This post combines topics from 2 of my previous posts, BBQ and air travel. I was inspired to share on this blog my own harrowing story after reading another man’s tale of long distance love and loss (click here to read). The gentleman in this story made small national news and big local news (in Kansas City) when he made the costly tactical error of allowing a break in the chain of custody between him and his BBQ from Oklahoma Joe’s (now known as Joe’s Kansas City, but that’s another story). Evidently the brisket, smoked sausage and sauce which he packed in his checked luggage disappeared during TSA screening. To give the TSA the benefit of the doubt, the food was evidently well-wrapped in a few layers of packaging and when anything in checked luggage is well-wrapped the official policy is evidently that “TSA officers may have to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside.”
You may well wonder “why didn’t the guy just bring the food on the plane?” That’s where I can interject my own personal experience. Sauce, no matter how special, can’t be brought on planes, and sometimes things which are very saucy can’t come aboard either. I learned a lesson the hard way a few months ago, when I myself was returning home from the same legendary BBQ town and attempting to bring similar luscious edibles (also from Joe’s) onto the plane.
My story can be summarized best with the following key take-aways: 1. a cannister of spicy delicious brisket-filled beans is considered to contain a “liquid” component unsuitable for transport through security; 2. when swabbed and analyzed, such beans will test positive for explosives; 3. when your beans test positive for explosives, your co-worker will find it very amusing and not worry about making the situation more difficult for you; 4. The pat-downs at KCI can be quite thorough; and 5. Ultimately they will allow you to go back out and eat most of your beans, but then you will have to start the whole thorough security screening process again.
So, the ultimate lesson seems to be this: “when traveling to Kansas City, allow enough time to visit Joe’s Kansas City (nee Oklahoma Joe’s), order a lot of food, settle down and eat in!”