TSA confiscates cupcake, calls frosting a "gel"

Rebecca writes,

At Las Vegas International Airport, TSA supervisor [REDACTED] is keeping travelers safe from the terror of delicious cupcakes-in-a-jar. I learned this firsthand earlier today, when I put myself and my fellow travelers at risk by attempting to travel with one.

The agent who first found my dangerously delectable snack consulted [REDACTED] about it just barely within my earshot. He responded hesitantly at first, saying that he was "not sure"--and "with the holidays coming, it's getting harder and harder." When he finally decided my treat was a no-go, I asked to speak with him directly, and he asserted that the frosting on this red velvet cupcake is "gel-like" enough to constitute a liquid, in part because it "conforms to its container." Also: it "should have been in a zip-lock." At this, I offered to scoop my dangerously conformist cupcake out of its jar and place it in a zip-lock bag, where it could mush about to its heart's content; but Agent [REDACTED] wisely refused. After all, the jar in all its tasty glory "clearly contains more than 3 ounces of total contents," he said.

I then explained to [REDACTED] that I'd been allowed to bring cupcakes-in-jars through Boston's Logan airport on my outbound flight with no problem (the TSA agent there had exclaimed, "These look delicious!"). To this logic, [REDACTED] responded, "If Boston had done their job right in the first place, we wouldn't be having this conversation right now." (Take that, Boston!)

CLEARLY [REDACTED] is in the right, because unbeknownst to him, when I had previously opened one of these marvelous cupcakes on the flight from Boston, everyone's safety was jeopardized. There was pandemonium among my hunger-crazed fellow travelers: Everybody wanted one. (Just like [REDACTED], who probably ate my cupcake on his next break.)


    1. Which name? Epps? Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps. Epps.

  1. I am grateful to [REDACTED] because without his ignorance I would have never know about the existence of Cupcakes in Jars which, in my opinion, are pretty sweet sounding.

  2. I for one am glad that TSA agents are keeping the skies safe from cupcake-wielding terrorists.
    As for the theory that the unredacted Epps consumed the tasty contraband foodstuff, it’s probable he didn’t enjoy that aspect of his duty. He was “taking s bullet” as a service to the nation, and ought to be commended for his bravery. Something to ponder next time you hear someone humbly say “Just doing my job.”

  3. Aiport Security in Germany (Cologne) confiscated 4 rolls of my masking tape. Said i could tie somebody up with it, my guess is he had some painting to do.

  4. Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass but do you really expect them to make a judgment call on  something that falls within the “Danger Will Robinson” category, especially if it could cause them to get fired?  In these times, job security is paramount so they can provide for themselves and their families.  It’s unfortunate that you lost your cupcake but it’s trivial compared to somebody losing their job to convenience you.

      1. And I expect that judgment call to always be on the side of caution. 
        If for a second he thought he should not let it fly, he made the right decision.

        Having spent my share of time going through airports, this jar would have most certainly been in my checked baggage, as I would pretty much expect it to not get through security with me.

        Lack of (somewhat) common sense on the OP.

        1. If for a second he thought he should not let it fly, he made the right decision.

          I look forward with great interest to learning how one could interfere with the proper operation of a modern commercial jet liner with a cupcake while in the passenger cabin.

        2. You expect a cupcake not to go through security?  There’s nothing liquid about it.

          This isn’t “on the side of caution”. This is “on the side of ridiculous security theater”. No one is safer because a freakin’ cupcake wasn’t allowed onto the plane. You do realize that the TSA has never, in fact, caught a bomb (let alone a cupcake-bomb) and there has been study after study where bombs/guns were *easily* brought past security.

          I’m not comfortable giving away my rights and freedoms in the name of “security”. Why are you?

        3. I see the conditioning that really lies at the heart of this whole security sharade has already worked it´s magic on you.

