In the tense new world of air travel, we're stripped of shoes, told not to take too much shampoo on board, frowned on if we crack a smile.
The last thing we expect is a joke from a Transportation Security Administration screener – particularly one this stupid.
Rebecca Solomon is 22 and a student at the University of Michigan, and on Jan. 5 she was flying back to school after holiday break. She made sure she arrived at Philadelphia International Airport 90 minutes before takeoff, given the new regulations.
She would be flying into Detroit on Northwest Airlines, the same city and carrier involved in the attempted bombing on Christmas, just 10 days before. She was tense.
What happened to her lasted only 20 seconds, but she says they were the longest 20 seconds of her life.
After pulling her laptop out of her carry-on bag, sliding the items through the scanning machines, and walking through a detector, she went to collect her things.
A TSA worker was staring at her. He motioned her toward him.
Then he pulled a small, clear plastic bag from her carry-on – the sort of baggie that a pair of earrings might come in. Inside the bag was fine, white powder.
She remembers his words: "Where did you get it?"Read More