People From Around The World Share Hilarious Objects Found At Airport Security

People From Around The World Share Hilarious Objects Found At Airport Security

It seems like the number of things you aren't allowed to take on airplanes just keeps getting longer. No liquids, no nail clippers, nothing over 5 get the idea. That list doesn't even include the array of stuff they make you do when you actually walk through security. Take your shoes off, x-ray machines, full body scans - it's no wonder it takes so long to go through airport security.

With all the intense precautions airports take, it's amazing the number of bizarre things that get discovered through the airport security process. In fact, some of these stories make us think that it might be worth signing up to work for the TSA just for the stories!

No. Just kidding. Forget we said that. Read on!

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64. Only a bit of illegal substances

A guy I met when traveling told me on his last trip he forgot he had a few grams of illegal substance in his backpack. He traveled for a few months in Asia without realizing and managed to get past a lot of airport security.

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63. A great use of taxpayer dollars

When I was a kid I got stopped leaving Thailand. I thought it was because of all the sea shells in my bag, mum had warned me not to bring any home. They stopped me, looked through my bag and pulled out my copy of Order of the Phoenix, "This is a really good book, have you read the rest of them?" I just started to cry. When I got back to Sydney I tossed all the shells.

A few years ago I got stopped because my shirt said 'No kangaroos in Austria'. Boarder patrol guy stopped me and gave me a lecture on Australian wildlife, called me a dumb tourist and then he looked at my passport and realized I was in fact, Australian. He asked me if I thought I was clever or if I really was that stupid. I asked him if he could read or if he really was that stupid. Had another look at my shirt and let me go without another word. And Boarder Patrol was filming that day, I was hoping it would get put on the show but it didn't.

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62. Well, liquids are dangerous!

They scanned my bag and pulled me to the side to go through it. She opened it up and took my sun block and let me go. She left the 6” combat knife that I forgot was in there.

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61. The last Samurai

About a week before 9/11/2001, I was going through airport security alongside a 14-year-old kid and his mother, who were returning from some kind of martial arts tournament. The kid was carrying a freaking samurai sword.

The security guy was all like, "I'm pretty sure you have to check that." and the mom flat out told him they are not going to check it because it's too expensive, and that the lady at the ticket counter said it should be okay because it's a practice sword and not even sharpened.

The security guy just isn't sure and so the kid draws the sword from the sheath and lets the man feel the edge. Meanwhile the mom reiterates that the ticket lady said it would be okay.

Security guy shrugs, kid re-sheaths his sword, and that thing rode in the overhead bin across the aisle from me (they were on my plane).

Two weeks later they would have been detained without a second thought.

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60. Moe, Larry, and Curly

In the early 90's, my family and I are trying to get back to the USA from Paris. At the airport they scanned all our luggage as part of the routine (even back then). During the process the officials got pretty excited/upset/surprised (we didn't speak much French and they spoke little English) but a number of them crowded around the monitor for one suitcase.

They finally brought me over to the screen and pointed to an image on the x-ray. At the bottom of my wife's suitcase it appeared to be an outline of a pistol. As it turned out, it was my wife's curling iron with power cord rolled up just right; but I couldn't make them understand what I was trying to tell them, so I just pretended to curl my hair like I've seen my wife do with the thing.

They started laughing and were so relieved it was nothing so we were on our way quickly after that. Back when flying was actually fun.


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59. Rock on

One time I was in the security line with my parents and little sister and we got stopped because they found something in her bag. The person at the scanner opens my little sister’s backpack and pulls out a freaking rock the size of a grapefruit. He just looks at us and goes, “What’s this?” And my little sister goes, “That’s my pet rock!” He put it back in the bag and told us we were good. She took her pet rock on the plane, but my parents were totally mortified.

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58. We like to spoon

Saw a bag filled to the brim with all different types of spoons. Pulled it aside, asked the passenger what the deal was.. he looked me straight in the face and says he uses them to spank his wife in bed. They’re their "love spoons."

