We’re leaving Monday morning for the RWA Conference

in New York City, so I have Things To Pack scattered all around.  I haven’t been on an airplane in at least twenty years, so I’m not sure what to expect.  The last time I flew there were metal detectors and random Sky Marshals, but that was about it.  The authorities were concerned about the occasional passenger who wanted to reroute the plane, not blow it up.  Things are a lot more complicated now.

In hopes of getting on that plane Monday morning with my luggage–and my shoes–intact, I’ve been doing my research.  I watched a video the other day on How To Pack, but I’m never going to be one of those people who can tour Europe for three weeks with one carry-on bag.  I’ll be happy with one checked bag and a tote for my notebook and Kindle and a few odds and ends.

So I found my way to the Transportation Security Administration web site, which offers a fairly comprehensive view of the current rules and regulations.  I’ve learned that I’ll have to take my shoes off, so I’ll wear slip-ons and hope the floor is reasonably clean.  If my underwired bra sets off an alarm, I guess I’ll be making pat down jokes.  But what really fascinates me is the list of amazing things you CAN take on an airplane, as long as you put them in your checked baggage.

You can pack ice axes, meat cleavers, sabers and swords in your checked luggage.  Baseball bats, bows and arrows, ski poles and spear guns are allowed, although I’m not quite sure how you pack a ski pole.  Guns and ammunition, although the packing regulations for these are specific, and the ammunition can’t be IN the guns.  Down there in the luggage compartment there might be cattle prods and power tools, brass knuckles and throwing stars, gel shoe inserts and snow globes.  It’s not until you get down to the section headed Explosive & Flammable Materials, Disabling Chemicals & Other Dangerous Items that you run into the stuff they really won’t allow on an airplane (and clearly for good reason).

I’m sure there are folks with perfectly good reasons for dragging cricket bats and starter pistols and crowbars along on their travels.  I’m not one of them.  I’ll be perfectly happy with a few changes of clothing, an extra pair of shoes, and a toothbrush.  In fact, the more I think about it, the simpler it sounds.

We’ll see if it works out that way.  Now, where did I put my nunchuks?

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