        4. The fuck?

          The problem is the people who put the poor “security” schlub into this position in the first place.  Who the fuck should even be asked to THINK about whether an actual “cupcake in a jar” could be a threat to airline security?  Nobody – the worst they should be asked to contemplate is whether “cupcake in a jar” is actually hiding something that isn’t a cupcake in a jar (and, frankly, if you want to go there you’re going to have to start flying naked, and with a full rectal exam before you get onto the plane).

          I actually feel bad for about 80% of the TSA schlubs who are just working-class folks doing a job that most of the time is a seriously ugly amount of “busy work” – being paid to be actors in a politician’s “security theater production” cannot possibly be either lucrative or enjoyable.  This guy might fall into that 80% – a schlub who is worried about losing his job if his boss finds out that he wasn’t playing his part in the “security theater production” of the day.  (Of course he might also fall into that 20% of TSA people I can’t stand – the ones who are just actors in somebody else’s security theater but have decided to use it to act the part of a bully.  Give some folks a bit of fake power and it goes to their heads).

          (Percentages, like 86% of all percentages found on the Internet, were pulled out of the ether and should be used for entertainment purposes only…)

    1. Really? That might be a valid argument for some situations, but he alleged that (a) the gel frosting was “liquid” and that (b) the TOTAL contents of the container was over 3 ozs. He went through a two step analysis to confiscate the cupcake on purely technical grounds and you say there was no judgment applied? There was, but it was stupid.

        1. For what it’s worth, all items surrendered to TSA are immediately discarded – no officers take anything home with them.

          People intending to do harm to others will go to great lengths to disguise their tools – and ruling out disguising an explosive as a cupcake in a jar just because “it’s so obviously just a cupcake” is a failure of imagination that could lead to a very serious negative outcome. Then when a terrorist attack is successful, and it turns out the bomb was snuck in in the guise of a cupcake, then TSA is blamed for not being vigilant enough. They can’t win.

          Have liquid or gel-like items you want to take with you – peanut butter, jam, booze, cupcake in a jar – put it in your checked bag. Easy. End of story.

          1. People intending to do harm to others will go to great lengths to disguise their tools

            Please feel free to provide us with a list of disguised weapons/bombs that people have tried to sneak onto airplanes in the last decade.

          2. How about everyone who feels the great need for this security theater give up flying? Then the rest of us don’t have to make the decision to not fly *or* give up our rights, freedoms and dignity?

            All of you who are so supportive of this cupcake seizure, do you every cross a street? Climb a ladder? Go for a drive? These are far more likely ways of dying. Hell, you are more likely to die choking on some bit from your next meal.

    2.  Jason,

      I will loose my job unless I take a dollar from you.  I know that this is unfortunate for you, but your loss is trivial to my loss of a job.  In fact your loss is nothing more that an inconvenience.

      Your logic is flawless.

      1. Sorry, but if nobody takes the job, then nobody flies – the law is the law.

        Let’s remember that *we* are the voters that fairly consistently defeat any politician who doesn’t come down hard on the side of inconvenience over the appearance of security.

        We’re a democracy – we hold collective responsibility for the actions of the politicians we choose to elect.  Blaming the enforcer is evasion of responsibility.

        In this specific case, however, I’d say that the icing (the problematic part) *doesn’t* conform to the container – it’s conforming to the cupcake.  That, and unless I’m mistaken, there’s not 3 ounces of frosting.

        The OP was right to complain about the mis-enforcement.  I don’t think that you are right to complain about people who take the job of enforcer.

        1. BATFE recently reversed one of its “interpretations” of firearm law, when it realized the potential inadvertent noncompliance with this very esoteric ruling was in the millions.

          So, yes, I have every right to blame TSA’s blue-costumed Pedosmurfs, insult their sub-par intellects, below-average penis sizes, and pathetic inability to secure real employment.  I have the right to snicker and mock them in restaurants, stereotype them, complain about their slovenly dress and slushy physiques.

          If enough of them quit, the flying passengers and airlines will demand Congress make air travel more accessible.

