Sunday, January 29, 2012

What do cupcakes and Lightsabres have in common?

What do cupcakes and Lightsabres have in common? Apparently they are both weapons according to TSA.

Did you hear about TSA and the cupcake?

That’s right, two week ago guards in Las Vegas took a frosted cupcake away from a woman named Rebecca Hains as she prepared to board a flight to Boston. The frosting, you see, was “gel-like” and thus a potential security threat.

I’m really not sure how to approach this one, other than to weep uncontrollably.

According to a Transportation Security Administration spokesperson the confiscation was in error — the work of an overzealous (or maybe just hungry) screener. “In general, cakes and pies are allowed in carry-on luggage,” said the spokesperson. Still, I don’t know if that makes it OK. That we can use the words “cupcake” and “security” in the same sentence is a bright red flag that something is very, very wrong in America. TSA says the incident is “under review.” I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that meeting.

This is yet more fodder, of course, for my American Hysteria Hall of Shame. The hall isn’t limited to airport security foibles, but clearly TSA is gunning for the bronze, the silver and the gold. Operation Cupcake joins a pretty fat list:

TSA confiscates a butter knife from an airline pilot. TSA confiscates a teenage girl’s purse with an embroidered handgun design. TSA confiscates a 4-inch plastic rifle from a GI Joe action doll on the grounds that it’s a “replica weapon.” TSA confiscates a liquid-filled baby rattle from airline pilot’s infant daughter. TSA confiscates a plastic “Star Wars” lightsaber from a toddler.

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