With security at an all time high at airports and other venues, you would think people would think twice about what they bring with them in their bags. Guess not!
Not a bag searcher, but a bag searchee: Was going to the theatre with my then SO. I didn't have a bag, as I usually just stuff things in my coat pockets, but he had shoulder bag. Earlier in the day, I'd got my period (unexpectedly) and had run to the store to get some tampons. For some reason, they only had super big boxes of them, so I didn't have much choice but to get that. Didn't particularly want to carry a massive box of tampax around with me, so my SO says to just empty them into his bag. I should point out at this point as well that I'm diabetic, so I was also keeping my assortment of insulin pens and generally stabby/bleedy equipment in his bag, ready for food times. We get to the theatre, and they split the queue in two - people with bags, who get searched, and people without, who go straight through. Got to witness the look of the guys face when my very manly looking SO opens his bag, fumbles, and about 30 tampons and various needles and syringes fall out all over the floor. To his credit, the bag checker helped him put it all back and waved him through, but SO found it very embarrassing and I found it hilarious. (Source)
I have to search clients bags as part of my job. Last spring I was searching a girls bag and all of a sudden I started to hear a buzzing noise. I start searching and searching, dreading what I might find. Dig, dig, dig, buzz, buzz, buzz. What do I find? A mother f_cking tooth brush. Needless to say, I was disappointed. (Source)
Not a bag checker - but I worked at an airport as a PSA (the guys who check you in and board you) - I have two nice ones: Back then we didn't have a central security station and security screenings were done at the gate. So, we start to board and one lady and her boyfriend / husband is late. They do the security dance and the metal detector goes off. So the guys there see here heels, tell her to put them in the X-ray machine and pass the metal detector again - again beeping - so a pat down it is. Lady pats her down feels something weird in / under her skirt - asks what it is - girl start crying and telling her it's a remote controlled butterfly vibrator. Boyfriend has the remote control. They make him take it off - go through detector and give it back.
We saw the whole ordeal and I really had to bite my lip to not say anything. We told the crew to have an eye on them so that they wouldn't disturb the other passengers. Second one was even more fun to watch in a way and with more repercussions too. Same situation - security check at gate.
Family with a girl and a boy - he was 18/19 - just finished his military service. Goes through detector - beeping - they ask if he forgot something in his pants - he is getting fidgety - but pulls out two bullets in the end - huge problem - now they have to call the police and explosives team. Dad is pissed about boy but pretty calm so far. Police comes, checks bullets and now the real fun begins - turns out the bullets are from the army and were apparently an unofficial souvenir - problem is that this is a pretty serious crime here since its military hardware. Dad freaks out starts to hit son - police have to separate them - arrests both - mum and daughter are crying - all stay put and we have to de-embark them. (Source)
Not a bag-checker, but got searched.... Was on a charity trip to Kenya, part of a team doing orthopedic surgery in a small hospital. The team had to take most the kit out themselves, so we had about 35 huge bags full of theatre kit (drapes, gloves, surgical implants, etc). We left most of it at the hospital, but there was a bunch of stuff we were bringing back to the UK. We split the bags up between us to avoid the whole excess baggage charge, so I got handed some unspectacular looking suitcase and check in with it (along with my own stuff). As it goes through the x-ray machine, the guy looking at the screen stops the conveyor belt, and calls a few people over to look... I get called over, they open the bag up, and it's FULL of large sharp stainless steel surgical equipment. Bone saws, osteotomes, hammers, drills, the lot. Jeffery Dahmer would have thought it was over the top. It was like the entire Saw film series condensed into a bag. I swear I could hear the sound of rubber gloves being snapped on and lubed up. I started explaining but was so unnerved I couldn't form a sentence.
