Written on Apr 18, 2010 By Dan O'Connor

Sir, do you have any massive knives in your bag?

The morning had started out pretty good. I got up about 4:00 AM to catch my flight to Chicago for our sales meeting. I pulled on some shorts and a t-shirt and checked my phone for an e-mail from Terry. He was in China working on a project with our equipment. We had screwed up and he needed some components overnighted from Japan. We had worked on it until about 12:30 last night.

I was ready to leave by 5:30. My flight was at 8:05 so that gave me about 1-1/2 hours to get to off-site parking and then to the airport an hour early.

Everything was packed and I loaded the Jeep. I made a last minute check-wallet, glasses, computer, daytimer , phone-phone, where is my phone? I could have sworn it was in my holster. Checked all the usual places- my desk-nope, Dresser-nope, kitchen table-nope Hmmm. Maybe I hit it when I loaded my suitcase and knocked it out (it has happened before). Looked all around Jeep with a flashlight-nope. 5:45 AM

Spent 5 minutes tracking down my wife’s phone. How does this thing work, how do I dial my number-okay it’s ringing. Nothing inside the house. Go outside dial it again-nothing. 5:55 AM

When all else fails retrace your steps

Okay Dan think-
Got up
Pulled on shorts
Checked e-mail
Went to make breakfast
Slipped phone into shorts pocket

Checked wall hook in bathroom were I took shower-no shorts

Shorts, shorts, shorts

Oh yea- I packed them

Run out to Jeep open back
Open Suitcase
Find Shorts

Eureka- My phone

Lock up house-6:05

Cr—, now I will hit Dallas Rush hour traffic.

No time to go to off-site parking-will have to park at terminal.

Luckily traffic was not too bad and I got to the terminal parking at 7:00 AM. It is best to just go straight to top to find available parking.

What is this guy doing? Does he have to stop at every turn to go up-MOVE IT BUDDY!!!

Ahhh! A parking spot.

Carry everything down 5 flights of stairs.

Get into terminal 45 minutes before my flight. Great-short line at security. Get my ticket, don’t need to check a bag.

Load everything on security conveyor walk though scanner no problem. Get my trays with shoes, belt, glasses, laptop and phone. Get briefcase, load lap top back into briefcase.

Sir, I will need to inspect your bag


Oh well, it usually only takes a few minutes and I can put on my shoes and belt while he does it.

This guys is actually pretty funny. They always ask if you have anything sharp in your bag.

He said, “Sir, before I start my inspection do you-like- have any massive knives in your suitcase?”

Good one and he got a laugh out of me.

Pulled on my shoes and started on my belt as he went though the main compartment. I was finishing up my belt when he unzipped the thin compartment on top and pulled out a plastic pack of 3 large kitchen knives.

Life stopped

As the world froze around me and all the blood drained from my head I flashed back to six months earlier. I did not want to go to a restaurant for dinner and had stopped at a grocery store before heading to my hotel. I bought fruit, cheese, ham and bottled water. I did not have a knife and all they had was a cheap package of 4 kitchen knives. One small paring knife and 3 large knives. At the hotel I extracted the small knife, slipped the packet with the remaining knives into the top pocket of my bag and forgot all about them. That is until a TSA officer was holding them in front of me in the middle of DFW airport security.

Undoubtedly they had seen them on the scanner and he was waiting for my reaction when he pulled them from the suitcase. I am sure I will be one of the favorite stories told around the TSA break room for some time to come. He savored the moment then gently asked me if I would like to go back out and put them in my car. Realizing that I was not going to be taken into custody I regained a little of my composure and told him that I had no time to go out and he could dispose of them however he saw fit. I saw a hint of smile and he wished me a good day.

Sigh! Having a memory like a steel trap is such a curse.

P.S. I made my flight.


  1. Shannon says:

    So, the question must be asked: if you got the knives while traveling, how did you get them home to try and travel with again?!?! Of course, this is from a girl who, unknowingly, got a 5 in. pocket knife through security at least 4 times…

    • Dan O'Connor says:

      And ’tis a fair question to ask me lass.

      But there is little mystery in the telling of the tale.
      On the previous trip I drove to the near city of Houston.
      This trip I flew to the far city of Chicago.

      Knowing you carried a 5 inch blade several times on a plane makes me feel oh so safe.

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