The following is a faithful account of my rather tenuous encounter with airport security as I was flying back to school last holiday season.
I was armed with your standard wayfarer airline-approved duffel bag, a bunch of frozen Lunar New Year bamboo-wrapped glutinous rice bundles (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s this), and some not-so-common-sense.
Security guy (holding up my duffel from the x-ray machine): Miss, is this your bag?
Me: Oh. Yeah, that’s mine.
SG: What’s in here?
Me: My clothes, some books I brought from home.
SG: Is that all?
SG (pulling out the bundle of zongzi): Do you want to explain what this is, then?
(The zongzi have apparently, by this time, begun to defrost in my bag. They’re dripping like a very suspicious, heavily-wrapped bag of liquid uranium or something.)
Me: Oh. (Stopping short for a second. Probably looking very suspicious in general as I consider how to explain it, and then just decide–rather stupidly–not to bother.) Yeah. That too. I forgot about that.
SG: Well? What is it?
Me: It’s this thing I’m bringing home for, like, Chinese New Year. It’s this sticky rice, er, thing wrapped in bamboo. (Pause) Yeah. That’s about it.
SG: Why is it dripping? Is it a liquid?
Me: No…it’s just…melting. I mean…yeah, it’s not a liquid. It’s sticky rice. In bamboo.
SG (Tossing the bag up and down in his palm): And it’s rock hard?
Me: No, it’s actually soft. Well, we froze it. So it’d last longer and…stuff.
SG: Miss, you’re going to have to take it out and show us what’s in there.
(At this moment, I stare down and notice with a sinking feeling that my mom has wrapped, tied up, layered, and sealed the entire package with a rigidity that only my mom can accomplish. It’s completely leak-proof. It is also completely tamper-proof, openable-proof, dent-proof, security-proof, and me-proof.)
Me: Er, yeah. Just hang on…
A full two minutes later, after my fingers are raw from digging through layers upon layers of glacially-sealed plastic bags, I finally manage to pry out a frozen zongzi that–truth be told–could probably kill someone if I threw it at them.
Terrorist weapon? Not really.
Just a really dangerous thing to be putting in the hands of a girl who might at any time trip over a first-class seat cupholder and send those rocks flying at somebody’s head? Maybe.
So after receiving several credulous looks from the security guards, none of whom seem to know what to do with these potential security hazards, they finally let me pass. I’m assuming that they assumed that a rather lacking-in-common-sense gal like me probably wouldn’t know what to do with an armament even if she had access to one on board.
That’s probably true, too.
So what’s the lesson that we all learned from this little anecdote?
Don’t ever, ever let me attempt to board an airplane while carrying a tray of these bon-bombes, a.k.a. mini dessert bombes.
Why, you ask?
Well, let’s just think about it for a straight second…
Security Guard: Miss, what are these?
Me: Oh, those? Just some bombes I made.
Yeah, I’ll let you figure out the rest.
By the way, aren’t these just the cutest shot glasses in the world? Meet Rabid Rabbit, Skulk the Schizophrenic Cat, and Post-Security-Guard-Encounter Me.
I used them to hold some of the extra bon-bon/bombe frozen filling I made–half raspberry, half cookie butter swirl (I swear, it’s like I’m possessed by cookie butter or something! Not that I’m complaining…).
Hope you make some “bon-bombes” too to celebrate National Raspberry Bombe Day! If you have an airport anecdote to tell, or a funny story about something a rather embarrassing lapse of judgment that has hit you recently, please share! I’d love to feel, you know, not completely alone in my less-than-common-sense encounters.
Happy reading, and happy eatings!