Eventually one of the surgeons came over to see what the hold-up was, and saved me by naming most of the kit as they picked it out of the bag. (Source)
Two odd sports related things I was stopped for. At an NFL game in Baltimore, I was told I could bring my point and shoot camera, but not my camera case. Ended up going to the end of the line, folding it up and slipping it into a pocket of my jacket. Not clear on why that was a dangerous item. At a New York Yankees game, my son's girlfriend was stopped for having a Kindle in her bag. Apparently the Yankees do not allow tablets into their ball games. Went to the end of the line, and I slipped it into my pants and got in on the second try. I suppose they don't want people to get bored and start reading a book in the stands. (Source)
You know, I worked at a venue that seats around 15,000 just outside Toronto and what I never saw coming was how much worse the bands/caterers/people-coming-in-through-the-back-entrance were compared to the guests. Guests would try to sneak in a bottle of booze and occasionally someone would have a knife confiscated, but Gate 6A (pretty sure one of you guys will be able to pinpoint the venue based on that) was insane. There are way too many stories so I'll just tell you some of the things I've confiscated and put into the "you can get it back when you leave" box. A machete. Like, a 5-foot long one. Confiscated (or rather voluntarily handed over after I asked really nicely) from a car with diplomatic plates - it was sitting next to the driver on the passenger seat. No explanation. Cases and cases of beer being brought in by supporting staff at a non-licensed event. Booze was just rampant, I sure as hell didn't want to unload it so by the end when I'd see a minivan full of crates I'd just go "NOPE. Turn it around, take it back. Anyone who wants to walk can walk but the booze truck is doing a 180." Management supported it since everyone's event contracts stated no outside alcohol. A chainsaw hidden in a suspiciously-large guitar case. They said it was part of the act to get the crowd 'pumped'. "NOPE." "Pleaaaase?" "Nope." "Come onnn it would be epic, bro!" "I don't doubt it, but nope. Call our event co-ordinator and she might let you use it if you take the chain off but until then it's staying here" Knives, knives, knives. I'm sure there were drugs but these were one-day shows and I've never been instructed or cared enough to search for them. Mostly I just read and listened to funny radio calls all day. (Source)
Former TSA agent in my family who worked at JFK found an entire box of powdered donuts in one suitcase (About 3 boxes). In another suitcase, a bag of donut holes (roughly 50 in all) and a crate of gorilla glue. (the box of like six glue bottles.) No idea what this man had in mind. (Source)
My girlfriends parents got me two tickets to the Newport Jazz Festival (it was a huge deal for me) as a birthday present one year. As a bonus, her mom packed us a surprise cooler with a special treat inside that we were not to open up until we were seated. She hadn't realized there would be a bag check, and my girlfriend was forced to open the cooler in front of a very long line and security officer revealing a dummy that with his own personal hat, chair, and avengers sunglasses. She did it since she knew I hated the thing (it gave me the creeps) and thought it was HILARIOUS. His name is Charlie by the way. (Source)
One blue crushed velvet suit, one frilly laced cravat, one silver medallion with "male" symbol, one vinyl record album "Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits", one Swedish made penis enlarger pump (he said it wasn't his), one credit card receipt for said penis enlarger, signed by him (he still insisted it wasn't his). (Source)
Not a bag checker and it's not dildos, but I'll throw a quick anecdote about my friend getting checked. It was a class trip to DC and it was our last day there. Earlier in the morning, we ate at the hotel's breakfast, and my friend decided to take as much of the yogurt as he can. At least 20-30 cups filling up half, if not most, of his backpack. He asks me to remind him to finish it all at the zoo before we head off to the airport, but through the rushing and getting split up into groups and all the animals and sights, it leaves my mind completely.
So we're going through security and everyone goes through except him. Another classmate who just gets through says "Oh we're waiting cuz he's getting his backpack checked for something" and my eyes widen in realization. "OH GOD THE YOGURT!" Teachers go over to him to see his full backpack of warm yogurt cups. We were a ways away so we didn't see what happened but we hear one teacher say "No, you can't eat the yogurt here". He gets through afterwards and everyone's still dying over it. I still feel bad though because to be fair it was really good yogurt. (Source)
Years ago (pre 9/11 thankfully) I was going to Paris for work, I was only going for a day, so I just had a small rucksack with some notes and material for the training I was doing. Got to Heathrow, queued up for security, put my bag in the machine, walked through the metal detector, so far all very normal. Then I saw a security person pick my bag up and ask "whose bag is this?" I said it was mine. He said something along the lines of "are you carrying any novelty cigarette lighters or anything else shaped like a gun?" I was a bit confused by the question, but I answered no. He said he needed to check my bag, I said fine. He opens one of the side pockets and pulls out a GUN!!!
