"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Sunday, June 01, 2008

they be stealin'

This morning I had a small, so I thought, unopened container of raspberry yogurt I got from the hotel continental breakfast. I put it in my plastic ziploc bag full of the small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, etc. for airport security. But they really stuck to their guns (or whatever compliance-promoting / protective devices they have) about the 3.4 ounces rule. The lady said, "Oh...I'll have to take your yogurt. It's more than 3.4 ounces. Would you like to go back so you can eat it?" (I thought, I know you're doing the right thing by offering me that choice, and it's clever psychologically as well as less illegal to offer a silly choice that preserves someone's illusion of personal property rights, than to confiscate pocketknife keyrings and baby bottles and yogurt out of hand, but NO, I WOULD NOT rather take off my shoes and empty out my pockets and unpack my laptop and remember not to put it in the same bin as the case, after adequately stowing those items again so I can leave the security area, just so I can eat this 4 ounces of yogurt.) I said, "I can't eat it right now?" (in the presence of these witnesses and all here assembled) and she said "No, afraid not." I had a spoon and everything, I could have stood aside and gobbled it right up in probably less than thirty seconds.

I wonder what would have happened if I'd said, 'Okay, I'll go back,' but then, upon accepting the container of yogurt, I'd suddenly peeled back the top and started eating it right there by the x-ray conveyor belt. Would I have been detained, or cited, or forbidden to board a plane? Or perhaps I'd never have had that option because she would have walked the yogurt outside the security area before returning it to me, as there is protocol for this kind of thing, these scenarios with yogurt.

2 comments:

adam said...

It's a good thing you didn't try to eat it there--they may have tackled you (not that you couldn't handle that, with your training and all). I agree, however, that one can eat 4 ounces of yogurt pretty fast. Maybe faster than 30 seconds. I think I've eaten 6 ounces in 10 seconds.

Emily said...

Yes, theoretically my training would have caused me to lower my shoulders and protect the yogurt to avoid a fumble.