My mother was right...

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RLDubbya
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My mother was right...

Postby RLDubbya » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:07 pm

My mother, like all mothers, was always right about everything. One of the big deals for her revolved around underwear. Yes, underwear. Especially when we travelled. "Bobby, do you have on clean underwear with no holes?" That phrase has burned a hole in my consciousness. Heaven forbid I answer too slowly or too quickly, because that meant an underwear check, right there and then.

In 2004, I commuted via commercial flight to Washington DC on a contract. My week fell into a routine: fly out to DC on Sunday, rarely Monday; fly back home on Friday or Saturday. Since I was not only doing the 70 hour per week contract in DC, but another 30 hour a week contract in Cleveland, my weekends were pretty busy. It rolled around to fall, on a Sunday, and I decided to go hiking before flying to work.

I took my small camera in the bag, stuck in my Spydie edge, all stainless Endura, and did my hike. I was running late when I made it back home. I quickly undressed, showered, changed, and grabbed my computer bag; my wife was waiting to take me to the airport. I realized, as I ran out the door, that I didn't have my small camera; I signalled to my wife that I was a jerk, ran back into the house, and tossed my small camera bag into the computer bag. She signalled back confirming what course of action I should take to and by myself.

We made it to the airport in good time. Sharon dropped me out front; I walked into chaos. Apparently somebody, earlier in the day, had pulled out a pistol to shoot his wife as she was flying out of town to meet her lover. All flights had been shutdown for a period, and had just started back up. The security lines were long, and winding.

Nothing I could do. I took my place in line, moving 1.4 feet every 10 minutes. TSA was checking everything; that day, that afternoon, everybody was a suspect with a pistol.

I finally made it to the front; gave the first officer my passport and boarding pass. He directed me towards a line. I hurried over, took off my belt and shoes, emptied my pockets, and tossed everything on the belt for x-ray. As I walk through the scanner, I'm stopped. I'm holding my pants up by the waist; I had lost some weight, and without a belt, I quickly suffered southern exposure.

The xray operator looked me up and down, and asked "Is this your bag?" pointing at my Tumi. I answered affirmatively. He asked if I had something sharp in it; I said "No, just pens." I then noticed that there were a lot of TSA agents around me; I was still grasping my pants, and of course I heard "Sir, why don't you put your hands up here in plain view?"

Great. I asked if I could have my belt. They simply repeated their demand, except they were a little more emphatic.

I sighed. At least the underwear didn't have holes. As for racing stripes, well, one can only hope for some things.

As I moved my hands up into plain view, and enjoyed the air conditioning playing over my buttcrack, the x-ray operator was removing...yep, my small camera bag. Which I had taken hiking. Into which I had stuffed a Spydie edge, all stainless steel endura.

I said "Wait, wait. You're going to find a knife in there. It's folded shut, you will not get cut, you are not at risk. I am sorry, I just got back from a fall hike, you can see the pictures in my camera that is in the bag."

THe xray tech removed the Endura, and of course every yuppie in a 20' radius crapped his or her pants, and those closest to me stepped back. Well, if nothing else, that had improved the situation a bit: I no longer cared about racing stripes.

The xray tech then removed the camera, and reviewed a couple pics. While he was doing that, I explained what had happened. He looked at me and just said "You have two problems. Pull up your pants and put on your belt." So I did, thinking that was two problems...but no.

He then said "I believe you. That's not the problem. The problem is that you are now in Cleveland, and there is a 3" limit on blade size. I can't let you have this knife to mail back home; I'm going to keep it. This officer here will escort you over to holding, and you are under arrest. Be advised that since it is Sunday, and there are no judges available, you will be in jail for approximately 16 hours. If you're lucky."

I started to get really pissed, and I looked at the officer; he was from Cleveland, not TSA. I started to demand my rights, raising my voice, and telling the xray operator that TSA should not do this.

