Remember When You Could Bring Lip Gloss On An Airplane?

On the occasion of my 50th post I would like to thank you all for reading, and especially those of you who took the time to comment.  For the first few months of this operation the only person reading my posts was my mother, which was a little awkward since she does not have a computer.  I would have to print the post and mail it to her along with a self-addressed stamped envelope for comments.

Blogging is easier when the only reader is your mother.  But it is not nearly as fun.  You all have made this worthwhile, and I hope that you’ve found at least one or two things here that did not put you to sleep or make you ill.  As long as someone’s still reading, I’ll keep posting.

And on that note…

Remember when you could carry things like lip gloss, hand moisturizer, and water on an airplane without incident?

I do.

When I was a kid and my parents felt like putting me on a plane, the only items I ever carried on were paperback novels, Esquire magazine, and, just once, the Etch-A-Sketch Animator, which interfered with radar and necessitated an emergency landing in a Wal-Mart parking lot. I did not know that lip gloss and hand moisturizer even existed, and I would not have believed that people would one day pay for bottled water.

And then I got married. My wife carries around a CVS in her pocketbook, and engages in what I call “guerilla moisturizing.” Sometimes when I’m not looking she’ll apply some Neutrogena to my hands and say, “Rub it in.”

The other day we were at the airport, flying somewhere. We walk up to the security line and start placing into the gray plastic bins our shoes, belts, wallets, keys, cell phones, iPods, magazines, fuzzy dice, tongue scrapers, Texas Chainsaw Massacre bobble head dolls, Smucker’s jars containing embryonic aliens, and chewing gum.

Three items in my wife’s pocketbook catch my eye: a plastic bottle of lip gloss, a plastic bottle of hand moisturizer, and a plastic bottle of water. I consider telling her that these items might be a problem, but elect to remain silent. You learn certain things when you are married, and I know that it will be better for me if I let someone else tell her she can’t take something on the plane.

I’m directed to stand in this apparatus that looks like an upright magnetic resonance machine. Obviously I’m either going to travel through time, or be subjected to a full body scan. There is a whirring noise and I close my eyes. When I re-open them I am still in my own time, but they catch me trying to smuggle an ATM receipt onto the plane. After a TSA worker pats me down and then buys me drinks, I re-don my shoes, belt, et al.

I’m ready to graduate to the Food Court/Hudson News phase of air travel, but my wife has been detained by a TSA worker who does not look as nice as the one who patted me down. “Do you have a re-sealable plastic bag?” my wife asks me, as if I was supposed to have packed one.  I reply that, alas, I do not.

Spread out before her are the lip gloss, hand moisturizer, and bottled water. “They’re saying I have to put these things in a re-sealable plastic bag. I have to go through security again.” I ask my wife why she doesn’t just throw out the water. “Are you kidding? I paid three dollars for this!” The humorless TSA worker starts leading my wife back into the pre-security area. The chivalric thing to do would be to follow her, but chivalry is no match for Cinnabon.

A few minutes later I’m stuffing my face and wondering where my wife has gone. I see her standing just before the conveyor belt, chugging her water. I wonder if she’s going to start applying all her hand moisturizer, perhaps offering it to the passengers around her. “Excuse me,” she would say, “but I can’t take this on the plane, and your hands look dry.” Then she goes through the time warp again, and I’m about to breathe a sigh of relief, but she is detained again, this time by a different TSA worker.

I’m halfway through Steig Larsson’s “The Girl Who Tried To Bring Moisturizer On A Plane” when my wife gets through security. She tells me that she had to take a taxi to a local convenience store to buy Ziploc bags. I tell her how unfair it all is, how making her go through security three times is a waste of valuable resources, and inconveniences people for no gain. I put my arm around her and she smiles a little.

But let’s see her try to moisturize me now without my hearing the plastic bag.


Filed under Travel

192 responses to “Remember When You Could Bring Lip Gloss On An Airplane?

