"Uhm, okay. My bag? Are you sure?"
"Yes, sir. Please step this way."
"I can't imagine what in my bag..."
"Please, sir, no questions. Simply stand here, behind this yellow line. I'm going to open your bag to inspect it in a few moments. Please do not attempt to help me and do not touch anything in the bag. But first, a series of questions for you, per TSA regulation 4-36B."
"Sure thing. What exactly are you looking for?"
"Did you pack any of the following: ice picks, meat cleavers, sabers or swords?"
"No. Of course not."
"Any spear guns, bows and arrows, ice skates?"
"Flare guns, pellet guns or black powder?"
"Axes, cattle prods, saws..."
"No. This is ridiculous. Why would I bring any of those things? And how would I fit them in my briefcase? I'm just headed home to see my mom."
"Please just answer the questions, sir. We'll try to have you on your way as soon as possible. Did you pack any of the following articles: brass knuckles, nunchucks or throwing stars?"
"No. Please open my bag and see for yourself."
"Just one more series of questions, sir. Did you pack dynamite, hand grenades, tear gas, liquid bleach or a snow globe?"
"No. None of those...I'm sorry, did you just say 'snow globe'? Is that actually on the list?"
"Yes, Sir. Do you have a snow globe packed in your briefcase?"
"No. Can we get on with this? I've got a plane to catch. What was so suspicious in my bag to warrant this absurd inspection."
"Please stand behind the yellow line, sir, as I open your bag. Ah-ha. This is the culprit. Would you care to explain yourself?"
"That's wax. Red sealing wax. I'm a masters student at Mary Baldwin College, studying Shakespeare. It's something we do, sealing our letters with wax, like in the old days. I didn't even pack a lighter. I knew that was on the list, but I figured the wax wouldn't be a big deal."
"I'm afraid you were mistaken, sir. I'm going to have to confiscate this item. If you would like to fill out this form, we can have it mailed to your destination for ten dollars, shipping and handling."
"Mmmm...no thanks. May I go now?"
"Yes, sir. Thank you for your patience and have a nice flight."
Linking up with Write at the Merge this week - 500 words inspired by the picture above. A recent flight in which my teeny-tiny faux-Swiss Army knife was confiscated. Now what will I cut the kids' straws with when they're too long?!?