There’s nothing like a trip through airport security to brighten your day. How airport security ties into a story about beer, well, you’ll just have to wait and see!
The laws for alcohol consumption vary greatly by region. For example, quaff your Bud while walking the street in New Jersey and you’re pretty much guaranteed a night in jail. Yet as long as they’re not actually consuming alcohol, a minor can sit at a Jersey bar all day long and suffer only boredom. In Las Vegas, though, things are different. Sin City, they call the place. You can walk down the street with a beer (or anything else!) and no one will bat an eye. But bartenders’ nervousness increases proportional to the time that minors sit anywhere near a bar. Same with the casino games, by the way. They’re serious about their anti-loitering laws. (No matter that I witnessed apparent elementary school aged kids pulling slots, that’s another story. Officially, they care.)
We picked up a six-pack of beer on our way back to the suite. That’s an expensive proposition on Las Vegas Blvd., nearly twice what we’re used to paying. I don’t know if it was the heat of the street or if they were just selling warm beer out of the cooler, but in short order the beer was warm as piss and quite useless. What to do? Stuff it in the fridge (ah, the advantages of a suite with a wet bar!) and find something else to do, knowing it’ll be good to go in the morning.
And it was. Our beer of choice, though, requires an opener and – oops – we were lacking. Now a lack of opener doesn’t necessarily equal a lack of ingenuity, so the search was on. Our opener turned out to be disguised as a potted plant on a wrought iron stand.
You wouldn’t know by just looking, but there’s a remarkable similarity between that plant stand and the rear bumper of a ’64 Chevy Impala!
Maybe there was just the tiniest bit of spillage but I won’t tell if you won’t! That worked until we remembered to buy an opener; it only took a couple of days. We chose a souvenir opener modeled after a bottle, filled with a viscous liquid, with icons of Las Vegas (chips, dice, etc.) floating within. A magnet on the side would hold it to our fridge, a colorful and happy reminder of this particular adventure.
The second time (but not the first!) that we passed through LAS security Pam got dinged for our souvenir bottle opener. Not because of the metal end, oh no, it was the liquid content of the thing. No matter that she only had one. No matter that we ALL only had one of them between us. No matter that it was clearly a sealed piece of plastic. They must have seen millions of them over the years! No, none of that mattered in the least. The TSA agent was determined.
There were choices, of course. Leave the security area and arrange to mail it back. Leave the security area and return to ticketing, (try to) have the agent retrieve our checked bags to add the contraband. Or surrender the item. And that’s what we chose to do. A four-dollar (plus tax – 8% tax at that) plastic doo-dad just ain’t worth three trips through airport security in less than a day! DOA, that’s what she called it. That dangerous little thing was dutifully tossed into DOA. It looked like a trash bin to me. Black. Rubbermaid.
Before I left the area I told the agent the story and asked for a picture. Maybe I was hoping she’d change her mind. Maybe hearing the story, holding the thing again, having another look would change her mind. Nope, it didn’t work. She reached into the DOA bin and retrieved the offending trinket, but she wouldn’t let me touch it. I got my picture, but she wouldn’t even allow her hands to appear in the image. She smiled, but firmly held her position.
We boarded the tram to the gates.