  1. Those were the “Good Old Days” ! Great post, very funny!

  2. keep up the good work 😉

  3. Excellent! Last time I flew I had to chug my$3 water, too. Then an hour later, when on the airplane and flying over LaGrange,Ga, I had to pee. Those teeny bathrooms….tsk. I’m flying again this weekend, thank you for the plastic bag reminder. I would have forgotten.

  4. Haha!! 🙂 this made me chuckle x

  5. Great post! I laughed so hard I forgot pay my property taxes

  6. kentuckyavenger

    You’re wife went through a lot to keep her items. Can’t say I’d do the same.

  7. I really Like it,
    Thank you for sharing~

  8. David Roseberry

    “Smucker’s jars containing embryonic aliens”…. lol. 🙂
    Love your writing, keep it up!

  9. Clever! Funny one liners, too. You could be a stand-up comedian. Congrats on being FP’d and I have to say, somehow I found your blog a while ago, probably around the time you were mailing your mom the posts.

  10. Yeah, I remember.

    I was, funnily enough, just telling this story to a friend a couple nights ago. While I was visiting my family one year soon after the shoe-bomber incident and silly liquid/gel/plastic baggie rules went into effect, my mother gave me a small jar of body scrub made from sugar and sand. Weird stuff, but it was from Bath & Body Works, in the original container, brand new, sealed. I did not even think twice about having this in my carry-on luggage (indeed, I had only a carry-on).

    When it was seen on the x-ray into the gate area, three TSA agents descended to quiz me about what it was and try to determine if it was a liquid or a gel.

    • Good story. If the body scrub was in a clear plastic re-sealable bag perhaps they would have had an easier time. Although I’m still not sure science has answered the question of whether body scrub is liquid or gel.

  11. Ha, Ha, absolutely hilarious!

    And to think – we’ve only ourselves to blame for all this hassle at airports just because we all gullibly believed (figuratively) that an Orange is really an Apple LOL!

    Still, at least no one died, not like poor old Bob who lost his son LOL

    Sorry, I’m still laughing about the lipgloss episode. Whatever crazy security ideas will they come up with next?! LOL

    Is this all a dream? I mean all this hilarious banter, we’re all asleep right? We’re going to wake up and be grown ups again soon, right?

    LOL! etc

  12. Anna

    This is amazing. hahaha I enjoyed reading this very much. =) Go husband, what a supportive man you are.

  13. awwwww, heheheh…poor you {and your beloved}, i almost feel for you save for the fact that i got given a half bottle of Chanel Gardenia at the airport as a farewell sentimental gift and had to waste an entire 30 mins looking for the damned plastic bags seeing as no way i was going to don all of that good scent on my slept-in-plane after plane creased gear! they definitely should look at selling the squishy things at airport check points like they do in SA, heck, they give them out for free…makes life easier for everyone, and gives jobs to recycling plants!

    • That would have been one aromatic plane ride. And I’ve heard that they usually give them out for free, but even selling them might be quick way to make a buck. Selling the bags could offset the cost of checking them!

  14. I totally relate to you leaving it up to the TSA guy to tell your wife what she can/can’t take on the plane. My husband never believes me either. I’ve learned to bite my tongue too. Good for you : )

  15. I think it’s hilarious that your wife actually left the airport without your knowledge and you were just eating. That’s what’s up.

  16. You mentioned that you have to print your post for yur mother so she could read it.
    I had a biss like that. Besides of her being horrible – I had to print every email we got and to file it – you can imagine how old she was…

  17. Years ago before we all had to remove shoes, I was pulled twice out of line and asked to take off my shoes for inspection. My husband had been making fun of my pointy toed boots for hours and joked that they looked like weapons. I think his laughing at my shoes is what really caused the suspicion.

