I've been on six airplanes in as many days, and on half of these, I got tagged for everything shy of a cavity search. At one point they asked me to turn my cell phone on, I said I can't, they said, you have to, I said I'd like to. They said why don't you charge it before you leave the house, and I asked, do you have any idea what kind of a person you're questioning here? I'm an idiot, I explain, and they let me go.
So I've found the FBI guide to concealed weapons useful, in terms of knowing what to avoid bringing on a flight. Turns out there's nothing you can't put a blade inside. Knives don't kill people; belts, shoes, necklaces, wristwatches and keychains kill people. My favorite is on page 64 of the PDF, from Italy's "United Cutlery." It's a knife, but it's disguised to look like a .44 bullet. One bad apple man, and now it's going to be hard to get any bullets on board.
An interesting counterpart and converse, then, is prison weaponry. If 297 million of us Americans are trying to turn knives into things like shoes and bullets, then the other 3 million are doing everything they can to turn ballpoints and toothbrushes into knives. A sharp blade being in the end, a really low common denominator.Posted by kevin slavin at March 07, 2004 07:53 AM