When I say "saw" I meant while I was analyzing the image on the x ray machine. I was not simply targeting the passenger by sight.

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57. At least you're washing

I'm a TSA Ofiicer. "Ma'am I just gotta look in your bag real quick." "Oh, it's just my butt plug, it has electronics inside!" "Um, it's just your soap, it's too big to go."

I cannot make this up. The thing I tell new people is you can never be ready for what might happen every day.

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56. Gaston from Beauty and the Beast vs. the TSA

I’m TSA.

I once met an elderly woman with a sword cane. She had no idea it was a sword - her son was a service member and had sent it to her from the Philippines without mentioning what it was.

A couple headed up to Alaska with a sink, complete with plumbing attached, in a large duffle bag.

Hunter returning from Canada with some unlicensed kills. Unprepped and still bleeding severed musk-ox heads wrapped in plastic. Whole baggage system for half the airport had to be shut down and cleaned, along with a couple of our machines.

One lady who spent the time her bag was in the x-ray screaming that x-rays weren't real, and there was a dwarf in the machine going through her bag to steal things.

In cargo, an automatic grenade launcher built out of clear polycarbonate, so the arms dealer transporting it could show off its inner workings. Would have been fine, if it hadn't been undeclared and accompanied by a small box of grenades.


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55. Hands off my weiner

Bought a wiener dog corkscrew for my fiancé at a gift shop the same day as my flight. Threw it in my backpack and totally forgot to put it in my checked luggage. Noticed security grabbing my bag off the belt, they pulled out the corkscrew and I gasped and said “MY WEINER DOG!!!”

I must have looked genuinely concerned about that corkscrew because two TSA guys decided it didn’t seem like much of a threat and let me keep it. Shoutout to those TSA guys for letting me bring my silly gift home!

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54. Pennies from heaven

I was traveling with a buddy from Canada to France. We were big into one card game that required pennies. So my friend, the character that he is, brought a glove full of around 1,000 pennies, and without thinking, tossed it in his carry on. Every security stop we went through, he had to dump out his glove of pennies, and then put them all back into the glove. The first security check we went through, he and I were both staring at the screen, wondering what the heck they thought was in his bag. The way it was placed, it looked like an awkward metal dinosaur.

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53. Pack rat

I flew with an antique 12 inch cast-iron skillet with a lid and two antique oil lamps with iron brackets a mercury glass reflector in my carry-on. They were family heirlooms that I very carefully and skillfully wrapped in my sweaters and a long velvet skirt and lined everything with socks and bras (yes, my packing skills are to be envied). I had to explain to the TSA that I was not planning to use the skillet as a weapon and that the reflector was not the casing for a bomb while my bras were laying all over the table. Me yelling "be careful with that - it's super fragile" probably didn't help with my not-a-bomb plea.

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52. Separation anxiety

Flying out from spending time with my girlfriend in another state. I'm anxious and especially nervous while going through security, topped with being sad that I won't be seeing my girlfriend for another long period of time, I'm feeling a little weepy.

My bag rolls through the scanner and I see the woman's face get all concerned and she calls over another agent to look at the screen. I'm thinking like, "oh good, what now?"

She asks me, "Do you have a milkshake mixer in your luggage?"

I'm just taking it all in for a minute before it dawns on me. I have no idea what a milkshake mixer looks like, but I know I don't have one. My Hitachi magic wand is in there.

At this point, I'm feeling overwhelmed by everything and now I'm pretty embarrassed and there's more attention on me than I care for.

So, I promptly burst into tears, sobbing, and trying to explain. Fortunately, they were discreet and just let me go.


51. Explosive performance

Did you know that there's a sports drink that comes in a bottle that's shaped exactly like an M2 grenade?

I didn't, until I was working an x-ray machine in a military airport and some idiot decided it would be a good idea to put a bottle in his checked bag.


