You Can’t Take a Snow Globe Through Security, and Other Airport Lessons

Ruby loves snow globes. She has decided very enthusiastically that they will be her first official collection. We have a few minor snow globes hanging around the house, but when Ruby couldn’t decide what to spend her souvenir money on in New York, she finally settled on a major prize: an Empire State Building Snow Globe that cost half of her trip budget and was larger than a grapefruit! Needless to say, this immediately became her most cherished possession.

As we were packing up the hotel room on Sunday morning, ready to end the journey and head home, it was very clear that the snow globe needed protection. Sure, it had the styrofoam around it, and the box, but this was a precious and delicate thing. This was going into her carry-on bag, wrapped in blankets and love. No way were we letting the baggage handlers throw around this treasure, no matter how well we packed the suitcase. And oh, to live in a pre-9/11 world where terrorists were not trying to destroy America via snow globe…

When we got to airport security everything seemed to be going well. Nobody was beeping too much; Edward was not yelling about explosions. But then, before we could collect our bags, we were pulled aside by an agent holding Ruby’s bag. That was when we learned an exciting, on-the-spot lesson: you cannot take snow globes through security; they have liquid in them. Seriously? Yes, seriously. Well, can I go get our checked bags back somehow and put it in one of them? No, I cannot. Well what am I supposed to do?! Because there was no way I was leaving that girl’s most prized possession in the trash at the airport. Not after we had had to leave her giant balloon hat in the hotel room, causing many tears and lamentations.

And they won't let you just check the children!

And they won’t let you just check the children!

Well, there was only one thing to do. We had to check another bag. Of course we didn’t technically have another bag, and also we had to catch a plane, and also this whole thing was ridiculous. The only bag that might work that we still had left was my laptop bag, although I didn’t think a snow globe of that magnitude was going to fit in any of the small compartments. I took my laptop out and my wife held onto it as I attempted to squeeze that globe into a space it was clearly not meant for. Though I could see the seams straining against the pressure as I zipped the last bit up, it looked like it was going to hold, for now. It was go time.

My wife took the children through to the promised land while I was escorted back to captivity by the security agent, who I have to say was as excellent as a security agent could be. She ran me over to priority check-in, even though I was not rich or classy enough to deserve it, and we got that snow globe checked in. Whether it was going to survive in that little bag or not, I had no idea, but they slapped a “Fragile” sticker on it and threw it into the void. Now it was time to begin my journey anew. Yes, I had to re-enter the security line.

Thanks to my agent friend I got to skip most of it again, going through the special fast lane for people who pay extra money (because people who pay extra money are less of a security threat). Rich people do not need to take off their shoes or belts, because rich people would never blow up a plane. Obviously. I wonder if rich people get to bring snow globes with them… Well, I will never know. Because I was on my way through to find my family again.

I couldn’t find them. I figured they would be at the candy store, where we had all said we were going, but they weren’t there. I looked around for a while, until I finally found them sitting right in front of security in the most obvious place ever. Spoiler alert: they had been in the restroom when I had walked by initially. But anyway, I found them! And we got on a plane and came home! And when we arrived, the first thing we did was to get my laptop bag and check the snow globe.

Sorry other passengers. Edward still gets 20 more minutes of doing whatever he wants.

Sorry everyone. Edward still gets 20 more minutes of doing whatever he wants.

Would you like me to tell you what happened to the snow globe? Okay, I’ll tell you. It was fine! Everything worked out just fine, in a super annoying and over-complicated sort of way. So really, it was just another metaphor for life. And now, finally, I will stop telling you about our incredible Make-a-Wish trip to New York City, and tomorrow I will get back to my regular programming. Whatever that is.

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