The 4 oz dilemma

May 21, 2009

With all the travel I do, I get really really tired of flying. I’m almost ready to become the opera world’s John Madden. Give me a pimped out bus and send me across the country. Except for the glorious existence of Southwest, all other airlines are terrible. Delays, broken planes, charge you $4 for a $.50 candy bar when they should just give you the obligatory peanuts in the first place, the rude staff, the overpriced tickets, the outrageous change fees, the lost luggage…I really don’t have to continue.

But what do I hate more than anything about flying? TSA.

I mean where else in the world are high school drop outs (I think you only need a GED to get a job) and retirees in charge of “security”. No offense against these folks, but for pete’s sake – when I get off the plane in Germany, I am greeted by the military with machine guns. That’s security.

Forgetting the fact that the TSA is an invasion of my privacy and the fact that you cannot hold them responsible for any damages or losses they cause to the items which they inspect, I am always faced with the awful dilemma of my liquid limits.

I will use a current example. I am flying to Chicago to audition for Lyric Opera’s young artist program. My schedule is tight if I am to catch the train that will take me to the ‘burbs where I am staying for free. In order to catch said train, I must not check my bag. It’s an overnight trip so it would be ridiculous to do so with my tiny bag. HOWEVER. I am faced with the 4 oz dilemma. I have two personal care products which cannot be put into any other container that are 4 oz a piece. One I can live without – the other? No way. Not if my hair is going to look decent. So, here are my options:

1) Do I chance it and try to break Federal law (not sure if it really is, but the TSA folks sure make you think it is) and sneak the offending material into my bag and hope for the best?

2) Rent a car and spend rental fees, gas and parking to avoid missing my train? (Which would run in the $60 – $80 range?

3) Give up on the free place in the ‘burbs and bid on a hotel in Chicago and hope for something that will run around $60 – $80 (hey, I have yet to pay more than $75 for a room and I’ve stayed in many downtown areas in a 3 star place – NYC NOT included)

4) Check the bag and run like hell.

5) Check the bag and miss the train and add an extra hour to my trip.

I mean, this is a major decision. And all because some dingbat in Washington thinks that I can create a explosive device with my hair spray.

Damn those 4 innocent ounces.

It’s always the innocent that get caught in the crossfire.

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