    3. As a taxpayer, I’d like to see the entire waste that is the, wait, $900B or so spent on the TSA put to good use as it is currently completely a waste.

      Time and again, security experts have documented exactly how completely and utterly useless, incompetent, and ridiculous the security theater of the TSA truly is.

      What a farce.

    4. So everyone should bend over just so someone can keep their job (think of his family!)?  Sorry, rights and dignity trump paychecks.

      1. Sorry, rights and dignity trump paychecks.

        But…how is the invisible hand supposed to work if you fetter it with extraneous concepts like dignity?

        1. Yes the invisible hand of worthless make work government jobs. That’s not the invisible hand its the iron fist.

        1. You’ve got it backwards (thanks to “security” brainwashing). Rights are broad and inclusive; it’s the exceptions that are narrow and must be written.

      1. Then he wouldn’t have let them get on the plane.  Obviously the frosting would have combined with the cake in the stomach creating toxic gasses.  That would have been expelled several hours later mid-flight rendering everyone unconscious…  Who knows what terror lurks in the heart of those delicious look cupcakes?

      2. Alas, when travelling with a toddler, going back through the security line is not worth even a very delicious cupcake. Officer Redacted also wouldn’t even let us open the jar to show him the non-gellish nature of the frosting, let alone allowing us to eat it.

      3. If Epps is, in fact, an officer. Very, very few members of the TSA have any law enforcement training at all.

        1. Very, very few members of the TSA have any law enforcement training at all.

          I’m afraid that the training budget has been cut in order to pay for more astroturfers.

  5. Last week, French security took some soft cheeses away from me because they were too gel-like (OK, moelleux). It happened to be lunchtime. 

    1. Noooooo! Take anything but not my lovely, soft, ripe, stinky cheeses!! Oh, the humanity (and I am NOT being sarcastic! Cheese-ly-ness is next to Godliness!)

  6. And naturally, if Epps did not eat the alleged bomb, he probably threw the alleged bomb away in a standard waste basket where it could detonate and kill everybody standing at the security checkpoint.  If it could be a bomb, shouldn’t they call in the bomb squad?  I don’t get it.

    1. Good point.  Do all these tubes of toothpaste and face creams end up being stored somewhere and undergo a controlled detonation?

      If not then clearly no one thinks these things are actually dangerous.  This is the single best example of how ridiculous these laws are I’ve come across (and can’t believe it hadn’t crossed my mind).

      Anyone know what they do with the stuff they confiscate?

      1. They throw it out. I had looked it up a while back when I blogged about this same stupidity.

        From the TSA Blog:

        Early on, there was a move to donate the liquid items to local homeless shelters but we were forced to suspend that practice after the determination was made that there is a liability risk. We couldn’t continue to donate items and not know if the if the water was truly water or if the shampoo was truly shampoo. While unfortunate, the litigious world in which we live forced the abandonment (pun intended) of that process. So now, those items are tossed out.

        They argue that it’s safe because liquid bombs require several different components and a complicated setup to detonate – which isn’t going to happen if it is just rotting in a dumpster.

        1. “hey argue that it is safe because liquid bombs require several different components and a laboratory setup to detonate”

          And they expect that to happen on an airplane?  Last I checked, there weren’t laboratories on airplanes!

          And, if they land in a dumpster, wouldn’t it be easy for a dumpster-diver to grab ’em and then make a bomb?
          Man, this is security theater at it’s best … er, worst.

    2. Judging from the large number of people backed up at security checkpoints you might as well skip the plane part and just bring the bomb into the line.

      1. Very good point. A typical flight has maybe 100 people on board. At a busy time of day, most airports (and *all* major ones) have at least that many people in line…

  7. Why do the terrorists hate us again? Because it certainly isn’t our freedom. We don’t have any of that left.

  8. If you swallow a cupcake before boarding, does that make you a cupcake mule, like the protagonist in Maria Full Of Grace?

    1. And then everyone will sit around the security office and wait for you to produce the contraband from your butt (heroin pouches or red velvet mush).