F_CKING HELL WHY DO I HAVE A GUN? I then remembered the last time I had used the bag was when I stayed over at a friend's house the night we went to a fancy dress party with a wild west theme, I had obviously left the (toy) gun I used for this in the bag. I explained this and he told me that I couldn't take it on the plane, I was fine with that and told him to throw it away. He said that he would put it in a security bag and I could pick it up in Paris, so he puts it in this little red bag and puts my details on the label. When I got to Paris, I figured I should pick it up and then dump it as I wasn't sure how I would go about explaining in French why I had a toy gun to check in for my return trip. I'm waiting at the baggage reclaim area for 5-10 minutes and there's no sign of the bag with the gun, and I needed to go to the toilet, and get to work, so I leave. I find the gents, do my thing, and as I walk towards the airport exit I pass the door back into the reclaim area, just as I pass it the door opens and I can see this little red bag going round and round on the carousel. I just left it there and went off to the office in central Paris. I don't know who found it, or what they did with it, but knowing French airport workers it probably ended with someone going on strike. (Source)
I was working at the Rhythm 'n Vines new years festival in NZ and the security guy at the entrance said 9/10 girls packed extra clothes in their handbags... and they were always spare undies. Keep in mind the overnight part isn't in that area (they go back to their tents) so this is just for fresh after-sex underwear :) (Source)
On a high school trip one of our teachers was tasked with holding all confiscated material. This included roughly 40 lighters and a few knives as we had gone through a rather shady area the previous day. So when we arrived at the German Parliament building (name escapes me) and he went through security he was promptly facing down 5-10 assault rifles and being screamed at in a language he didn't understand. I also got searched because my friend put coins in my breast pocket. (Source)
Shortly after 9/11 I was in a security line at an airport and there was an elderly East Indian woman ahead of me with what appeared to be her son. Once her purse went through the X-ray machine the TSA worker pulled her aside to go through her things. The man with her started freaking out, accusing them of racial profiling and threatening to sue the TSA for mistreatment of "a harmless old woman". The TSA worker then pulled out a meat cleaver from her purse and the woman said "I'm sorry, I forgot that was in there". Needless to say the man with her shut up pretty quick. (Source)
I worked security at Bonnaroo in 2005. We checked bags to get from the camping area into Centeroo (central area where concert stages were located). I stumbled into the job- first and last time I worked security. Obviously lots of drugs and related paraphernalia were found. We let almost all of that go through unless there was a boss looking over our shoulder. One guy was carrying a gigantic bag of weed through...roughly a half pound or so. My boss was looking over my shoulder at the time so I had to do something - I simply asked him politely to return with less weed in his backpack. Some of the guards were dicks - confiscating whatever they wanted and pocketing it. Not cool. At the end of the weekend we had a 'drug box' with a sh_tload of various fun stuff. Our boss ended up taking it. It wasn't until later we realized he had been up four or five days straight 'supervising' the security team- and evidently ingesting any uppers that came his way. We were super jealous of his ridiculous new stash. (Source)
Military TSA (2T2) and was in the desert checking bags for a return trip of polish troops going home from Afghanistan. Commercial contract, so regular TSA guidelines apply. I see a grenade and lock down the whole building. Turns out to be a Damn lighter. Idiot tried to bring a lighter shaped like a grenade through an x-ray machine. (Source)
I was at a music fest once, and the checker thought my tin of roll your own tobacco was the beginnings of a bomb. She freaked out and started hyperventilating and yelling " lord have mercy" over and over until it sounded like, "Lora ha a mery" to "lora-rrC."finally someone calmed her down and explained what it was. She almost fainted. She did fall off her chair in the process. (Source)
I was flying out of SLC and I thought it would be a good idea to check my pockets. There was a dime bag of weed that I swear I had no idea how it got there. I am guessing that this girl at a party put it in there the night before. One of those stories, but I SWEAR I had no idea it was in there. (Source)
I was working as an usher for an event that did not require tickets, let alone a bag check. Nonetheless, a woman insists that she show someone her bag "to be safe." Inside: assorted regular purse items, a box of magnums, anywhere between $2500-$5000 cash, a razor, and a burrito. I had to confiscate the burrito. No food or drink in the auditorium, so no burrito. Also, doubtful that the woman was a prostitute as she was in her late 50's and it was a Pakistani woman's rights rally. (Source)