25 September 2007


Some of you may already agree that airport security procedures these days can be inefficient when considering from a philosophical, technical, and/or moral standpoint. But let's get a little more basic: Indianapolis International Airport security folks are MATHEMATICALLY inefficient.

I traveled to Indianapolis for work, so I packed lightly. These days, checking in your luggage is like gambling. You may or may not have your clothes and personal belongings upon arrival to your destination. One small carry-on suitcase and a laptop (with my purse jammed into the laptop briefcase...because even if the purse is the size of your hand, it's considered a 3rd item!).

Since I would be carrying all my toiletries in the cabin, they all needed to be 3.4 or less ounces, in quart-sized ziploc bags. No problem. I am an easy girl in these matters. Fortunately, I had a 100 ml Crest toothpaste tube that I'd brought back from Mexico, which was smaller than the average sized 8 oz. toothpaste tubes. (I did sneak through a 4.0 oz multi-purpose contact solution. Suckers!)

Well, as I was going through security at the Indianapolis airport to return to Austin, they made me throw out the 100 ml toothpaste because it was "too large."

Consider this UNDENIABLE FACT: 100 ml converts to 3.381402 256 ounces. Last time I checked, that was LESS than 3.4 ounces. But I was going on about three hours of sleep and didn't really care as there were only about 1.17193 ounces left in the tube. So I just said, "Sure, whatever." (I silently cursed them).

I'd already confirmed this mathematical conversion before getting on the plane in Austin to go on this trip. And Austin airport security can do their math, too, because they had no problems with my toothpaste. The only thing I can rationalize is the toothpaste was from Mexico. Maybe "pasta de dientes" sounds like an explosive to Midwesterners.


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