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Friday, March 6, 2009

Give me peanut butter or give me death

Finding a good-sized jar of JIF peanut butter was the highlight of my trip to a Filipino grocery store Thursday. Imagine living in a country where peanut butter isn't just available at your corner store and good peanut butter (aka American brand) requires a trip to a special grocery store and costs more than twice as much as usual.

And then imagine that as you calmly pass through airport security in the middle of the night, a transportation Nazi seizes the peanut butter from your bag and tosses it (unopened and factory-sealed!) into the garbage.

Why?

Because apparently peanut butter is considered a liquid and therefore prohibited in carry-on bags.

Are you kidding me?

First of all, peanut butter is definitely not a liquid. Not entirely a solid but unless it's the all-natural stuff with oil at the top, there's no liquid in the jar. Plus, you would think a factory-sealed lid would be a good safety assurance.

This is an issue of principle, not money. Britain is expected to relax liquid carry-on restrictions in 2009, with the US to follow later this year, but until they do (and other countries surely follow suit), airport security screeners should use common sense.

I don't think they should make an exception because I don't fit the physical profile of a terrorist but seriously, do they think I'm smuggling liquid explosives on the red-eye flight to Seoul in my unopened jar of peanuty deliciousness?!

And I hope airport officials don't just toss out all the unopened food and beverages they collect. Starving people had better see some of this -- although the way the security guard was acting, she probably enjoyed a nice PB&J sandwich during her break last night.