“What’s this?” The security officer pulled out the two-inch square, ziplock baggie from my fanny pouch he was examining. He held it between his gloved finger and thumb as if it was the tail of a rat.
“It’s aspirin.” For years I’ve traveled the world with a palm full of aspirin in that little plastic bag and never had a spit of trouble at security check points. But, I’m stopped from entering the Thomas Jefferson Memorial where my family is going to watch the Fourth of July fireworks.
The officer poured the pills onto the table. “They aren’t stamped with the word aspirin on them.” He squinted at me as his brows dipped to a vee above the bridge of his nose. “Let me see your driver’s license.”
“The pills are generic. I get them at my Publix supermarket in Florida,” I said, digging out my license.
He handed my ID to another officer. “Run her.”
I gave both of them my death stare. By now, my husband and daughter had cleared security and were waiting for me on the other side of the fence. I looked behind me at the fifty or more people standing in line. Every set of eyes glared at me.
“She’s clean. No warrants.” The second man gave my license back to me.
“We’re confiscating these pills.”
“Fine, but can I have my plastic bag?”
My husband scolded me. “Come on, Con. Let them keep the stupid thing. Don’t make a scene.”
His last sentence was the equivalent of asking me not to breathe. I stomped away from the security check point and fumed for about ten minutes, but settled down and enjoyed the rest of the evening. The fireworks were fantastic.
When I returned home to Florida, there was a message from the DC police on my answering machine. They had analyzed my pills and concluded the aspirin were indeed aspirin and requested I leave the pills in the original bottle the next time I visited their city.
So, the moral of this story…sneak your drugs into the capital of our great United States disguised in an aspirin bottle!
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