  9. The idiots don’t even know what they are looking for anymore.  We’ve gone from “might be a bomb!” to “might not be safe!”


  10. an agent named Epps, TSA
    saved the Las Vegas Airport today
    by diving onto a cupcake-
    grenade that a terrorist might make
    he ate up the danger, hurray!

  11. put the icing in a small 3 ounce container
    carry the cupcake in a seperate jar
    Once on plane, spread the icing with a tounge depresser
    Enjoy the flavor explosion

  12. Now quick, everyone take off your shoes and stand on this greasy strip of carpet that contains pathogens from all over the world!  

    Its OK, the parasies keep the TB in check, and the antibiotic resistant staph infection has a hard time gaining a foothold with all that ringworm.

  13. Over Thanksgiving, I took a black-bottom pecan pie through security without so much as a word.  And that filling was gel alright, no judgement call necessary (delicious, delicious gel).

    The TSA is completely variable from place to place, even checkpoint to checkpoint.  The standards are only standards on paper.

  14. Thank goodness that cupcake was not in a leather hand bag with the shape of a gun embossed on it, and next to a small mason jar of Jam.  If that had been the case you would have missed your flight. 

  15. I was traveling to Istanbul through Madrid, from Costa Rica, when one of the officers refused to let me took my amazing Frijoles Molidos with me under the same supposition. His rationale was that because I could be taking a flight to the USA, he needed to take away my delicious Frijoles Molidos. At least he was decent enough to trash them in front of me. Damn, I missed my Frijoles Molidos in Istanbul.

  16. It seems to me that the jar itself is much more potentially dangerous that the cupcake.
    You could hit someone in the head with the jar, breaking it, probably causing a deep cut, and the broken pieces of the jar could be used as weapons.

    Keep the cupcake, trash the jar.

    1. If the jar lid is the two-part canning- type of lid, you could cut someone with the circular insert (the part that forms the vacuum when you, for example, make preserves or jellies).  You’d probably cut yourself too but, I guess terrorists aren’t too concerned about secondary injuries.

  17. This is just training us to accept the revocation of our civil rights. 9-11 was another Reichstag fire.

    1. I love these history lessons I get on boingboing. :)
      There’s no other site  on which reading the comments is such a part of the experience as on boingboing for me.

  18. Flew home to visit parents just this last week. Knew I would have some time in my dads wood shop so I brought a long a few blocks of wood to turn on the lathe. The blocks of wood went through TSA no problems. But once they were turned into art pieces? TSA wouldn’t allow it. Is it so wrong to want a little consistency between airports?

  19. It’s lame. Very lame.

    However, if I were in line, and you were holding it up because of your goddamn frosting, me and everyone behind would want you to throw it away so we can all move forward. Laugh about it now, but when you’re in line, everyone else won’t care about your delicious off the hook shit. Even if there weren’t a line, think ahead and follow the rules. If they won’t allow large amounts of toothpaste for carry-on, what makes you think they’d let in frosting?

    Check it in next time.

      1. Baked goods is one thing. Baked goods with frosting is another. I pack my carry-on thinking what would be acceptable and what wouldn’t. Knowing how strict they could be at the airlines, I would check in that jar without thinking twice.

        ..but the whole cupcake in a jar thing is a goddamn Martha Stewart fruitcake of an idea.. nice and suspicious looking.

        1. Seriously?  Wow.  It’s frosting.  It’s not even a gel.

          Do you like giving away all of your freedoms for the name of “security theater”?

          1. If someone’s smart enough to know that something highly flammable can be made into the consistency of frosting, then more power to them.

            Eat your freedom before boarding a plane. Buy more when you get off.

            Thumbs up.

        2. Someone remind me why liquids or gels are more dangerous than solids?

          And why you can take through 100ml of sarin, nitroglycerin, tetrodotoxin, botulin, concentrated nitric acid etc. as long as it looks like shampoo, but not 500ml of water?

