I’m Not a Terrorist

By Deane Barker on September 10, 2007

I’m leaving tonight for FM’s Conversational Marketing Summit. I’m flying from Sioux Falls to Denver to San Francisco.

I need to work from my hotel room, and I can’t stand laptop keyboards or pointing devices, so I’m taking a full-size keyword and trackball in my carry-on. So, in the luggage that will go through the x-ray machine, I will have two mechanical-looking devices with wires coming out of them.

Anyone want to lay bets on whether or not this gets a second look from security? I’ll report on actual events when I get to my hotel late tonight.



  1. I’m going to go bet that it doesn’t. I’m sure they see those all day long.

    However, if you accidentally put your cologne in your carry on…you’ll for sure set off their “liquid detector”, believe me, it sucks!

  2. ^^ Right, I had my PS3, Wii, controllers, and cables packed into my carry on without a second look but oh man, when I forgot my liquid face wash was in my carry on they pulled me aside, lectured me, and patted me down.

    That reminds me of an SNL skit where the new airport security staff were in training asking their instrutor “So.. 3 oz is ok but 4 oz will blow up a plane?”


    “What if I am a passenger who does not have 3 ounces of liquid with me, but is confident I could produce three plus ounces on the flight… or a gel?”

    Full video here

  3. True to your prediction, Matt, I was done in by the toothpaste and gel. They made me take that out, and noticed the computer gear in the process, which they then made me take out as well.

    [Sigh] There’s always the trip home to get arrested.

  4. The question should be what do they look for in the X-Rays bet it isn’t circuit boards and clean cables. More likely it’s large solid shapes, guns, knives (wanna bet they’d catch a box cutter today?) and (as you found out) liquids. While I hate the process I wish the TSA all the luck in the world, none of the things they look for are abstract threats, their job is to close the door on things that have already happened. Straightforward “flat foot” police. While I agree with Franklin’s (“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. “) sentiment I have to admit that armed hijackings don’t happen unlike the 70’s.

    Hopefully your government (and mine) are putting most of their effort into finding problems before they arrive at the airport than screening for them prior to boarding. So far the system seems to have worked. (P.S. I have taken flight 93 and it’s predecessor many times before 2001)

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