So, I forgot to take my liquids out of my carryon, not that it would have made much difference, given that I am traveling with only once piece of carryon and no checked luggage. So this time that I forgot to remove them, unlike the other n times, the TSA noticed it. Or, sort of. The guy took out two of the three liquids/gels I had. He missed my deodorant. But he took out a small bottle of aloe, totally unlabeled, and my toothpaste.
Here’s where it becomes total farce: the aloe was small enough to be acceptable, so he just says “next time, put this in a clear plastic bag. But this is too large,” meaning the toothpaste. If you were concerned about potentially dangerous gels, which would catch your attention? A small unmarked container (which he never asked me to even identify) of clear odorless gel, or a toothpaste tube, which you could easily confirm contained toothpaste, which you know to be non-dangerous? Of course, he didn’t give the aloe a second thought, but took the toothpaste. The only way this makes sense is in the context of Bruce Schneier’s interview with Kip Hawley, in which Hawley basically says that there is an Office for Annoying Air Travelers.
In other, unrelated news, chewing gum is one of the most incredibly obnoxious actions that doesn’t actively impinge on those around you.