          Plus there’s the whole cellphone-battery and duty-free spirit bomb thing, if anyone wanted to blow themselves up in mid-air.  Which nobody does really.

          Shit, I’m probably going to be on a no-fly list now :)

          1. And then there’s the fact I’m allowed to carry my 17″ laptop on board with me. Do you know how HEAVY that thing is? Not quite a club, but it’ll do in a pinch.

            (Wonder if Dell would replace the screen for free, if I cracked it on a terrorist’s head?)

          2. I don’t like all their rules. I especially don’t like how there are so many re: carry-on that we have situations like this come up.  Liquids and gels can be tampered with to be something they’re not and there’s no way every one of these agents can catch that.

            Except for meds and ID/paperw0rk, I’d be perfectly fine if they did away with carry-on items.

        3. You are one very suspicious character, and seem to know a lot about this.  I think, for the safety of everyone, you should be put on the double top secret probationary do not fly list, and stripped of all potential weapons before flying–belts, shoelaces, clothing that can be torn into strips, toothpaste.  Also, given the ah, “consistency” of the material, I think a mandatory enema should be administered, after a 12 hour quarantine.

          Make sure you follow the rules.  Even the rules that aren’t written down, but created on the spot.

          Make sure you think ahead.  I don’t to be held up because of your goddam “rights” or some shit.  “Rights” are things you have in the privacy of your home, not in public.

          1. O-<-<

            Your straw man argument doesn't get past my bs-ometer. Rework it buddy and don't upset yourself too much to make your post look nothing more than a troll job.

            I'll follow their rules to the point they become too stringent. It's their "right" to impose them as it's my "right" to find an alternative method of transportation if I decide to disagree. "Right?" "Right."

    1. OP referred to it as ‘a cupcake,’ so chances are, there wasn’t a “large amount” of frosting. As one is allowed to carry on a small amount of toothpaste, why shouldn’t the same be true for frosting?

      Also, I had a TSA agent spend several minutes running “tests” on a (over 3 oz.) bottle of medicine (syrup) that I had medical release form to carry on the plane (as I was treating bronchitis and going to be spending the holidays with my mother, who had just finished chemo and couldn’t be around sick people). Did all my special permission matter? Not really. It still took much longer to get through security, and for the record, nobody around me was mad. Several people were annoyed with the agent, and commenting on how he was causing someone who was already ill extra stress over medication.

      Many people would be understanding of someone not wanting to lose their belongings. If you aren’t, or you’re worried about missing your flight–because you were too dumb to arrive early or allow for an adequate layover–then you’re the one with the issue, not the OP.

      1. Ask how much frosting there was. I don’t know. Obviously it was enough for the supervisor to say no.

        Re: your syrup. Sounds like you got a bum steer.

        The only issue I have is having to wait in line. I want for it to go as schmoovly as possible. As for the jab to the ones that don’t arrive early- I hear you sister; they have issues. Let’s focus on them, k?

  20. Does anyone seriously believe these semi-literate sloths do a damned thing to make travel the slightest bit safer? This is just the largest and most bloated government agency employing people with skill sets more suited to fast food. Every time I travel through an airport I am more certain the TSA is just the largest of the government welfare programs.

  21. Jesus, enough already. You are clearly not protecting anyone or anything with this ridiculous farce. The massive Al Queada cupcake in a jar bomb sleeper cell would have been activated and completed its sweet and deadly mission by now if they had the power. Just stop it, please. You look like a bunch of fucking idiots.

  22. Headline is inaccurate: TSA has no authority to “confiscate” anything.  
    TSA would love to intimidate you into thinking it has some kind of legal right to forcibly *take* your things, but in fact it can only *ask*, and then turn you away if you decline.

  23. I contain more then 3 oz of liquid some times too, yet they fail to ask me to pee in the trashcan before going through security.

  24. I know there have been certain TSA agents that have done horrible things, and made bad decisions, but the hatred should not be directed at them – they do not after all make up the rules…..

