When I tossed a ziplock bag full of extra AA batteries into a tote bag, I remembered a story about another ziplock baggie full of batteries -- a "years ago" story.
Many military families could tell you about the many rules for moving. One of them is that the movers do not move batteries. Over the years, this rule has been interpreted differently by different moving companies. When we were moving from Columbus, Mississippi to Germany, the movers took the batteries out of our remote controls and any other electronic devices, leaving us with a big pile of random batteries on the kitchen counter.
I looked at the pile of batteries, thought about how much it would cost to replace them, and then stuck them all in a ziplock bag.
We lived in a furnished apartment in Biloxi for a few months while Tim was in school before finally traveling on to Germany. As we were packing our suitcases, I found the ziplock baggie full of batteries.
The problem: our suitcases were already packed full and nearing our weight limit. I dropped the batteries into the camera bag along with some other stuff. It weighed a ton, but nobody was going to care how heavy our carry-on items were. Tim later realized that there was a tiny bit of space left in the bag, stashed a birthday gift for me in there, and told me not to open it.
We got to one of the airport security screenings, and I was carrying the camera bag along with my purse and backpack. I didn't think anything about it as I sent it along the conveyer belt to go through the x-ray machine.
The security agent pulled me aside as I walked through. Apparently, a ziplock baggie full of batteries looks suspicious on an X-ray. Also, the security agents aren't really sure what to do when you say that they can look in your bag but your husband asked you not to look inside.
It's a good thing this all happened years before 9/11, and we were only detained a minute or two before being sent on our merry way. If it had happened more recently, we might still be stuck in the airport.
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