When I was a policeman I learned not to show fear, or to let fear influence my actions, because in that realm fear can get you killed. So although at times I am afraid, I try not to ever show it or act upon it.
I was traveling last weekend and I went through airport security. I had barely made it through the metal detector after taking off my shoes (my toes were poking through my worn socks), my belt (my pants started creeping down my hips), my hat (my bald pate was luminous) and my jacket (revealing my untucked shirt) when a TSA guy boomed, "Sir, is this your bag?"
We were in Kansas City and the blue-shirted bag-examiner was triumphantly holding aloft a 13 oz. bottle of Arthur Bryant's Original Flavor Barbecue Sauce. Having just spent the weekend in KC, I knew from several days of taste tests that Arthur Bryant's is the preferred Kansas-style bbq sauce, even above Gates or LC's.
This cooking elixir wasn't in my carry-on bag though, it was in the bag of the guy behind me. I think he was trying to sneak this bottle of liquid amber gold past TSA to take it home and liven up his dinner fare.
He owned up to ownership, declined to go back through the onerous security line again after removing the offending item from the security area and offered it to the guard, who put it in a bus pan by the back window. This receptacle of prohibited items was chock full.
I sidled over to that window from the other side once I cleared the security and looked at the contraband through the glass. Inside the brimming pan were a dozen or more sealed bottles and cans of Arthur Bryant's sauce, Gatorade, purified water, Red Bull and Coke, along with shrink-wrapped tubes of shampoo conditioner and sundry makeup.
I was sorely tempted to take a picture through the window of this basket of shame to record what is going on in the fight against terrorism in the heartland of the homeland. But I was afraid that snapping a photo of the bucket of discarded items would be a "suspicious activity" that might get me questioned and perhaps put on a no-fly list.
I was greatly conflicted but I decided against the photograph. The Decider would be proud for having been successful in making me afraid.