Unintentional adventures in airport security 

Carry On

I'm a risk-taking man. I like to take chances. I like to put all of my chips on the No. 13, spin the roulette wheel, and pray that my hopes and dreams aren't splattered all over the casino walls like Christopher Walken's brains in The Deer Hunter. Charlie likes to gamble.

Which is why I was very much aware of what I was doing when I handed over my driver's license to a security official at the Philadelphia International Airport. I knew that the license was split in half — the front side with the photo and the back with the magnetic strip were separated. More importantly, I knew that it might be a problem.

And it was. The TSA agent marked my ticket for Delta Flight 1021 with a red pen and called over a fellow agent to take me aside to be felt up like a Japanese school girl in a tightly packed train headed to Harajuku Station.

After a surface-level pat down and a thorough search of my backpack, wallet, and shoes, the agent sent me on my merry way to down a few pints before the flight out of Philly. No blood. No foul. They were just doing their jobs as protectors of America's skies, and I was doing mine as a devil-may-care adventurer. Needless to say, the flight took off as planned, and I arrived safely at the Charleston International Airport.

Now this shouldn't come as a surprise to you — especially in these tough economic times — but I've got a second job. See, I'm not just a guy who spends his days and nights attempting feats of derring-do. I'm also a dumbass. I frequently forget to zip my fly. I didn't realize Delaware was a state until I was in my 30s. And I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000.

Need another example of my stupidity? Let me take you back a few days.

We had just checked into our room at the Marriott in downtown Philadelphia. I was still wearing my backpack — the one containing the latest issue of Rolling Stone and a biography on Iggy Pop, the one I had with me the entire flight, the one that had been scanned at Charleston International Airport shortly before I boarded Delta Flight 1687, departing for Atlanta at 10:10 a.m. on Thurs. June 5.

For some reason I needed to write something down, so I took off the pack, placed it on the bed, and reached into the middle pocket to grab a pen. I didn't find one. Instead I found a knife, the 3.5 inch beastie pictured here in all of its serrated, gut-you-from-ear-to-ear glory. I had put it there a couple of weeks back when I moved from one house to another, and I had forgotten to take it out.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who's a dumbass. And that's not a good thing.

click to enlarge _knifeopen.jpg

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