My sandwich is da bomb

By | September 1st, 2006

Question: What does the TSA call a turkey and cheese sandwich? Answer: Contraband.

Lorraine Ruff discovered that for herself on a recent flight from Seattle to Washington. “I got a delicious sandwich at the Seattle airport, in a shop that specializes in lovely blends of herbed cream cheeses and spiced chutneys,” she said. “I had a turkey and cheese on a fresh bun.”

Now, there’s one thing you have to know about Ruff. She’s a frequent frequent flier who racks up hundreds of thousands of miles a year. She knew the rules. Or at least she thought she knew them.

“I grabbed a mayo and mustard package and stuffed it in the bag to make sure the sandwich was moist enough,” she continued. “I consumed the first half on the first leg. It was delicious. I didn’t need the extra condiments, and they remained in my bag.”

But at a stopover in Philadelphia, Ruff got busted. “There were ‘surprise’ TSA checkers at the Philadelphia gate. While they were very polite and sympathetic, I was a bit taken aback that these processed foods fell onto the prohibited items list,” she recalled.


“I wondered,” she asked, “how mustard and mayo could be conscripted by insurgents into some sinister purpose?”

Oddly, the TSA agent didn’t have an answer for her. In fact, he told her that if she just opened the condiments and applied them to her sandwich, she’d be allowed to board.

“I guess the watch word is to taste your sandwich for proper moistness before boarding. Holy gourmet turkey sandwich! Is nothing sacred in our society?” she wondered.

Related story:   Exchange rate rip-offs, and how to avoid them

Here’s are a few questions for the TSA. Why did you allow condiments on one flight and not the other? What is the difference between mustard on a sandwich and in a package?

Oh, yeah, and one more thing. Whatever happened to common sense?

Editor’s note: This is the 100th Ellipses post. Never thought the powers that be would let me keep publishing my renegade travel blog for so long. At the rate I’m going, I might last another 100. We’ll see! — C.E.



We want your feedback. Your opinion is important to us. Here's how you can share your thoughts:
  • Send us a letter to the editor. We'll publish your most thoughtful missives in our daily newsletter or in an upcoming post.
  • Leave a message on one of our social networks. We have an active Facebook page, a LinkedIn presence and a Twitter account. Every story on this site is posted on those channels. The conversation ranges from completely unmoderated (Twitter) to moderated (Facebook and LinkedIn).
  • Post a question to our help forums or ask our advocates for a hand through our assistance intake form. Please note that our help forum is not a place for debate. It's there primarily to assist readers with a consumer problem.
  • If you have a news tip or want to report an error or omission, you can email the site publisher directly. You may also contact the post's author directly. Contact information is in the author tagline.