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50. Death and taxidermy

It was me. I found a taxidermy chicken on a trip, and had to buy it. Then I had to get her home. Well, she wouldn't fit in my suitcase, so I had to carry her in my arms.

It was a really busy travel day, and that chicken amused EVERYONE. Absolutely every person in line suddenly wasn't grumpy anymore. TSA all laughed, especially when she had to go through the x-ray; passengers who were irritated at lines started smiling.

I loved it.


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49. Dollar dollar bills

In college many years ago I had a part-time job demonstrating a dollar counting machine (they were relatively new then). Once had to fly somewhere to give a demo, and took my duffle bag full of $1 bills. The guy searching that bag called for his boss to come over. The boss was experienced enough to figure out that real dealers don’t traffic in low-value currency and he kept me from being arrested, but I was pretty close to missing my flight and spending a night in the cells.

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48. Quit your carping

I had a whole dead carp in my backpack. I was visiting my grandparents in Czech Republic right before returning to spend Christmas with my parents in France. Carp is our traditional Christmas dinner in Czech Republic, but it's pretty hard to get in France, since French people don't eat them. So I figured that hey, I might as well buy one and take it with me. The lady who checked my bag was not impressed but she let me go through with my carp. I guess there are no rules against taking an entire dead fish with you on a plane.


47. Hitching a free ride

I work airport security.

Once I found a live spider. Passenger didn't know he was there and he wasn't huge, but he opened his bag, it crawled out, and I screamed. 

Human ashes. 

Homemade adult toys. (The woman gave me her business card.) 

A live cat. 

Antlers with rotting flesh still on them. 

But my favourite was a magician’s bag. Alerted for explosives. He kept pulling bits out of pockets and showing me bits of his act.

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46. Don't toy with me

My father travels a lot, and was going through airport security one day in Europe when he noticed his bag was taking longer than usual to go through the x-ray. The security guys called over another guy, and then another. They're all looking at the bag, gesturing and pointing.

A guy finally came over to my father and asked "are you a mountain climber? We can't figure out what is in your bag and climbing equipment is our best guess, you have some sort of metal hook in there."

My father was absolutely not a mountain climber, and happily opened his bag for them. He had bought a metal crane truck as a toy for my brother, and it looked strange on the machine. They all started cracking up, and asked if they could use the photo of the bag as training.

It must have been a slow night.

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45. Grandma Escobar

Not me, but my grandma. This would've been around 50 years ago; my mom and my grandma were returning from a trip to Peru.

Now, before I tell this story, let me tell you about my grandma. She worked as an English teacher in South America for years, but she's also worked as an interviewer and written books on the life stories of immigrants. She's the kind of person who will spend a taxi ride learning the life story of the driver and then tell it to everyone she knows.

Needless to say, both my mom and my grandma had souvenirs from their time in Peru. My mom is holding her stuffed llama and about to go through security. The security people at the airport look through my grandma's bag and find several bags full of crushed leaves, nearly packed, and ask my grandma what they were. My grandma proceeds to tell them the name of the plant, where it originated from, and what its medicinal value is... For every single bag.

Security doesn't have time for this and waves my grandma through with at least one bag full of coca tea. Then they go over every seam on the llama to make sure it's not being used to smuggle anything.


44. Those things are creepy

My brother and his friend “borrowed” a lawn gnome from my mom’s evil roommate. They both heard the TSA guy say, “Is that a gnome?” as it went through the scanner. No one said anything though.

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43. A head trip

I worked at an airport as a line tech. A former baggage screener (pre-TSA) told me of the time he open a bag and found a human skull. The passenger was an MD and had all the appropriate paperwork to transport the skull, but it was still surreal.

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42. Boom Goes The Dynamite

I once took a whole bag of firecrackers through without even thinking. Totally forgot it was off limits. I bought them out of state because you can’t buy them in my state. I don’t usually check my luggage so I brought it in my suitcase as carry on. Only after I was through security did it dawn on me that it was against the rules, but by then I was already past the checkpoint.


