TSA's new concern: Tactical Omelet Pans


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DaveB
June 17, 2003, 04:40 PM
From http://www.altonbrown.com/pages/rants.html

(Alton Brown is a food guy.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

ARMED AND DANGEROUS

Let me say right up front that I don’t like terrorists. As a youth I was classic bully fodder (fat, slow, nerdy, uncool) so I know terrorism firsthand. And so, when in the wake of 911 the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) was formed, I figured it for a good thing. As a frequent traveler of the skies, I welcomed tighter airport screenings with open arms. But I have now come to fear people wearing TSA badges almost as much as the bullies who used to torture me in grade school. Why? Because they can do anything their small, mean minds want to and there’s nothing you or I can do about it.

Case in point: I flew to Allentown PA yesterday, to perform at a food and wine festival. Nice place Allentown, not at all like the Billy Joel song and in the 18 hours I was there I enjoyed myself just fine. Then came the airport. Now whenever I do egg related demonstrations I generally carry my own pan, in this case a ten-inch Caphelon skillet. Since I was just overnighting, I’d put the pan in my carryon as I have for perhaps a hundred similar jaunts.

Today however, the TSA bully decided that my pan was a weapon and would not be allowed on the plane. I asked if he could show me something stating that skillets, along with guns, road flares, chain saws and cutting instruments, could be construed as a threat and therefore sizeable. The goon simply stared at me and said he wasn’t going to let me take it. I mentioned that I was a culinary professional and that I had walked this exact pan through 20 other airports from LAX to Dallas to Miami.

And then I saw it; the same mean little squint I’d seen in those bullies when I was a kid. This guy could do whatever he wanted for whatever reason he wanted. I surrendered the pan and can only hope that one day his wife will liberate herself from his tyranny by introducing it to his head at high velocity.

I’m not saying that a plane couldn’t be hijacked with a frying pan…I’m sure in the hands of a trained ninja, it could deal out as much death as an AK-47. I’m just saying that people with authority should have to play by a set of rules…published rules. If as a nation we’re going to have to tolerate being probed, scanned, profiled and frisked before we can get on an airplane, so be it. But it seems to me that we deserve a little consistency. Otherwise we open ourselves up to a whole new brand of bully…bullies with badges…not to mention really nice omelet pans.

Gotta go,
AB

db :banghead:

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Erik
June 17, 2003, 05:31 PM
Of course skillets and such are not allowed. Anyone whose watched a season of Cops can tell you why. ;) If it is true that he cleared security with one 20 or more times, then security failed 20 or so times.

seeker_two
June 17, 2003, 05:36 PM
I’m not saying that a plane couldn’t be hijacked with a frying pan…I’m sure in the hands of a trained ninja, it could deal out as much death as an AK-47.

Don't tell brownie. He'll want to arm TSA w/ armor-piercing rockets to combat THIS threat...:what:

JeanC
June 17, 2003, 06:35 PM
Alton Brown is God, all hail Alton :D (Hehehehehe, I've been watching his show ever since we got satellite, he is the reason that my already good cooking has gotten even more fantastic (she says quite modestly LOL)).

Now, I am not familier with the skillet in question, is it one of those high quality lightweight ones that cost a small fortune? In which case, I very much doubt they would pose mush of a threat.

Now, if it were a cast iron skillet, well then, those are lethal and what I consider a wonderful home defense weapon if you are attacked in your kitchen :D

ACP230
June 17, 2003, 08:09 PM
Don't fly. It only encourages them to treat you like cattle.

Carlos
June 17, 2003, 08:23 PM
Unbelievable. :banghead:

Yes, those Cephalon (sp?) pans are quite expensive, and the TSA goon was/is clueless.

TSA needs to be seriously dealt with.

I got 100 stories I could tell you about TSA, but they involve a pending Federal District Court case here in Portland, and I'm bound to discuss it not (at least at this time).

God that entity pisses me off!!!!:banghead: :cuss: :cuss:

CZ-75
June 17, 2003, 08:37 PM
is it one of those high quality lightweight ones that cost a small fortune?

A pretty basic set of Caphalon will run you ~$300, ON SALE.


