throw away my shampoo before I boarded a plane, the terrorists were winning. Or at least snickering loudly into piles of exploding underwear. The fact that it is now a reflex for me to slip off my shoes as I stand in the sometimes long and serpentine line to get to use the ticket for which I paid. Dearly. This doesn't happen when I'm waiting to board my rocket pod on Space Mountain.
Perhaps it is this customer service vacuum that caused the Transportation Security Administration to allow small knives as part of traveler's carry-on accoutrements. Passengers will be able to carry-on knives that are less than 2.36
inches long and less than one-half inch wide. Larger knives, and those
with locking blades and molding handles, will continue to be prohibited,
as will razor blades and box cutters. I imagine that the prohibition on box cutters will continue long after the rest of these items have found their way onto commercial airliners. Still, it does beg the question, "If I can open a box with my pocket knife, why shouldn't it be classified as such?" I was once asked, as a point of security, to leave behind my Leatherman Micra Multi-Tool as I entered AT&T Park to see Sir Paul McCartney. This was considered a weapon by the yellow jackets. With just a short time before the show began, I was left with few alternatives. I chose to hide the tool with its 1.6 inch blade in a crevice near the base of the Willie Mays statue. I enjoyed the show immensely, but I was briefly troubled by thoughts of my all-purpose Micra being scooped up by some opportunistic miscreant. At the end of the evening, I was sad to find that my worst fears were confirmed. No Leatherman. I ordered a new one the next day from Amazon.
Of course, now I wonder if that same knife would be allowed in the same stadium, just as long as I didn't try and bring in a hard-sided cooler. The TSA will now permit sports equipment such as billiard cues, ski poles,
hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs. Souvenir, novelty and
toy baseball bats such as wiffle-ball bats have also hopped off the restricted list. If I can get on a flight wielding a ski pole where they will keep bringing me drinks as long as I can pay for them, why not let me into a concert with my fancy box cutter? Maybe I should just take the train. As a part of Amtrak's new promotion I hear they're encouraging travelers to bring their guns, knives, and explosives. I suppose I shouldn't complain. When I went to see Sir Paul, at least I got to keep my shoes on.