41. Beware The Little Old Ones

It was pre-9/11, but I took a razor knife/utility knife though security on three different overseas trips before I was stopped with it.

I used my carryon to carry my tools with me for my job and would use it in country as it was easier than carrying all that weight. I tossed a utility knife in there and went through security at least 6 times (probably more than that as I used to go outside if I had time at layover airports).

I was finally stopped with it by a little old lady who was scanning bags at a small airport in the Midwest.

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40. A Very Close Shave With Security

A whole lot of Gillette razors. I needed one and they only sold a 10 pack and I only had carry-on luggage. I thought worst case scenario, I have to throw them away and buy more when I get home. They stopped me in security, opened my bag, looked at them, looked at me, and let me go with my 9 razors.


39. 12 Disciples

I accidentally brought a 12-pack in my carry-on. I forgot I had put those in my bag (about 3 months before I had gone to a house party with these in them). When I landed and unpacked, I was like, "Oh, nice!"


38. I Ham What I Ham

A ham sandwich. The sniffer dog was going crazy, but he got dragged away because I'm apparently really very not-suspicious looking. Found the sandwich at the hostel. Was a little dry, but still tasty.



37. Screw It

I've seriously flown with a huge screwdriver in my carryon before, was pretty surprised when I unpacked at home.


36. Always Check Your Bags

Took three different planes to the Yucatan from USA, and on the way back I took two planes. The last security check point before home found nail clippers, lighter, bottle opener, and a razor knife. I was in a rush to leave, and grabbed an extra bag I used for school (I took art classes and worked as a bartender at the time). I was terrified they might find something even worse since I did not really check.

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35. It's Not Poison

Bottle of water. I took it past the initial one, the second one stopped me. The security guy asked me to drink the water. So I gulped down 2 gulps of water and told him "See, not poison."

5 seconds of awkward silence

He then said, "You can't bring the water in." Only then did I realize my mistake.


34. The Sly Smuggler

This was back in the days when people shot movies using actual film. I would open the tiny metal film cases with a bottle opener, ditch the film then put whatever I wanted inside and seal the bottom back on. The x-rays can't see through the metal, so security just assumes a film can has film in it. I smuggled all kinds of stuff domestically and internationally that way. Then film became more and more rare, and I felt more conspicuous traveling with it. Plus I grew up and realized how much trouble I'd be in if I got caught!


33. Those Were The Days

Pre-9/11, I was actually able to board a plane with a chainsaw. It was still new in the box so there was no mistaking what it actually was. Would have made for a loud and messy hijacking.

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32. How Does This Happen?

My aunt got two machetes through the airport of JFK. She just wrapped it in newspapers and stuck them in the dirty wet clothes bag. Even going through them by hand no one found them.

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31. Let It Grow

Seeds (international travel to the US). I had a full bag of seeds from another trip I made a week before and forgot to take it out of my bag. I felt like Bart Simpson when he took a frog to Australia, totally paranoid when I found them!

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30. Watch That Protractor

I accidentally brought a 6-inch buck knife in my carry-on. Bag was x-rayed, then randomly selected for a manual search. I realized it was there when I pulled out my crossword book mid-flight. This was in 2011. Great job, Air Canada! They did confiscate my protractor set, because apparently the pointy end on the compass could be a dangerous weapon.


29. Good To Know

I got myself through Charles De Gaulle airport and right up to getting on the plane without a boarding pass. The scary thing is that it was the day after the Paris shootings last November, and security was supposed to be heightened. How I got that far I don't know.


28. Way To Go

A full dissection set, with scalpels and blades and deadly stuff like that. Way to go, Barcelona airport!

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27. That Lotion Might Be Dangerous

They confiscated my lotion, but neglected to detect the dense long metal self-defense baton I had attached to my key ring.

