Open Letter To Airport Security

To Whom It May Concern:

It’s probably my own fault, really. I knew not to bring liquids in containers greater than 3.4 fluid ounces (though I admit confusion over whether the ban is on the amount of liquid or the size of the bottle), but I did anyway. It was a mistake caused by doing the bulk of my packing the morning of the trip. I packed the requisite plastic bag (oops! a gallon instead of a quart), because I knew I’d need it for my tiny bottle of eye drops and perhaps a tube of chapstick (which a year ago - prior to the “one bag, three ounces” rule - was confiscated). But of course that’s not all I put in it. In a few glorious moments of not-thinking, I shoved in my 5-ounce glass container of Marc Jacobs cologne (mostly full), and a brand new 4-ounce container of Garnier Fructis hair gunk - stuff I pack on pretty much all my weekend trips to Hartford or Boston. My bad, as “they” say.

But that’s where my faults end and yours begin. It was horribly nice of you to let me keep my cologne (even though it was sketchily double-wrapped in a black grocery bag) because you “know it’s just cologne.” Uh, don’t you also know what hair gunk looks like? What gives with this absurd and arbitrary application of Federal regulations? How can you say “it’s cool” in the same breath as “but I’ll have to confiscate this green container, sorry”? Um, dude, I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but who’s to say my Marc Jacobs cologne wasn’t actually a hard-core acid that could melt the skin of small children and flight attendants? Or that the couple drops left in my bottle of eye drops aren’t infected with a particularly awful strain of conjunctivitis, just waiting for my seat-mates to drift off to sleep? Or that I plan on using my beard trimmer to rip the neck-flesh of the copilot after I’ve blinded him with a spritz of cayenne-peppered cologne? I could go on, and I’m not even a terrorist who researches and plans and plots for months. These thoughts just came to me in my less-than-awake post-redeye-flight state.

Please have the decency to apply these regulations consistently. Any exceptions risk exposing these regulations for the frivolous, non-response that they are. You and I both know that these rules do nothing to protect us, but can’t we at least pretend that they do, so we all might feel a little better?

Just because I dress “professionally” and seem “nice” does not give you an excuse not to do your job. The blood is on your hands, dude.

Your friend and fellow patriot,

Kevin M. Keating