Just as things started to really escalate, the Cleveland cop looked at me, put a finger to his lips, and winked. I had never had a cop wink at me; I wasn't sure if this meant we were going to the cleaning closet for a date or what, he had seen me standing there in my tighties, but he was definitely cooler than anybody at TSA.

I shut up. The cop looked at the xray tech and said "You can't keep the knife. Nice try, though. If you keep the knife, we have no evidence of wrongdoing, and we have to let him go. I'll take the knife and the prisoner now." Turning to me, he said "Sir, please gather all your belongings. We're going over there," pointing to a door.

I did as I was told. We left the security zone, and the as soon as we got out of sight, the cop handed me my knife, and said "@W@#@#@ TSA. Think they can tell us what to do. I am not his b2312323."

We got over to the door, and he said "Stand here. You want something to drink?" I asked for some water, and he grabbed two bottles, and came back over. He told me that the Endura was a nice blade, that he didn't care how big it was, the rule was made for the fifth district, a notoriously bad precinct in which the airport just happened to fall. He didn't feel it made sense to enforce such a rule at the airport.

We talked for a bit, with him complaining about TSA and their attitude, and finally he said "OK, they just had their shift break. That operator and those officers are gone. Sorry for the hassle - just mail the blade back home or have somebody come pick it up. If you want to do the latter, I'll escort you so you don't have to deal with TSA again.

And that is why my mother was right when she told me to always wear clean underwear with no holes when I travel.
Last edited by RLDubbya on Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SpyderNut
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby SpyderNut » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:15 pm

Great story! I thoroughly enjoyed it. :) Glad to hear the happy ending for you and your knife!
:spyder: -Michael

"...as I said before, 'the edge is a wondrous thing', [but] in all of it's qualities, it is still a ghost." - sal

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ZrowsN1s
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby ZrowsN1s » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:21 pm

Good story RLDubbya. Glad your short career as an underwear model had a happy ending. :D The zero tolerance mentality of some places is frustrating, we need folks to keep us safe, but there's no good reason for TSA to not give you your knife back and let you be on your way after seeing it was an honest mistake. Yay for the level headed officer.
I ❤ The POLICE :spyder:

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Jazz
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby Jazz » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:26 pm

Wow. Not fun. I like that cop. Should be more like him. Thanks for sharing.
- best wishes, Jazz.

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farnorthdan
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby farnorthdan » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:46 pm

Great story RLDubbya, good to know there are still some good cops out there, no comment on the TSA :rolleyes:
Happy to be part of this great forum and group of down to earth spyderco addicts, Thanks Sal and gang.
My Grails: Lum Tanto folder sprint, Sprint Persian(red), Captain, Manix 2 (M4), SB MT, PM2 M390, CF dodo, Manix2 (CF S90V),Manix2 XL S90V, Zowada CF Balance Rassenti Nivarna, Lil' Nilakka, Tuff, Police 4, Chinook 4, Caly HAP40 52100 Military, S110V Military, Any/All PM2 & Military sprints/exclusives I can get my grubby hands on :) :spyder: :) :spyder: :)

"We may look curious, homely, whatever, but we'll never be called unusable or undependable."

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carl3989
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby carl3989 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:56 pm

Great story. Great ending. Frame that Spydy and put it on the wall.

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holeshot
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby holeshot » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:19 pm

I have one question, boxers or tighty whities?
"No matter where you go, there you are"

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spyderHS08
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby spyderHS08 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:08 pm

Oh man, that's lucky! Good story lol, I recently got caught up with a tenacious in my bag at our airport when I was heading out as I had last minute shifted a pair of jeans from luggage to carry on to save space and weight forgetting that my knife was in those jeans ready for vacation!!! Luckily TSA was cool and there's no legal limits here so I was able to keep it in a sealed envelope I just had to return and pick up within two weeks. Which I did once we returned home with no problems. Good to hear you got ur spyderco back and didn't have to go to jail lol what a joke....

Spydergirl88
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby Spydergirl88 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:35 pm

Really enjoyed reading your story glad it worked out for the best

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Jazz
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby Jazz » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:40 pm

holeshot wrote:I have one question, boxers or tighty whities?
:D
- best wishes, Jazz.

