Thursday, June 09, 2005

What a difference 7 years makes

In 1998, I flew from St Petersburg. to Taipei via Los Angeles and Seoul. When I arrived at the airport in St. Pete, I realized that I still had my Spyderco Endura* in my pocket. I showed it to the security guy at the gate, and asked him what I should do. He opened the blade, laid it across the palm of his hand, and said no problem- I could carry it on board. This is the knife:


And I have pretty big hands.

Fast forward to 2005. I'm flying from the Long Beach (CA) airport to Las Vegas, having arrived a few hours earlier from Taipei. On my keychain, I have a ratcheting bits driver. I am told in no uncertain terms that I cannot bring the tool onto the plane. I protest that even with my amazing kung-fu pirate skills, I would have a hard time using it as a weapon. I was told: "Sorry sir, no tools are allowed."

Here is the tool in question:


Times change. With an Endura, you could slaughter and dress out a water buffalo (or a pilot) if you had the need or inclination. With a ratcheting bits driver (and no bits), you could... quickly and efficiently remove any 1/4" hex fasteners you found. So that could be pretty dangerous, if modern airplanes are held together with 1/4" fasteners. Could be, I guess. I don't know much about airplanes.

* Thank you again Johnny Atomic.


Kevin said...

Yes! and don't you know those "ace" security guys at the airport were probably checking out your tennis racket sized hands and wondering if those could be classified as some sort of weapon!

Kevin said...

And before I forget to tell you, the web cam has been installed! We will expect the "video" conferences to commence at any time!

Anonymous said...

You're welcome

Michael Turton said...

Karl? Didn't you know? Thanks to downsizing, pilots have been eliminated and replaced by computer-driven robot systems held together by 1/4" hex fasteners....

Red A said...

More than likely, you'll have planned it perfectly only to find that the airlines have switched to metric on you again.

Hat Tip: the movie Brazil.

Robin said...

Airline security is a joke. Unfortunately, it is not a humorous one.