  18. Pingback: Remember When You Could Bring Lip Gloss On An Airplane? (via Schlabadoo) « Everything Travel Everywhere

  19. kimjudkins

    I reblogged this on my travel site. Thanks for the fun story!
    check it out here

  20. MyBodyMySelf

    There’s a special kind of loss felt in losing personal items to airport personnel. I’m still smarting from tweezers I surrendered years ago. 😦 And it’s not much fun guzzling a bottle of water as personnel looks on, wondering if it will all fit. 🙂

  21. Very funny post, liked the Aliens in Smuckers jars. Going on a trip to San Francisco next month with two kids, not looking forward to the TSA. Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  22. A lovely but funny post that put a smile on my face and make my day. “The Girl Who Tried To Bring Moisturizer On A Plane” is a good one 🙂

  23. dad

    Mark, this is your father Jor-el. When are you coming out of the basement? You’ve been down there since October.

  24. Nice post!
    One time, I drink a whole bottle of water within a minute before I get into the security. The reason is the same, “I paid $3 for it”

  25. Pingback: PTP 3: Origami & Airport Security « EduClaytion

  26. Here by way of EduClaytion. Such a funny post! I’m reminded of an experience several years ago, trying to leave Vegas (my first and last visit). As passengers were allowed to board the plane, my husband went merrily along ahead of me. When I presented my boarding pass, the gate attendant looked at it, looked at me, looked at it, looked at me (bad sign) … and then sternly said, “You are not permitted to board this plane.” Say what?!

    My little sandwich bag with lip gloss and lotion had made it through without any problem. There is no short version to this story, but I’ll try. Some bumbling TSA person had not marked my pass to indicate that I’d gone through the screening successfully. My husband, thankfully, came back … to find me having a meltdown. True love: when your husband sees you having a meltdown and does run back on the plane, leaving you stranded in another state. We missed our flight trying to get the red tape straightened out, had to stay an extra night, and had to catch a plane the following morning. For the love of God! And lip gloss and lotion!

  27. Hehe))) I loved the post! You have another subscriber in Ukraine now 🙂

  28. Gia

    LOL. the things we go through for that tiny tube of lotion…. this was hilarious.

    I’d probably choose the cinnabon too… 🙂

  29. Solution: bring a reusable water bottle and fill it at a water fountain after security.

  30. Pingback: Mash-Up: May 28 | Mark Kaplowitz's Blog

  31. thedod23

    I’m still reading old posts of yours–this one was particularly humorous to me as I just took a trip to CA last week. I unload my purse onto the conveyor belt and within one-tenth of one second I hear a menacing growl emanating from the man watching the x-ray screen followed by a barked “LIQUIDS IN THE PURSE!!” After pawing through the purse himself (I thought this was taboo?) he handed it back to me and ordered me to locate the offensive liquid myself. Tucked in an inside pocket was a 0.5 oz bottle of hand sanitizer. He plucked it from my palm as if it actually contained Agent Orange laced with SARS and deposited it into a clear plastic bag while frowning disapprovingly. I held up the line for at least 5 minutes. On the plus side, I got a free clear plastic bag. Oh, airport security. Glad I subscribed to your blog! This is good stuff!

  32. I absolutely love your writing style! It’s just so quirky and humorous. They say that comedy is all about timing and I’d say the same applies to your writing. You deliver the punch line just as you have built up enough anticipation as you relay your story.

    I have only recently started to blog and it is quite uplifting that you had started out with a limited audience yourself, thanks for sharing that 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad you like the posts. It took me a while to get into a blogging groove so definitely stick with it. I’ll have to check out your blog. Best of luck and please stop by anytime.

  33. I rarely comment, however I browsed a lot of comments on
    Remember When You Could Bring Lip Gloss On An Airplane?
    | Mark Kaplowitz’s Blog. I do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to mind. Is it simply me or do some of these remarks look like they are left by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing at other social sites, I’d like to keep up with
    you. Could you post a list of all of your social community pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin

  34. Howdy fantastic website! Does running a blog similar to this take a great deal of work?

    I’ve no understanding of coding but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways, if you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic but I simply wanted to ask. Thanks!

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