The cupcake that wouldn’t die

Would a cupcake by any other name taste just as sweet? Or be just as scary?

The TSA evidently thinks so. Instead of allowing the recent cupcake debacle story to die a quiet death, since it highlighted the agency’s lunacy, the TSA has decided to keep it in the public eye by publishing yet another blog post about.

The new post by Blogger Bob is, in fact, so surreal that at first you’re sure it must be a joke. It reads like a Monty Python sketch.

But no, gentle reader, the TSA doesn’t joke about Serious Dangers. And that potentially explosive cupcake was one scary threat.

Blogger Bob’s first ominous words hint at the horrors to come:

I wanted to make it clear that this wasn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill cupcake.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Then we have the irrefutable Historical Precedent, which shows the importance of confiscating the cupcake:

If you’re not familiar with it, we have a policy directly related to the UK liquid bomb plot of 2006 called 3-1-1 that  limits the amount of liquids, gels and aerosols you can bring in your carry-on luggage. Icing falls under the “gel” category.  As you can see from the picture, unlike a thin layer of icing that resides on the top of most cupcakes, this cupcake had a thick layer of icing inside a jar.

Thick layer of icing — inside a jar, no less!  No, Bob, say it ain’t so!

I myself have been frightened at the airport by suspicious glops in many a moisturizer jar — the thick creamy swirls of Lancôme Absolue, the radiant specs and glints of Aveeno Total Soy Complex, the sinister smoothness of Maybelline Moisture Whip. Why, just look at that name — “whip”! It telegraphs its nefarious intent in writing (in case the Behavior Detection Officers missed it).

As Blogger Bob goes on to explain, cakes, pies, and even cupcakes are actually allowed as carry-ons, but in this case, the ever-alert TSA agent decided to use his or her “discretion” to confiscate it. Why? Who knows? That’s the point of discretion. Nobody has to tell you.

Every officer wants to finish their shift and go home with the peace of mind that they kept potential threats off of airplanes. They’re not thinking about whether their decisions will go viral on the internet – they’re thinking about keeping bombs off of planes. This incident may seem like a silly move to many of our critics, but when we can’t be exactly sure of what something is, every officer has the discretion to not allow it on the plane.  This is done purely for the safety of everyone traveling.

I guess no one told Blogger Bob that no bombs were brought onto planes on 9/11. Or that the last time a bomb was brought onto a plane in the U.S. that detonated and killed anyone was May 22, 1962, as I explained in this entry. That’s almost 50 years ago.

Instead, Blogger Bob engages in a classic bit of sophistry: bringing up failed plots from 1995 and from 2006. The operative word there is “failed.” Nobody got on planes with explosive shampoo, sunscreen, or cupcakes. And it is, as several chemists and security experts have pointed out, profoundly difficult to create liquid explosives on a plane.

But why let a few facts get in the way of a good story? It’s more fun to ramp up the fear factor. And if your employees get a yummy cupcake out of it to bring back to the break room, so much the better.