I screwed up. I know I screwed up and the resulting unhappiness is entirely my own fault. And I’m still irritated at the TSA or whatever the version of the TSA person working on the US side of the Canadian border and yet wearing an “I’m from Canada” or whatever badge and vest ensemble is. Probably they call themselves STA because in Canada everything is more or less the same except slightly different.
The first pocket-knife, and I use the descriptor loosely, that I donated to an airport security worker was in South Carolina. It was shortly after the TSA had announced the big rule change that you would now be allowed to bring a blade of sub three inches aboard an aircraft and though I had seen that the airline workers association was all up in arms about that, I thought to myself, “no way this sub one and a half inch knife attached to my swiss army utility device is going to be a problem.” Then I went through security in South Carolina and whoa boy was I ever wrong. Never mind that security in Oakland was not troubled by the “knife.” Having made it through there I thought, well I guess things are fine and I can make in anywhere. The federal rules it would seem are different in different states.
The presence of the knife in South Carolina caused the very large man handling my screening to loudly, and I felt like offensively, go through absolutely everything in my possession, laying it out on the screening table while berating me for violating the rules and being a threat to national security. He carefully screened the photos of my children, which I suggested were none of his business to which he replied, “If I didn’t shut my god damned mouth he would have me in jail.” So I stood biting my lower lip as he pulled forth from my purse grocery club cards, cash, tampons, and a travel size bottle of perfume. The latter he ignored completely apparently not understanding how that too was a rule violation, and I had wised up enough to stay quiet.
The pocket knife lost to the asshole in South Carolina was the smallest version in the swiss army line. It has a tiny pair of scissors (which by the way if you separated both blades would be the same as the tiny fucking knife), a useless nail file with a flat head for use as a screw driver, a toothpick, tweezers, and an itty bitty knife that unless you are a trained navy seal you aren’t going to kill anyone with. And if you are a trained navy seal you can just use your hands so you don’t need the tiny knife anyway. It was white and was dirty and scratched and had been given to me when I was thirteen. My bad for thinking I could take it. Chris bought me a replacement for my shabanukkah stocking that was exactly the same except a camouflage pink design. Today apparently I decided that the security lady in Toronto should have it. It is so not dangerous she could take it home to her five year old and not worry about any risk of damage. But she too yelled at me as she pulled the tiny knife out with her fingernails and thrusting it toward my face said, “this is a knife, you can not have this on an aircraft.” Well actually I can have it on an aircraft because it managed to come from San Francisco all the way here and I didn’t teleport! I didn’t say that, I know enough to understand that would not have helped. I did say, as a walked away, “enjoy your new knife.” I guess I should be glad I’m on the plane and not in a security room right now.
I had totally forgotten that I had the knife with me. Usually I take it out as I am packing in the office. I leave it on my desk so that I remember to put it back when I get home. This time I just forgot and when I remembered I was already in line in San Francisco and then I was through the line and I thought, “well apparently it’s no big deal.” Wrong!
So now I can wait until Hanukkah for a new knife or I can just go buy one myself. I rarely use it but it is something of a comfort to have. The thing is I have another knife in my bag that doesn’t bother anyone: it’s three inches and has an extremely sharp point but it’s called a “nail file” so they don’t get upset. Also sometimes I take my knitting on the plane and I carry seven-inch long needles with sharp points but I guess a terrorist would never pretend to be a knitter. Anyway, I know it’s my own fault. The lady in security was just “doing her job” and “following guidelines,” but it would have been nice, it would be nice if they were also encouraged to use their brains.
I think with the new knife that I will be acquiring in the next few days I will just rip off the knife part, then it’s just a broken swiss army knife and they can’t take it away. Also if necessary I always have my nail file.