Who made shampoo a terror threat?

 

As I write this, I am in the middle of trying to figure out what I can and cannot carry onto the airplane with me. And, as you may have caught from my slightly angry, but humorous slapstick-like comment from before, I?m not having much luck.

 

I am traveling, along with what I would estimate to be around 100 other Hillsboro High School students, to Anaheim, Calif., this weekend for the national Mennonite Brethren youth convention.

 

Actually, as this column hits publication, I will probably be heading back home. But for me, right now, I?m still going to write in future tense.

 

Try to keep up, OK?

 

My church?s youth group is going to fly. At first, I found this to be a huge blessing.

 

I hate it when I?m wrong. As I began packing tonight, my time disappearing faster than a large cow in quicksand, I started to realize that I really had no idea what I was and was not supposed to be taking onto the flight with me.

 

Other churches opted for taking a 24-plus hour bus ride to California. They have been complaining ever since they heard the news. But I?m starting to get jealous.

 

I?ve flown twice before. This was way back in the midsummer of 2006, when the Department of Homeland Insecurity was still fairly relaxed and was allowing passengers to carry on all essentials, such as four-ounce bottles of shampoo, chainsaws and weasels.

 

OK, so maybe I?m exaggerating. We did have to go through some security at the airport then, too.

 

This trip was to Boston for the International Lions Conven?tion. Several Leo Clubs (Leo Clubs are like Lions Clubs, only the members have all of their original key joints) from Kansas attended, which meant trying to get a large group of teenagers to cooperate with strict airport security at early hours in the morning.

 

Because our Boston-bound flight was taking off fairly early, that meant that every adolescent had to get up around?I don?t know?five o?clock.

 

You have to understand that, in the summer, this is when most of us youth are going to bed.

 

So I was not in the greatest of moods when I was asked to remove my belt and shoes so I could go through airport security. This was partially due to the fact that I, with my mind fogged over from a lack of sleep, had failed to think ahead, therefore I was wearing pants that were too big for me, and socks with holes in the toes.

 

As I walked through the?for lack of a better name?metal-scanner machine, I was acutely aware that my pants were falling down, and that my ratty socks were exposed.

 

Thankfully, since my pants were now around my knees, the legs had worked their way over the socks, thus hiding the holes.

 

The more I think about it, the sorrier I feel for punk band members when they have to travel. It?s got to be a hassle, getting all that metal through security.

 

I?m not talking about their instruments and equipment, but taking off and dislodging metal from their bodies would have to be a real pain every time they took a flight.

 

I bet they walk funny, too, suddenly feeling so much lighter.

 

But I?m getting off subject.

 

What I was planning to discuss at any random moment in this column is that I have no experience with these new liquid carry-on regulations. So I decided to check out the Trans?port?ation Security Administra?tion Web site to try and figure out what I should do.

 

The rules read that all liquids had to be in three-ounce-or-less containers, and that every single bottle had to be inside a single, quart-sized Ziploc baggie, stored at room temperature for 21⁄2 hours and serves up to 12 guests.

 

Ahem.

 

I was pleased to note that I could bring with me an unlimited amount of bone marrow, blood products and transplant organs, and that jelly-filled bras were allowed onboard the plane. (I?m not kidding.)

 

What a relief.

 

The Web site also said that toy transformer robots were acceptable, but it didn?t say anything about real transformer robots. I think I might ask one of the security guys about it before I get on the plane.

 

But for now, I?ll just do the best I can, trying to comply to all of the rules?. whatever they may be.

 

* * *

 

UFO: Turtles and honeybees are both deaf.

 

Don?t ask why!