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26. Good Looking Out

I had a credit-card shaped knife that folded into something wieldable. It was more of a gimmick than anything, but one time I got it through airport security solely because I forgot it was in my wallet. On the other hand, I went for federal jury duty, and apparently the X-ray people there pay far more attention than the TSA. I got some odd looks when they asked me about that.


25. Watch Out For Gardeners

A bag with several boxcutters and penknives that were given away at a gardening trade show I attended. I imagine the fertilizer sample packs were probably a no-no also.


24. Give Me All The Bacon You Have

I once brought bacon back to Canada from Germany. It was the really salty Black Forest stuff that was fine if it wasn't refrigerated. This was around when Mad Cow was all the rage and meat imports were extremely regulated.

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23. Forget The Knife, Get The Sunscreen

I was flying from Guatemala to Texas and then again to Philadelphia. I was working on a construction project so I was using a knife and usually had it on me. Going through security in Guatemala they stopped my bag and I thought "oh no, my knife must be in my bag!" They then proceed to pull out my can of spray sunscreen and throw it in the trash. Once I was on the plane I reached into my bag to pull out a game boy and cut myself on all 3 of the extra razor blades in my bag. And the knife was in there too.

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22. That's Some Magic Trick

A baby bunny. I used to fly home every couple of weekends in the early 90's when I was in university. I figured they never patted me down so just put it in my inside coat pocket. I almost got busted in security when they asked me to take off my jacket after I walked though the metal detector. My coat moved a bit on the table but they never noticed. Once on the plane, I got busted by a stewardess when I brought the bunny out for a bit. She asked if she could pet it. Flying was a lot more fun back then.


21. He Had A Bag Over It

2 knives and a fake samurai sword sticking out of my bag. This was pre 9/11. To be fair, I had a plastic bag over the handle of the sword.


20. Poor Sushi

I smuggled my goldfish in a plastic baggy full of water through, tucked into my sports bra. I made it through fine. I was young and stupid, and poor Sushi passed away after that whole ordeal anyway.

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19. To The Moon

Not me, but a friend once brought rocket fuel through TSA. We were traveling for a model rocket competition. Somehow, a rocket motor got into her pocket on launch day and she forgot about it. She wore the same pants for the flight home, and I guess she didn't notice she still had the motor in her pocket.


18. Got The Pen Though

A box cutter and an Exacto knife. The kicker is I was stopped at security because I had a fountain pen.


17. That Might Work

Full stainless steel water bottle. Kept taking an empty one through till I decided to try not emptying it. No issues on the last handful of flights. Might try filling it with whiskey next time. So I guess not really accidental.


16. Don't See The Forest For The Trees

6-inch survival knife in my backpack. I forgot to take it out from my last trip. They found my nail clippers and toothpaste but not this dangerous knife!


15. Just Keep Quiet

Not so much an accident, but when I was younger (7-8) me and my brother were flying to visit my grandparents. We both had one of those bubble blowers that look kinda like lightsabers (brand new). His was taken away, but mine wasn't. I didn't say anything until were on the plane.


14. Gotta Watch Those Lego Swords

Got through with a pair of handcuffs that I found at a yard sale, but I got a weird look from TSA. My nephew's foam sword from Legoland was apparently too big a threat to let on the plane, though.

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13. Just Make Your Own

I brought 16 oz of chimichurri from Argentina to the US. Technically it's a liquid. Worst part of it is the chimi was awful, so not even worth it.

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12. Hidden In Plain Sight

An Exacto pen/blade. I kept it in a pen case with all my other writing/drawing stuff. Didn't realize it until I was looking for a pen and saw it in there.


11. He's Just Testing You

I always take a small pair of spring-loaded, rubber-gripped needle nose pliers on every plane trip in my carry on. 4.5 inches long. 1-inch jaw length. Easy to grip. Would make a great weapon. At least 40 times now - before and after 9/11. Only been questioned once - on a flight out of Germany back to the states. They measured the jaws and gave it back to me.

