December 9, 2013
Phillis May, owner and creator of the cowboy sock monkey “Rooster Monkburn,” hoped to bring several of her toy creations as well as her sewing kit on-board for the Wednesday flight home.
While going through the airport screening process, May quickly discovered her carry-on bag to be missing. Shortly after, she looked up to find her bag confiscated in the hands of TSA.
“And the (TSA agent) held it up and said ‘whose is this?’” May told King 5 News. “I realized oh, my God this is my bag.”
After digging through May’s possessions, TSA officers located Monkburn’s trusted toy sidearm, immediately confronting May over the discovery.
“She said ‘this is a gun.’ I said no, it’s not a gun, it’s a prop for my monkey,” May said.
Incredibly, the TSA agent went on to claim that the toy pistol was so realistic, that no one would be able to tell the miniature toy gun from a real one.
“She said ‘If I held it up to your neck, you wouldn’t know if it was real or not,’” May said.
The toy gun was quickly confiscated, but not before TSA agents threatened to call the police, alleging that TSA protocol required them to do so.
“And I said really? You’re kidding me right, and she said ‘no it looks like a gun,’” May said. “I said well go ahead.”
Amazingly, TSA decided not to carry the already ridiculous situation any further, opting to let May go ahead without police involvement. The miniature toy pistol would stay in TSA custody.
“Rooster Monkburn has been disarmed so I’m sure everyone on the plane was safe,” May said sarcastically. “I understand she was doing her job but at some point doesn’t common sense prevail?”
Unfortunately for air travelers, May’s situation is similar to countless others. Whether it’s arresting passengers for peanut butter jokes or having the wrong kind of watch, the TSA has now become such a laughing stock that is has begun threatening travelers with arrest for joking about its security.
Despite congressional reports finding the TSA to be completely useless, confirmed by the TSA’s own internal admission of only employing security theater, the agency continues to grow. Unsurprisingly, the TSA’s $1 billion “chat down” program, which attempted to identify dangerous passengers, was found to be completely ineffective by the Government Accountability Office just last month.
Although Americans are far more likely to die from bee stings than terrorism, the TSA also continues to implement new civil liberty-trampling security methods on a regular basis, with airports now attempting to stop the instillation of new “detention pods,” which force passengers to be momentarily detained before exiting an airport.
Given the TSA’s history of lying about controversial interactions with travelers, it is unclear whether the agency will admit to the embarrassing encounter.