I can just see Billy Bob whipping up some scrambled eggs in his new "assault" skillet, confiscated from an honest citizen. :rolleyes:

Some wonder about anti-LEO attitudes when they use their positions to steal from the citizenry.
:barf:

tyme
June 17, 2003, 08:48 PM
They're not that heavy, either. A hefty laptop would be far more likely to be deady if applied in a similar manner.

And anyone with an external-frame backpack could really hurt someone. Do they ban those, too?

PakWaan
June 17, 2003, 09:07 PM
You should have asked for a supervisor. I've had some luck dealing with them when the other monkeys couldn't see reason. As a 200,000 mile per year traveller, I deal with these idiots all the time too.

The worst I've ever seen were in the Muskegon, MI airport a couple weeks ago - a crew of Gomer Pyle's cousins, and they took longer to process the dozen passengers on the flight than the people in Atlanta take to screen 100. The airline person at the gate said they are always getting dinged for late takeoffs because of these morons.

Skunkabilly
June 17, 2003, 09:35 PM
Maybe it was Teflon-coated for added armor piercing explosive cop killing? :banghead:

TallPine
June 17, 2003, 10:25 PM
Perhaps the omelette pan had a capacity of more than 10 eggs ...?

Seriously, they've banned sharp instruments, so I guess blunt instruments are next.

Okay, so what about a large hardbound book? Nope, you can't bring that book on this plane - the First Amendment is a collective, not an individual right, don't you know?

Better yet, what keeps someone from getting on a plane with a plaster cast on their arm? That would make a pretty effective weapon, assuming that your arm inside wasn't really broken.

Standing Wolf
June 17, 2003, 10:35 PM
Fire Mineta!

Carlos
June 17, 2003, 11:50 PM
Trust me, that's a goal. There are lawsuits popping up all the time against the TSA and idiot Mineta.

Orthonym
June 18, 2003, 02:59 AM
I quit riding in airliners years ago. The photo ID was the last straw for me. Guess I'll just have to find someone around here who has an airplane and thinks I'm a wonderful fella.

redhead
June 18, 2003, 09:54 AM
Yep, Calphalon is expensive, which is why I have a set of the Costco cookware. He should have asked for a supervisor, but then the supe may have just backed up the underling. You are at the mercy of the TSA when you fly. I've only flown 3 times since 911. The first time I did so, I was selected for "special attention". I'm a tall, red-headed green eyed middle aged female, and I got my carry-on and purse searched, I was wanded and patted down, and had to take my shoes off. I'm sure that all of the other passengers felt soooo much safer because I was scrutinized. Great. Just great. :rolleyes:

Ol' Badger
June 18, 2003, 09:58 AM
Don't laugh. I saw the lady next door once throw a Skillet at her husben and it sailed throw the air like an over sized Ninja star and smacked him right between the shoulder blades! He went down and she ran over screaming that she was sorry that she hit him. Go figure!:confused:

mtnbkr
June 18, 2003, 11:19 AM
Alton Brown is God, all hail Alton

Yup, I love his show too. I got his book (I'm just here for the food) for Xmas this year. I love how he explains the science behind cooking.

Chris

Erik
June 18, 2003, 11:19 AM
"Seriously, they've banned sharp instruments, so I guess blunt instruments are next."

Blunt objects which can be used as bludgeons are banned. At least they were, frying pans in particular by the way, when I was a line supervisor last year. I've since moved on, but imagine the guidelines haven't changed too much pertaining to potential bludgeons.

Art Eatman
June 18, 2003, 11:22 AM
Just another item to add to the long list of reasons I won't fly. I just won't subject myself to that sort of nonsense.

John Madden was smarter than he knew, come to think of it...

:D, Art

moa
June 18, 2003, 03:27 PM
There is some good news at hand. TSA plans on canning at least 10% of the TSA airport inspectors as being surplus. Maybe that is an opportunity to get rid of some of the dummies and dead wood.

TallPine
June 18, 2003, 03:46 PM
Blunt objects which can be used as bludgeons are banned.

Including fists ...?

Or briefcases and purses ...?

Correia
June 18, 2003, 04:08 PM
Running joke amongst my friends and family. Every single time I've flown since 9-11 I've been singled out for special screening. I'm 4 for 4. Probably because I look like the kind of person who doesn't need a frying pan to crack a skull.