    1. They apply the rules arbitrarily and in some cases maliciously.  And it’s not “hatred”. It’s justifiable criticism, without which there would be no limit to incompetence and the abuse of power.

  25. Terrorists are very ingenious and will take advantage of any flaw in the system (underwear, shoes, printer cartridges, shampoo, etc.) so why not cupcake frosting???

    1. I would put my terroristic supplies inside a hollowed-out dildo. Nobody wants to touch a used dildo.

      Or maybe a fleshlight.

    2. It’s even entirely possible they might insert explosives into a body orifice.  I think the only way we can be truly safe is to ensure everyone gets a cavity search before flying.

  26. while i’m not surprised at all the negative comments on here, the ones blaming this agent in particular are, i think, mis-aimed. i agree with everyone on the “security theater” arguments and the futility and inanity of these restrictions, but at the same time the ppl on the ground enforcing the dumb rules shouldn’t be the focus of our discontentment. 

    if i’m interpreting correctly, most of the complainers here want, in lieu of some major TSA policy shift, some discretion and judgement exercised by the officers in the execution of their duties. that simply is not going to happen. when considering the massive amounts of travelers processed daily, it would be impossible to find enough security personnel with the expertise required to be able to handle that level of responsibility. the only plausible route is to set a minimum standard for all travelers to adhere to and then hold everyone accountable to that standard. if we have to live with these rules, i’m frankly glad it’s this way, as it decreases the chance that some wrongdoer is able to social engineer his/her way past an inept or overmatched worker (not that this isn’t possible already). 

    also, the op simply could have avoided all this if they checked it in baggage. you ask for common sense in the officers, why not exercise some of it yourself? 

    finally, i’m all for reform of these futile security protocols. but what really is the alternative? forget about replying better police or detective work. at the endpoints of airline flights, how best do you reduce the possibility of an attack? for even if one flight gets downed, terrorists will have made their point (tho it shouldn’t be this way). what kind of security system do you set up when even one failure out of millions means you lose the game?

    1.  finally, i’m all for reform of these futile security protocols. but what really is the alternative? forget about replying better police or detective work. at the endpoints of airline flights, how best do you reduce the possibility of an attack? for even if one flight gets downed, terrorists will have made their point (tho it shouldn’t be this way). what kind of security system do you set up when even one failure out of millions means you lose the game?

      The alternative is to stop acting like a fucking coward, understand that one day you will die, and it will almost certainly be due to something normal and mundane like cancer or a heart attack.  The fucking terrorist are not going to kill your fat American ass, McDonalds is.  If you are very lucky, you might die of something exciting like a car accident, falling in the shower, or choking on food you shoved into your diabetic American maw.

      Seriously, the amount of pissed away time, money, and simple loss of liberty we endure to protect against one of the most absurdly rare ways to die is epic in its stupid.  It is even more stupid when you consider that the only two worthwhile security measures worth taking above and beyond what we were already doing were cheap and have proven to be 100% effective.  The only two worthwhile security measures that don’t reek of rank cowardice in the face of an absurdly small threat was 1) reinforcing the cockpit doors and 2) telling passengers to beat the living shit out of anyone trying to take over the plane or blow up a bomb.  Hell, we proved the effectiveness of #2 on 9/11 the second the passengers on flight 93 realize that the hijackers were not looking for a ransom.

      The terrorist are not going to kill you.  Diabetes, cancer, heart attacks, falling, cars, or Alzheimer’s is going to kill you.  Get over it and stop acting like such a fucking child.  Stop wasting my time and money with your childish and cowardly fears by mewing to the government to do the adult equivalent of shining a light under the bed to prove that there are no monsters.  Better and braver people than you willingly paid in blood for the liberties you are so quick to piss away at a threat that ranks somewhere between shark attacks and getting struck by lightening.  

