Crackpot concept: the TSA confiscation exchange

With the winter holidays ahead, I decided to replace my dangerously dull moustache scissors with a fancy new pair.  Stainless steel, comfort grip, finely serrated blades. My upper lip blinked and squinted in the sunlight.

I recall once watching a grown man at a TSA checkpoint in Albany serious lose his cool at the confiscation of his ‘stache scissor, and now I think I know what he must have been feeling. Honestly, it was embarrassing for all concerned, and I think he was minutes from getting arrested, red in the face and pantomiming a snip-snip motion with two fingers under his nose while swearing a blue streak at the agent.

At almost the same time, this turgid bit of lifehackery crossed my desk: Buy Knives, Power Tools, and Other Stuff Confiscated by the TSA for Cheap.  It turns out that in addition to the high profile wacky confiscations of katanas and tree-trimmers, there are pallets of confiscated letter openers, swiss army knives, snow globes, and nail clippers being collected and sold and auctioned by the TSA and various resellers.

So here’s my crackpot idea: whenever the TSA confiscates your nail clippers, scissors, corkscrew, etc., they throw it in a bucket of similar items and issue you a voucher for one of whatever it was they took.  When you get to your destination, your voucher entitles you to rummage through the appropriate bin at that checkpoint, and take one. For sanity’s sake, I imagine it would be restricted to the dozen or so most commonly confiscated items, and certainly not to real weapons.

I figure it’s a win-win.  You get to replace your lost item, admittedly not exactly, and the TSA doesn’t have to haul around all these confiscated items and figure out how to dispose of them.  Ceteris paribus, it should net out fairly evenly, but any surplus can be donated, sold or recycled as they are now.  Maybe for an extra buck, you can wash your new blade with somebody’s confiscated too-large bottle of hand sanitizer.

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2 comments

  1. limeduck

    It’s been suggested that lighters and matches be added to the program, but I think we’d be doing the smokers – and the world – a favor by keeping those items from them.

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