Ippon
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby Ippon » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:45 am

Wow, what a story! Glad things worked out for you in the end. That Cop deserves a discount on his next spyderco purchase....

TheKnifeCollector
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby TheKnifeCollector » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:28 am

Wow, what a story! I am glad that that had a happy ending.

VashHash
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby VashHash » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:45 am

Score 1 for the home team. Good read and even better outcome. Glad you stood up for yourself instead of letting them steal your knife.

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abbazaba
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby abbazaba » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:14 pm

Great story! Thanks for taking the time to share.

OakTree
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby OakTree » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:36 pm

Nice story but I disagree with the cop's selective enforcement of the law.

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ZrowsN1s
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby ZrowsN1s » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:15 pm

OakTree wrote:Nice story but I disagree with the cop's selective enforcement of the law.
You bring up the classic dilemma of egalitarianism vs utilitarianism in enforcing the law. Each are problematic when taken to their extreme. Selective enforcement can be both a vital tool for justice and a dangerous tool of discrimination. The way I try to look at it is, why do we have laws? To benefit society right? The easy example is the speed limit, should everyone going 66mph in a 65mph zone get a ticket? That would be the egalitarian enforcement of the speed limit. Selective enforcement (utilitarianism) is where cops look for the few people driving recklessly instead of stopping everyone going over the limit. The idea being that it benefits our lives more to deal with the few extreme cases, rather than ticketing people who aren't causing the problem the law was intended to address. I find that the egalitarian view of enforcement can ignore the "Spirit" of a law, and lead to punishing people in a reflexive manner that shuns reason (zero tolerance, no excuses, no such thing as an honest mistake). We write laws to stop criminals, not to entrap otherwise law abiding citizens. Bringing it back around to our story here I would say the TSA is there to keep people safe from criminals and terrorists who are trying to do harm. Punishing someone who forgets a knife in their bag doesn't fit the "spirit" or intention of the law, and to me therefore doesn't benefit society and shouldn't be enforced (the utilitarian view). I don't mean to diminish the problems and discrimination that selective enforcement can lead to, or even utilitarianism when taken to it's logical extreme. There does need to be a balance. Anyways I hope you take this as friendly conversation, it is meant to be :) Welcome to the forum.
I ❤ The POLICE :spyder:

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spyderHS08
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby spyderHS08 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:58 pm

To add to that, most airports you can't obviously carry a gun around in them. But if it's secure and in your checked luggage you are dragging inside it is okay. The OP meant to put the knife in his luggage and mistakinlgy forgot to. If this knife would have been in a checked bag would he have been breaking the laws of Cleveland? No, it's not illegal to own a fixed blade or larger than 3 in folder there, it is illegal to carry in public. Another friendly point and not trying to start an argument here just another point of view agreeing with the "help stop the criminals doing 90 in a school zone" statement, not the law abiding citizens...

RLDubbya
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby RLDubbya » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:48 pm

Geez, guys, it's a story about making sure you put on your travelin' tightie whities every time you go out. Imagine how the poor OP would have felt standing there in stained Jockeys full of holes, all turtled up from having 200 people staring at his crotch while he's thinking about spending a night in a Cleveland jail - talk about shrinkage...

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ZrowsN1s
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby ZrowsN1s » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:24 pm

RLDubbya wrote:Geez, guys, it's a story about making sure you put on your travelin' tightie whities every time you go out. Imagine how the poor OP would have felt standing there in stained Jockeys full of holes, all turtled up from having 200 people staring at his crotch while he's thinking about spending a night in a Cleveland jail - talk about shrinkage...
Lulz, pro tip, Hanes sells tightie blackies. Or in the future perhaps boxers with inspirational quotes. ;)
I ❤ The POLICE :spyder:

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A.P.F.
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Re: My mother was right...

Postby A.P.F. » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:53 pm

An excellent story, RL! All I can say is that it looks like you don't have to take an IQ test to be in the TSA.


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