Everything was going just great. The flight out of Beijing left on time, and after reading three back issues of Fortune, the latest Atlantic Monthly, and weeding out 100 emails, I went into 2001-Space-Odyssey-hibernation mode with earplugs, noise canceling headphones, eye-mask, a horse-pill Ibuprofen, and 15 mg of temazepam. It was probably the best airplane coma ever, for I awoke right in time for a quick breakfast, a visit to the head to reinsert my single contact lens, and enough time to get my cstuff repacked into my knapsack in time for a landing at San Francisco.
Then I hit the TSA security checkpoint where I pulled out my Zip-Loc bag with my shaving cream and my deodorant and my toothpaste and my bottle of Kiehl’s face moisturizer. Yes, I admit, I use moisturizer — otherwise my face would crack open. This is expensive stuff. Like $15 for four ounces and a complete pain in the ass to find on Cape Cod.
Well, the four ounces were the problem. According to the nasty little TSA troll, it was 0.5 ounces too big and so it had to go.
That bottle has made it from Boston to Raleigh, Raleigh to Boston, to New York, Boston to Beijing — clearing at least a dozen TSA security points. Let’s not mention that the bottle was half empty and probably represented two ounces.
I am bullshit. The whole liquid-gel freakout is a total indignity. My shoes are already off and I have to worry about the condition of my socks for public viewing. I pull my belt off. My pants will probably follow sometime next year. Then I get asked to step into a booth and get blasted with puffs of air.
Well, all in the name of National Security, so off I go this morning to drop a twenty on a new bottle of goo, this time asking if they have something TSA compliant.