Conundrum #1

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Well Bree and I are off for another adventure. This time – Maui. This trip has been a little unusual in that we haven’t planned out every second. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of conundrums we find can get ourself into.

Several weeks ago we purchased backpacking packs at an REI garage sale. For those of you who do not know, members of the REI co-op have the opportunity to purchase returned or used merchandise at steeply reduced prices (think Black Friday for hippies). Since we are not check-your-bag-and-hope-it-shows-up kind of people, all of our luggage went into those packs and onto our backs to carry on to our flight.

We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare – an amazing feat given not only our inability to show up anywhere on time, but our long history of dashing through the airport. My pack is technically 3 inches too tall, so we were worried that they would make us check it. I used several compression sack cords to cinch everything up and make it look smaller. Luckily, however, they let it through. We placed our packs on the conveyor to be x-rayed, thinking all was normal. Even after they asked to rescan my bag, I was not worried. We pack tightly enough and with enough random bicycle tools that it is fairly typical for them to do so.

It was when the TSA employee asked if we were carrying some sort of knife that I began to be a little worried. We of course were not, and told the employee such. Of course that wasn’t enough, and he informed us that he needed to search my bag. The employee took the bag to table and began to unpack it. Of course that required a little bit of help because of my random straps used to make the bag smaller. The employee continued to unpack every pocket of the the entire bag – much to Bree’s dismay as it was actually quite difficult to fit everything in there to begin with. Finally he found what he was looking for – a leatherman. It was a very nice leatherman, too, but unfortunately one that neither Bree nor I had ever seen. You can imagine our embarrassment as he pulled it out with a smug sense of satisfaction. I still don’t think he believes us that we had never seen it before. We tried to explain that we bought be packs used, and that the previous owner must have left the knife in the bag. Likely story, I know.

The employee didn’t seem too concerned, though. He instructed us to either ship it home or leave it. Being too big for an envelope, I ran into the local gift shop to purchase two small manila envelops (one was not large enough) and 9 forever stamps. After finagling the knife into both envelopes and taping them together to make one awkward piece of mail, I placed the 9 stamps on the envelope to complete the ridiculous package.

Upon mailing the package to ourselves, we were allowed to go on our way. The good news is we got a free leatherman courtesy of the previous owner of my pack. Oh yeah, and a special thanks to TSA for finding it for us.


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