Blood From a Stone: TSA Doesn't Play Gneiss


In the Hartford Courant, a rock-lover relives his tragic journey to an annual meeting of the Stone Foundation, an international organization of people "united by their love of stone."

To enhance my speech, I nestled one of my favorite specimens between my underwear and shirts in a carry-on bag because I never check luggage on business trips. My banded chunk of the Hebron Gneiss (pronounced "nice") resembled a broken slice of layer cake composed of licorice and cream cheese.

In retrospect, I suppose I could have put the grapefruit-sized specimen inside my sock, swung it around my head like a mace, charged the cabin and attempted to hijack the flight. This, of course, never occurred to me until the zealous inspector declared my rock a "dual-use" item…

"What, pray tell, is a dual-use item?" I asked. I'm afraid I chucked just a little, causing her to glare, withhold a satisfactory answer and call her supervisor. He hefted my rock, scrutinized it for a moment, and agreed that my specimen was indeed a dual-use item, meaning a potential low-tech weapon..

I thought dual-use referred to anything with potential civilian and military uses. Apparently, it now means anything a toddler can use to clock another kid in the head. Under such a definition of deadly weaponry, man and rock were forever separated. The author mourns:

If rocks had feelings, my beautiful specimen would have been crying as it was hauled away.

Via boingboing.

*Headline courtesy of pun-tastic commenter Matt L.