      My security solution?  Grow up, stop being such a coward, and if you insist on acting like a child, stop traveling where you are afraid the scary terrorist are going to get you, cower in your house quietly, and stop voting.

      1. Hey!  Hey!  TSA obviously can’t reveal all the thousands of terror plots they’ve stopped, due to OPSEC, but statistically, it’s entirely possible they’ve improved your odds of dying in a terror attack from 1:67 million to 1:72 million.  So there.

        Do you really think there aren’t thousands of grandmotherly-looking ladies on the Al Qaeda rolls, along with goth teens, Texas business executives and GIs in uniform?  At last count, there were 23 MILLION members of terrorist organizations (according to security expert Gecko45).

        At any moment, one of them may be prepared to blow up a plane with “cupcakes” or “breast milk” or “water.”

        I, for one, am glad we have the dedicated members of the TSA, all with above average IQs, to inspect our diapers, colostomy bags, insulin pumps and shoe insoles, just in case some nefarious types stuffed them with explosives in our sleep.

        Be alert.  Traitors are everywhere.  Always carry your laser.

    2. Nothing carried aboard the plane    Everyone flies naked.  Problem solved  A quick pass through the x ray machine and away we go

  27. People still take airplanes to get from place to place?  The TSA is doing everything they can to stop them, but I guess people are truly determined to get on those things.

  28. Why is it that you never hear the “government is too big…defecit is too huge” crowd talking about downsizing or eliminating the TSA?

  29. Am I the only one who cares about the cupcakes?  Where can I get these cupcakes in a jar.  Someone send me some PLEASE!

  30. At Atlanta airport back 2008 I watched a young TSA agent hassle an English couple who had arrived with a christmas plum pudding. No amount of explaining, pointing to the photos of the sliced pudding on the wrapper, etc would convince him that it was just a dense cake, and not the jello/mousse variety of pudding. He just kept monotoning “It’s a pudding. You shouldn’t have been travelling with this.” and I really thought they were headed for strife.

    Then an older agent, clearly less ignorant, arrived at the scene and in an instant said to his underling “it’s just a cake – let them through”.

  31. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2011/12/tsa-insanity-201112

    I still can’t believe any comment-ors that fly regularly and believe for one second that the TSA does jack sh*t for security.  What happened to our brains??  Give up all your rights, be treated like a criminal, take off your shoes, and why, why?  Because we are collectively morons?  The lady at the Social Security office told me it’s because of the guys that flew the planes into the buildings.   Oh, so we lost?  Just like that.  Done.  The mighty U.S. of A. done.  All freedom, rights, and common sense thrown out the window at the first whiff of terror.I fly all the time and like others, can not believe the BS that these guys come up with.  No reason, we just like to make it hell on you to fly.21st century, Devolution.   Idiocracy.  All come true.   Good luck folks.  ps. The fact that Jason got any likes for his ridiculous attempt at logic just shows what a failure our whole society has turned out to be.  People think low paying non thinking jobs trumps the Bill of Rights?  

  32. My main problem with the current TSA regulations is that I could hijack a plane with only materials available on board that plane.

  33. If you’re responsible for administering a process which requires no thought, discernment, or insight, your job should be automated out from under you.

  34. Am I missing something, or is the author – and seemingly all of the commenters – completely ignoring the fact that said cupcake was enclosed in a GLASS jar? If they won’t let you take a pair of nail clippers on a plane, or let you eat your overpriced rancid airline food with a metal fork, why would anyone assume that it would be acceptable to take a GLASS jar on a plane? Anyone who has flown anywhere even once in the past ten years ought to have packed the jar in checked luggage as an automatic instinct.

    1. Because the agent in question wasn’t making an issue of the glass jar.  From the OP, it was the contents that were the problem.

      If the issue had been stated in terms of the jar, we might have had a different set of comments.

  35. If the Airline Industry spent as much money on maintenance as the TSA does on “Security”, perhaps there would be less planes crashing due to malfunctions.

