Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What's in the Box?

When I walked through the airport terminal with a 6"x6" cardboard box I could feel eyes on me. And the box. At the security checkpoint I emptied the pockets of my cargo pants into one grey trey and in another I placed the box and gently pushed it along onto the TSA conveyor belt and through the black flaps, pretending it was getting an airport car wash. As the box passed through the x-ray machine I wondered what it would look like to the screener.

"Sir, is this your box?" the burly, seemingly annoyed woman with the Homeland Security badge asked.

"It is".

"Can you step this way?"

I did.

"Please open the box".

I did. She looked in, probed around with her latex-gloved hand, looked up at me, shook her head, pushed the box in the trey towards me and said "you can go".

As I stood in line to board the plane a woman behind me in line, but standing next to me as if I might not notice her and let her sneak by looked over at the box tucked under my arm and asked "An urn? Sometimes people carry the ashes that way."

"No, but close" - I said, slightly sarcastically.

On the plane I placed my laptop in the overhead compartment above seat 3D, I reached down, grabbed the box and placed it gently in the little space that was left.

"Whatca got there?" the flight attendant asked in a half-joking, half-gruff, suspicious tough guy tone. I could feel the people around me wondering the same thing. What is it? Should we rush him? Grab his box from him? He has a goatee. People with beards can't be trusted. I closed the compartment hatch and sat in my seat.

I've never asked anyone what was in their purse. Or what's in their laptop bag. Why should I tell anyone what was in the box?


  1. When i went to get u at the airport, i found it strange that you were carrying that box, but never asked, just helped you putting it in the trunk of tracy's car... i guess i'll never know what there was...

  2. Hey man, you can't throw it out there like that and NOT tell us what's in the box!!!!

  3. Reminds me of the time my wife brought home from Seattle a large portion of Salmon that she carried on her lap on the plane. It was wrapped in dry-ice but still everyone needed to know what it was! Seems like you had trouble going and coming back! Email me your work schedule and contact info.....we may come over and do a visit with you soon!!! :-)

    -M Hamlin

  4. Ever since 9-11, we have paranoia to a much greater extent

  5. Peyton is still asking..."what does Uncle Peetie got in that box?"

  6. It's not the beard that is suspicious.....it's the eyebrows :)

  7. I bet the box was COMPLETELY empty and it was a social experiment- Security stopped me for what I had in a wooden box, but that was tarot cards. I wouldn't let them touch them, so I had to take them out of the box. So they swabbed my backpack for chemicals in retaliation haha

  8. No. There was...something...in the box.

  9. I LOVE this post! People are so funny. They've just gotta know and I love making them wonder. I love when strangers come up to us and ask, "Are you gonna have any more children? You've got your hands full. How many do you have anyway?" My husband always answers with, "We're only half way there. or Only half of our kids are with us. You should see the other half we left home." :) LOL

    mother of the Fab Five:)

    I know you had M&M's in the box...

  10. nope! I ate the M&Ms just before getting on the plane. Part of the ritual. If the plane goes down, I will have had my candy!

  11. YOU are too funny! Oh how that makes sense!!!!!!!!