With all the recent posting on Facebook about the TSA, I remembered an extremely odd encounter I'd had with one of them in Chicago, January 2004. I unearthed this from my blog from back then:
My journey home was definitely eventful. My flights were scheduled from London Heathrow into Chicago, then on to Portland.
I picked up my suitcase at customs and immigration in Chicago without incident, (they didn't find the poteen!) However, when I took the case to be transferred to the Portland flight, I met a very strange individual from the TSA. He watched me haul the heavy case off the cart and drag it to his security area. Although we are not permitted to step within this area, he stood back so he could watch me attempt to haul the case onto the counter.
Finally I asked him for some help. With a snide remark, he did so and we put it on the counter together. Then he went psycho. His dark eyes widened menacingly and he puffed himself up to look larger than he was.
"Ma'am, I can have you arrested for that!" he snarled.
I looked at him in bewilderment. "What have I done?"
"Get. Back. Behind. The line, Ma'am, and. Relax."
I stepped back out of the security area he had invited me into and watched him in amazement. I was standing to his right. He checked the bag for explosives, (carry them all the time y'know), and then held his hand out, palm up, glaring at me in silence.
"What do you need?" I inquired mildly. He didn't reply; kept staring at me. I gingerly placed the key to my padlock into his palm. He didn't react. "That's not what you want?" I asked. Again no reaction.
Just as gingerly, I retrieved the key. He's still standing there, eyes filled with anger.
"You're scaring me," I finally say, keeping my voice calm and even. "What do you want me to do?" I notice his colleague and several passengers watching.
His hand went down at last. "I want you, Ma'am... to relax and go to Terminal 3."
Without a word I get the hell out of there as quickly as possible. That man was apparently waiting for any excuse to have someone arrested. If I'd asked him if he was right in the head like I wanted to, I'd be wearing orange and meeting me a fine strappin' gal in the local Chicago jail.