  36. I have had those cupcakes! They’re made by a company called Wicked Good Cupcakes in Cohasset, MA, and they are incredible! I think this TSA agent simply knew a good thing when he saw it and was looking for a great snack. I have to say, he may be smarter than we’re all giving him credit for :-)

  37. Par for the course for the morons and thugs in the TSA.  So glad his name has gotten out there.  He’s a public servant; we pay his salary.  If he’s so proud of his “service” to the country, he should want his name shouted from the rooftops.

  38. Looks like delicious C4 to me.

    The TSA does detect and remove handguns from passengers on an almost daily basis. But yeah, things can be smuggled through.

  39. Rules are rules. If I were a terrorist I would watch what the TSA folks DID NOT TAKE and put an explosive there. The TSA is doing it’s job and be thankful for that. You never know what devious method a terrorist will use next time and, believe me, they are thinking about it. Better safe than sorry! Allow cupcakes and some day an 80 years old woman with one in her plastic bag will be a terrorist agent. Just obey the rules and make us all safer.

  40. Your cupcake contained pandemonium?  Isn’t that like uranium?

    No wonder your cupcake was confiscated. Terrorist.

  41. From my observations, I think the Pedosmurfs must confiscate a whole lot of cupcakes, and eat them all to keep us safe.

  42. Whoever did the redacting – hiding of – the TSA agents’ names has made it difficult for negative Social Preferencing towards those individuals to take place by others who might know them, even simply just on the Internet. If reasoned logic does not convince someone to change his/her unacceptable behavior – and being part of government, especially enforcement agencies is definitely not productive of value – then having NO VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATION is the proper course to take. More: http://selfsip.org/focus/protestsnotenough.html

    But anonymity given to such agents – especially cops and military as the ultimate harm-causers of government enforcers – puts obstacles in such non-violent response to government. And remember that government legislation is nothing but words without the enforcers, those willing to threaten and initiate physical force.

    Enforcers may try conceal their own names and faces, but don’t help them hide by redacting information that will enable others to SHAME, SHUN and OSTRACIZE them.

  43. Just another indication that the “Era of Fear” started with the Bush administration continues even as no credibility enemy exists. TSA as other public agencies, is not really established and run for the people but for its employees. Strict enforcement of arbitrary rules characterize useless government agencies.

  44. Funny how it’s NEVER the TSA’s fault. The brave workers of TSA, protecting us from cupcakes, shampoo and incontinent old ladies. This agency is a disgrace that employs criminals and misfits. It just doesn’t seem to stop. If they’re not stealing from passengers, they’re strip searching them, groping their kids or harassing them. TSA needs to be shut down and anyone who voted to fund them voted out of office.

  45. I recently flew home with 2 place sets of my deceased grandmother’s best china carefully bubblewrapped as my carryon.  Yes, it could conceivably have been broken and used as a weapon, but it wouldn’t have survived conventional shipping, so what were my options?  According to the TSA mantra, “If we think you could weaponize it, we have the right and duty to search and/or confiscate it, no matter what it is,” including colostomy bags, breast milk, and now apparently cupcakes.

  46. Yeah but Wicked Good Cupcakes is right across from the Whitney Rail Spur Trail which ends at what used to be an annex to the Back River USN ammunition depot in Hingham.  During the Vietnam War the facility was used to make land mines. Maybe the cupcake bakers have reopened the mine facility and sneak down there to make explosive cupcakes.  (OK, gotta go put more tinfoil on my hat now, but google earth will show where i mean)  PS  Not a Wicked Good fan, addicted to French Memories in the village

  47. Freedom of bringing your favorite items is gone since 9/11. For a time-consuming attitude and regulation, not all airports follow a same procedure, but passengers at least know there are more people waiting at check-point. If you can purchase things at local stores in 50 states, you’d better to do so in each visit, not to use your time for debates because others can do a same concept to block a process. That is another point. 300 passengers want to do so for 300 plus 1 minute to 3 minutes, to make a messy 

Comments are closed.