I don't expect to ever use it as a weapon. I mostly take it along just to see if they'll notice - while they take nail clippers from old ladies.


10. Watch Those Spicy Liquids

I managed to bring a canister of pepper spray onto several different airplanes in the same carry-on bag for two different trips. I didn't realize I had it until a few weeks after my latest adventure.

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9. Those Are Expensive Eggs

This wasn't at an airport, but the border. My mom brought two 12-packs of Kinder Eggs from Mexico for my nephew. She didn't know they were illegal and it wasn't until later that I found out we could have been fined about $2,000 per egg. She hasn't brought back any since.


8. Getting Hammered

Not an airport, but a cruise line. There were 4 of us going on a cruise and we spent extra time beforehand preparing legit looking soda bottles that were strongly mixed. We were so worried about the "soda" passing through the bag check that my friend somehow completely forgot about the massive hammer he had in his bag. They never found the hammer. I'm still not sure that x-ray machine was legit because there is no reason for a person on a cruise ship to have a massive hammer.


7. A Massive Oversight

A large amount of fireworks. We were traveling to Ireland. We had already been through customs in Colorado, connected in DC, went through security in London and then were waiting in the lounge to get on our plane to Ireland. My brother looks in his backpack for a snack, and then turns ghost white and looks at me. He calls me over, and shows me his backpack. He has probably 3 pounds of high-end fireworks-- not sparklers, but stuff that goes boom. We got through two security checkpoints with about 3 pounds of black powder. They did catch my drink in my backpack though, so we were safe.

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6. Granny will stick you

My grandmother emigrated to Spain and we were helping her move her stuff to the new place. She was 92 at the time, tiny, wrinkled, and a very neat and civilized person.

At the airport, security checked her bag. They checked it again, called some more security guys, and pointed. Then they asked if she had anything in her bag that was illegal.

My grandmother said no; they asked if they could search it.

They couldn’t find anything at first so they asked her again if she had a knife or something like that in the bag. Granny thought for a while and then she suddenly remembered.

She unzipped a hidden pocket and pulled out a switchblade that she had forgotten about.

Apparently she used to carry a knife when she went to the market with her friends and wanted to get a bit of food that she needed to carve up.

​Or she used it to rumble with rival grandma gangs, who knows?

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5. A Bit Kinky

An entire suitcase full of rope, whips and other equipment. Like no questions asked.

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4. A Few Knifes

February 2002, Boston Logan flight to the Caribbean: 3 box cutters in my backpack & 2 in my coat pockets (what? I worked in a grocery store). On the way back, I packed 4 of them in my checked luggage and left one sacrificial box cutter in the same place in my backpack, but I made it home with all 5.

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3. The good boy almost got you in deep trouble

I was at the airport one day, waiting for my girlfriend to come pick me after my flight. She was about 20 minutes away, so I sat down by a window ledge to browse online, and like normal there were various airport employees, security people, passengers, etc. wandering around.

After about 5 mins, I notice a couple cops with a dog eyeing me up. They go to walk by, and all of a sudden the dog gets really close to me and then sit down. The cops give me an intense look, and reach under the ledge where I was sitting.

All of a sudden, they pull out a bag with a few grams of green in it. This is not my stuff, and I start freaking out internally, like any normal person. One of the cops goes, "What's this all about?"

Then, the other cop bursts out laughing, and explains that they are doing K9 training and I happened to sit down right over the exact spot they had previously hidden the bag for the dog to find. The cops were laughing so hard they had to take a couple minute break from their training, and, after my blood pressure kinda returned to normal I thought it was pretty funny too.

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2. Ready For Action

Fullblown ammunition. In jacket pocket. Went thru xray too. Auckland, NZ, post 9/11

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1. Expired

My passport was expired, I didn't notice and neither did he!

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