No Yogurt on the Plane

YogurtWhen you’re flying, the TSA security screening can be a lot of things. Intrusive. Cumbersome. One thing it isn’t? Confusing. You empty your pockets, take off your shoes, then walk a few feet and get everything back. Pretty simple. It’s like a mugging with a happy ending.

Recently, I flew and had to do the usual check-in. The process was easy enough, although the girl behind me was shocked we had to take our shoes off. Part of me hoped she would keep asking questions. “Wait, we need to take our shoes off?” “Wait…there’s more than one plane?” “Wait… you mean to tell me that this thing is leaving the ground?” “Wait…humans have been capable of flight since 1903?”

As I calmly explained to her that yes, you have to take our shoes off, I felt a sudden, jolt of superiority. How dare she not be familiar with this entire process? What is she, an idiot? She should know exactly what’s going to happen, and when it’s going to happen?! That is, of course, until I heard the TSA agent say this to everyone:

“No yogurt on the plane.”

Now I was just as confused as she was. I’d never heard this before. And while it isn’t necessarily surprising given the constitution of the substance in question, it’s an odd item to single out. Aren’t there other things you should be looking a little harder for?  Boxcutters, fireworks, fertilizer. Shampoo, even. Are you going to let these pass through while a gaggle of TSA henchmen converge on a soccer mom who hasn’t finished her parfait?

I don’t understand how it could be dangerous. Has anyone ever built a bomb out of yogurt before? I’m afraid the NSA would kidnap me for Googling it. Maybe there’s a scientist in a cave in Afghanistan somewhere, his primitive lab littered with TCBY containers and stray granola trying to figure this one out. Even if that’s true, no one’s been successful with it. You’ve never heard a hijacker laugh maniacally while yelling, “A digestive tract isn’t the only thing this Activia is going to clear out!”

Maybe the TSA agent had a really bad experience with yogurt and planes in the past, and now she was taking that negativity out on the passengers. “Everyone remember, no yogurt on the plane…..especially not if you’re going to eat it while you break up with your pregnant girlfriend right before your flight to Vegas, Jared! THAT’S IT, EVERYONE OUT, THE FLIGHT IS CANCELLED!”

There’s also a chance she had a vendetta against Jamie Lee Curtis and was expecting her to be on the flight. “No yogurt. Also no one who’s been in any of the Halloween movies. Also no hermaphrodites. No stars of the film True Lies. I hate Jamie Lee Curtis.”

Or perhaps she’s a lobbyist for Big Yogurt and planting a not-so subliminal message in people’s minds. “No yogurt on the plane…right now, anyway. You’re going to want it when you land, though. You’ll want that creamy, healthy goodness chock full of vitamins. Your digestive system will thank you.”

No matter what the explanation is, this doesn’t seem like a “group announcement” sort of thing. .I’ve never looked at a large gathering of people and thought, “This seems like a crowd who appreciates yogurt.” Much less so on a flight. Maybe her next move was to say, “Yeah, I can tell what y’all are thinking just by lookin’ at ya, and let me stop you right there: this ain’t that kind of flight. Ditch the ‘gurt.”

Can’t you handle this on an individual by individual basis? If you see somebody with yogurt, let them know. Don’t alert the masses. It’s not like there are huge swaths of people leaving their houses saying, “Allright, I got my passport, ID, wallet, keys, and gallon jug of Dannon. I am ready for air travel.” Seriously, I can’t imagine who would be affected by this. Who’s showing up to an airport with yogurt? Like I’m going to look behind me in line and see some businessman panicking about what to do with his Samsonite full of Chobani. “You gotta help me hide this bro!”

Obviously, I didn’t ask more questions that day because my goal is always to get through security as quickly as possible. But it created a problem for me. Now I’ll never be able to eat yogurt without trying to figure out how someone made it dangerous. Explosive blueberry chunks? Probiotics laced with arsenic? Who knows? All I do know is that the second we let hate-mongering yogurt poisoning fanatics ruin our enjoyment of this fine American product….the terrorists win.

I don’t really know if yogurt was originally made in America, I just couldn’t think of a way to end this.

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