I understand that “Liquids must all be clearly visible in a plastic bag” but as I understand it, and tell me if you think I’m wrong, something I eat with a spoon is a solid, and something I drink is a liquid – and though there is a drinking kind of yogurt, that is not what I take for my airplane snack – so why do the security screeners at the airport insist on throwing away my eat-with-a-spoon yogurt?
It’s that wretched shoe bomber’s fault!
I like eating yogurt on the plane, and as the airport stores only sell the artificially colored, chemically enhanced distant cousin to the real thing, I always include yogurt with my picnic every time I fly, and sometimes I’m allowed to take it on the plane, but more often I’m not, and when the airport screeners pick up my travel bag and ask,”Whose bag is this?” and I admit the crime of owning a container of yogurt and hearing the “You can’t take this yogurt on the plane!” I remind myself that one day I’ll find this funny.
Last time they wanted to take my yogurt I got *m*a*d*. I know one can’t get angry at the airport – people have been jailed just for raising their voices in the airport – so I said in a very calm voice, “Forgive me, I’m very sorry, though I’m not hungry, I can’t bear the thought of throwing away food, so I’ll eat it now,”
and the Transportation Security Administration person in her official uniform who was checking my bags said, “Very good Ma’am, if you want to eat the yogurt, you must go back outside to eat it, and when you’ve eaten it all then you can come back and take off your shoes and wait in the line for us to search your property again.”
“What? You’ve got to be kidding? I’ve waited in this line for three-quarters of an hour and you want me to go back outside?” [Perhaps she’s forgotten with all this business with our shoes, and yogurt, that I’m here because I have a plane to catch?] and smiling sweetly I turned to her and said, “Thank you if it’s all the same to you, I’ll just stand on the side here, and eat my yogurt.”
“Oh no, you can’t eat anything over here Ma’am,” she said straightening the shirt of her uniform, and standing up straight to try look taller than me and show me she was in charge.
“It’s just a little container of yogurt,” I said, “I’ll eat it fast. See here’s my spoon.”
“You are not allowed to eat anything here Ma’am,” she glared at me, “Do you want me to call the supervisor?”
Good grief, did she really expect me to stand in that forty-five minute line again?
I had to obey the official TSA authority.
When I watched her throw my tasty Organic mixed berry yogurt that-you-eat-with-a-spoon in the trash I wanted to take a photo of it lying there, but I knew if I took out a camera, I most probably would not have not taken my seat on the plane, and my non-arrival would disappoint my very own Mother who was eagerly waiting for me, so I took a deep breath, counted to five, asked for forgiveness for the wasted food, and walked on.
As I tried to explain the story to my Mom who hasn’t flown in over a decade, and couldn’t believe that we really take off our shoes, and other indignities, air travel ain’t what it used to be…