I guess I am a Bludgeon all by myself. :p

I don't like flying anyway. Seats are too small. One of my friends wants to lend my his schmag (sp?) Arab head gear he brought back from Saudi Arabia. The logic is between the hat and my coloring the TSA will finally leave me alone for fear of being charged with racial profiling! :D

Ol' Badger
June 18, 2003, 04:10 PM
Maybe it because you got that Toni Saprano look going on? You don't need a gun. Just look mean!
:D

bogie
June 18, 2003, 04:31 PM
Bogie like calphalon.

Bogie's kitchen sorta crammed with it...

Hmm... Let's see if I can remember...

Anodized:

6" omelet pan
10" omelet pan
12" omelet pan
Ribbed square grill
Small wok pan

Nonstick:

8" omelet pan
10" omelet pan
12" omelet pan
Small/midsized fryer with lid
2 quart sauce pan with lid
1 quart sauce pan with lid

Still need to buy the large stock pots.

And I _know_ I'm forgetting at least one/two of each variety...

The 10" omelet pans are the nice heavy aluminum. They go for about $30 on sale, $55ish+ normally.

bad_dad_brad
June 18, 2003, 09:05 PM
When I fly, I don't mess around. I don't take a carry on. I can buy whatever I need if my luggage is lost. A wallet, change, and keys are all that are in my pockets (HA! - an expert can disable anyone in seconds with keys - or how bought a hard rubber comb - or the sharpened edge of a credit card?)

A young lady friend of mine was going on her first airplane flight. I lectured her on what to take in her purse and in her carry on. She, in wide eyed innocence, could not believe she could not even take finger nail clippers on board.

I gave her the run down, and told her, be cool, if they decide to pull you aside, go through your stuff, and make you take your shoes off.

That said, I drive when I can, but sometimes distance and time make you have to fly.

Giant
June 19, 2003, 03:02 AM
If! Everyone refused to fly for two or three weeks the TSA bully nonsense would end. I will not ever again fly commercial. I drive or will fly private charter. The air terminal bully folk do it because they can, it is their one chance in life to be in total control of other people. Small minds and government bureaucracy at work.

Besides, I'm probably on the not allowed to fly list by now!

Giant

erikm
June 19, 2003, 07:27 AM
I drive or will fly private charter.
I'm wondering if there is a profit to be made for a private club that matches up people going the same direction and charters light aircraft or business jets to transport them. It could be argued that this is not a common carrier since it would only provide its services to members (and only to its members). :scrutiny:

In my personal and no doubt biased opinion, the best place for most of the TSA 'airport security' people is sitting on top of a telephone pole. Make that a very isolated telephone pole. I've heard enough stories about them from enough different sources to believe the composite image painted. :fire: :banghead:

Cheers,
ErikM :evil:

Brad Johnson
June 19, 2003, 02:06 PM
I had a friend who flew a commuter run from Amarillo back to Lubbock a few months back. He talked about how the TSA jerk who processed him was a clueless little idiot who had a bad case of cranio-rectal inversion. As he described the guy I thought something about him sounded familiar. Turns out the little TSA goon is my ex's husband (and the guy she was screwing around with before we divorced).

Makes me happy to see that my ex got someone who is just right for her!

Brad

HankB
June 19, 2003, 04:12 PM
I surrendered the pan and can only hope that one day his wife will liberate herself from his tyranny by introducing it to his head at high velocity You know, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the TSA guy saw the pan, thought "I gotta get my missus one of these" and decided, right then and there, you weren't getting on the plane with it.

Great way to go shopping for gifts - if you're a screener, they come to YOU!

pax
June 19, 2003, 04:58 PM
The complaint wasn't about making an omelet pan illegal, folks.

It was about the sheer arbitrary nature of the New Rules.

Screener doesn't like the way you look? He can find something or just make something up and there's nothing you can do about it. There's no consistent, published list of What's Not Allowed -- or if there is, the list is changed more often than the screeners' underwear.

If omelet pans were specifically allowed, the arbitrary rules would still be a problem.

pax

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. -- Abraham Lincoln

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