Pepper Spray and Bad Breath


For about three years now, I’ve felt like a risk taker each time I go through airport security. I always expect to get hauled off by a TSA agent, because hidden in the bottom of my purse is a container of pepper spray. It goes with me everywhere, including airplanes.

Having scanned over the list of prohibited and permitted items several times, I never looked specifically for that particular item. I’ve just always assumed that it’s prohibited. It is pepper spray after all. I could force a plane to land with one spray of that stuff. Trust me, I know. I tested it once in my home. Did I mention I’m a blonde?

Each time I fly, I sneak my little container through security. As it goes through the X-Ray machine, I wait in anticipation for it to get detected. I’ve never been in the interrogation room (don’t even know if they have one) at the airport. But, I imagine sitting at a cold metal table with a light shining in my face, while being berated by a TSA agent. A hundred questions would be asked. Then finally, they’d realize that I’m just an innocent blonde, who doesn’t know any better, and let me go.

The thought of being detained has always been oddly thrilling for me. But, not one time have they stopped me. Flight after flight I walk away feeling even more rebellious. A rebel against this powerful system that TSA put into place. Ah, the excitement!

The other day, I finally decided to do a little research before making a comment on a post. At first, I thought my bubble had been burst, because I misread it and saw that it’s allowed. But after re-reading the list today, I found out that I was wrong. It isn’t. A 4 oz container of mace/pepper spray is only permitted in checked baggage, but not as a carry on.

So, my thoughts were confirmed. Although this post makes me sound like a law-breaker, I can’t deny that I’m happy to have been able to carry my pepper spray with me. Having that added protection is great, especially when I land late at night and head for a restroom where there’s no one around.

What baffles me, is that I’ve been able to successfully bring pepper spray onto an airplane multiple times, but if I were to bring a whole tube of toothpaste, TSA would likely go nuts over it. So a flyer can’t have fresh breath, but they can have pepper spray? I’m guessing that if one doesn’t bring down the plane, the other surely will.

What are some of the most absurd items that you have or haven’t been able to put in your carry-on?

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16 Responses to Pepper Spray and Bad Breath

  1. markbialczak says:

    I got stopped, politely but firmly, because I had my appropriately small bottles of shampoo, toothpaste, after shave lotion, mouth wash — my toiletries, in other words — in my shaving kit inside my carry-on, not separated in see-through plastic baggies as the law states. TSA must have been using that as a point of emphasis that day in that airport, because the agent had a box of baggies with her and handed me one so that I would comply. Next time, baggies from home. Point taken. By the way, they might indeed go off on you if they found that pepper spray.


    • mewhoami says:

      They are very particular about those containers. I’ve seen their little stack of baggies also. It’s good that they were nice to you. That’s not always the case. There’s been some bad testimonies from travelers. I keep my plastic baggies in my ‘travel preparation area’ that I set aside in my bathroom. It makes packing a breeze.

      I agree. I’m pretty sure they would go off if they found it. Now that this post is out there, they’ve probably already added me to their suspect search list. I’m sure I’ll find out in a couple months.


  2. suzjones says:

    I set off the security alarms at an airport once because I forgot my phone was in my pocket! That was funny.
    And then there was the time at Parliament House in Canberra, where I set off the metal detectors. So they bought the hand held one over and ran that over my body while I had to stand in the outstretched arms position etc etc. When that went off, they tested my hands for explosive residue. In the end, they realised it was the little metal beads on my top that were setting off the alarms. lol


    • mewhoami says:

      Those phones cause more problems than we thought. 🙂 Oh, that’s terrible about the Parliament House. All of that because of a few little metal beads. Hey, at least they’re on top of things. My son got searched for lint in his pocket once. Lint. You know how much harm can be done with lint, right? Sometimes it’s interesting the things they do.


  3. LOL! So I haven’t gotten caught with anything, but I have been taken to an interrogation room when I was flying with my then 14-month-old twins. Apparently my stroller tested positive (on the swab test) for explosive material. I had to do a pat down, and the TSA agent’s gloves showed the residue was on my clothing as well. I was then taken to the interrogation room where my bag was emptied and wiped down (and tested positive!), I was put through another pat down and had all of my belongings run through the x-ray machine AGAIN. It was awful! They told me all of my stuff and my clothing had glycerin on them…I think it came from bubbles the girls and I were playing with the day before! My babies were still in their pajamas and I was in yoga pants and a pony tail because we were taking a really early flight. Who would think a tired mom traveling with twins would be a risk?


    • mewhoami says:

      Oh you must have been petrified, having to go through all of that. I can’t imagine wondering what in the world was all over me, that was explosive. Knowing your innocent, that would almost feel as though you were framed. Scary, especially with kids. I’m sure it’s funny to look back on now though. What an interesting experience that must have. We all know that twins can be dangerous. Especially when they both dirty their diapers at the same time.


  4. sothislife says:

    I always carry the pepper spray and have flown to multiple countries, not a thing was said. Once I had a small pocket knife and it got through.


    • mewhoami says:

      Glad to see I’m not the only one who gets away with this. But, you’ve taken it a step further by traveling to other countries. It’s interesting the things we can and cannot take on board the plane.


  5. culturemonk says:

    Its actually not that hard to bring certain stuff through TSA cuz they really don’t want to be hassled by someone who brings a full tube of toothpaste…..I’ve done stuff like that a few times and they just wave me through anyways 😉


    • mewhoami says:

      If anyone would know this to be true, it would be. You’ve been traveling a lot lately. I agree that with everything else a person could bring through, the least of their worries should be a tube of toothpaste.


  6. Yikes. What I want to know is how that ‘at home experiment’ went!


  7. Miss Lou says:

    Did you really spray yourself in the eyes with pepper spray?

    *trying hard not to giggle*

    Oh. my. goodness


    I’ve carried a crop in with my New Years Eve Dress (had its own garment bag) – That was interesting and got a few raised eyebrows from security.


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