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May 01, 2010

Coconut Milk: Code Red Security Threat

We were already alarmingly close to our departure time. Jade hung around, quietly, waiting patiently for the airport security folks to open and swab everything in all of our bags. After explaining that Jade was on a medical diet for the fourth time to the third person, I, on the other hand, was losing my patience.

After being asked for the fifth time, I clenched my teeth and explained again: "She's on a medical diet. She has epilepsy. It's a high-fat diet called the ketogenic diet. We use it to control her seizures. Everything she eats needs to be precisely measured. I have a doctor's letter. Would you like to see the letter?"

Once again, nobody cared to see the letter. They had bags to tear into.

As one woman pulled apart a bag, yanking out vitamins and pill crushers and the electronic scale, she grilled me on the contents and their purpose. Another man peered intently at an image of the cooler filled with chilled, pre-measured keto meals on his x-ray machine monitor. A third security person was waving a can of coconut milk he had taken from my bag, asking me for the fifth time why it was part of Jade's medical diet. He stared at it like it was the most dangerous object in the world and called his supervisor over to ask if he should confiscate it.

I should have felt honoured to have had three security people taking such an interest in the contents of our baggage. Knowing how seriously they take their jobs should have provided me, and everyone else in the rapidly-lengthening line behind me feelings of safety and comfort. Instead, I had a frustrated scowl on my face. As did everyone else in the line on the other side of the metal detector. Terrorists posing as dads with four-year-old girls on medical diets must be more common than I realized.

Finally, after they had been through all of my bags, the woman finally asked me for the letter. Finally satisfied, she gave me the all-clear. I scrambled to pack everything back together and realized I hadn't been given back the can of coconut milk. I put my hand out toward the man who was still holding the can, using the international gesture of "give it to me now". The man looked at the can again, perhaps weighing in his mind the potential damage that could be caused by such an item. After another glance at his boss, he reluctantly handed it to me. A can of coconut milk isn't an expensive thing but I had already decided that I wasn't going to leave without it.

Luckily, we made it to our gate on time, but the look on the airport security guy's face caused me to wonder, what could possibly be so dangerous about a can of coconut milk? Was he afraid that I would somehow turn the coconut milk into an explosive device? Because that would take some serious MacGuver-like skills. Was he afraid that I would somehow get ahold of a can opener and turn the lid and base of the can into throwing stars, using them to hijack the plane? Maybe he suspected that I was a MacGuyver-like ninja. Who knows?

What I do know for sure is that I'm glad that I brought that can of coconut milk home. Fawn went shopping for coconut milk two days ago and it would appear that the particular brand we use for Jade's diet momentarily disappeared from the shelves in Whitehorse.

We would have been hooped without it.



Aroy-D Coconut Milk - Preferred by ninja terrorists with MacGuyver-like skills posing as dads with four-year-old girls on medical diets.

3 comments:

I answer to "Mum" said...

That's just amazing,
and yet consider this...they never found the swiss army knife that I accidently left in our diaper bag!

Lindsay Niedzielski said...

Glad everything worked out for you. Airport security kills me - one time I was told that I could have only one ice pack and had to throw out my second (because I know the second one would have threatened national security) and another time I was told I could only have an ice pack if I didn't have any other liquids...like, what would I need an ice pack for if I didn't have milk? And really, all they should have needed was the letter from the dr. and then they should have said 'have a nice day' to you...if I could drive out of here I would skip airplanes all together!!!

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

Well, I, for one, am certainly glad to fly now, knowing I am safer for the intense coconut milk scrutiny. Thanks for suffering that for all of mankind. Maybe you were going to hit the pilot in the back of the head with the can, and thus take over the aircraft, and the world? Crazy world we live in these days. Seriously.
But a humorous post that made me smile, even if it wasn't particularly amusing for you and Jade! I totally get returning with the can, however. It's the PRINCIPLE of the thing!!