You’re tired. You’re cranky. You’re cold. And you’re late. The crowds are overwhelming, and you somehow found yourself stuck behind a series of yahoos who are obsessed with playing with their smartphones while slowly strolling through a mob of people who are also tired, cranky, cold and late.
The airport is the last place that you want to be during the holiday season.
You’ve removed your belt. You’ve emptied your pockets. The crowds are still overwhelming, and the line that you selected doesn’t seem to be moving. Unfortunately, you’re also stuck behind an overweight gentleman who nearly cleared the area when he removed his shoes and freed whatever demons lurked beneath.
The security checkpoint at the airport is a yet another milestone in your yuletide journey through hell.
You stomach is growling. You didn’t have time to eat. You’re hungry. The crowds are still overwhelming, the line still doesn’t seem to be moving and the fat man’s demons have yet to retreat. You’re well aware that you’re not going to have the opportunity to pay a king’s ransom for a hot dog, a bag of chips or some other exotic delicacy sold by a vendor near your gate.
The beast in your belly is fightin’ mad, and his guttural roars are a constant reminder that you should have packed a few leftover cookies, cakes and other holiday treats.
Therein lies the problem. These little nuggets of fun contain a disproportional amount of calories and an unrealistic amount of sugar. They obviously pose an almost irresistible threat to our health and an unfortunately obstacle to the fulfillment of our upcoming resolutions. They’re dangerous, but the hazards don’t necessarily begin at the waistline and end at unfulfilled resolutions.
Instead, holiday desserts may well constitute a clear and present danger to everyone’s safety and potential threat to national security. This means that the last place that anyone wants to be caught red-handed with a cookie, cake or iced concoction is the security checkpoint at the airport.
Wait. Holiday desserts may constitute a threat to national security?
Of course, and recent events at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, only serve to illustrate this concern.
Several days ago, Rebecca Hains, a 35-year-old communications professor at Salem State University, was trying to catch a ride on an airplane. Unfortunately, she attempted to clear the security checkpoint at McCarran International Airport while carrying a red-velvet cupcake. The red-velvet cupcake was topped with a hearty amount of icing, and this was a problem. A serious problem.
A federal agent reportedly concluded that the gel-like icing violated federal regulations. She was therefore forced to surrender her cupcake to the Transportation Safety Administration.
Ms. Hains was obviously not happy. She believed that the TSA agent encroached upon her civil liberties.
Regardless of the claims and concerns, however, this entry isn’t meant to spark a debate on the lawfulness or appropriateness of the actions of federal screening officials. It’s simply a recounting of an incident that involved a passenger, an agent and a cupcake… and a warning about yahoos with cellphones and noxious beings lurking in shoes worn by overweight gentlemen.