TSA Cookies: They’re Great!

It’s almost as if they’re exiting the scanner. Image: Wikipedia.



Hilarious things happen to me.

Or maybe totally normal, definitely not-hilarious things happen to me and because I’m a dweeb, I just find them hysterically funny. Does it matter, in the end? My life strikes me as funny when it’s not devastating — and that’s how I like it.

Today, after passing through the metal detector at the airport TSA screening area, I waited at the end of the scanner conveyor belt to retrieve my purse. There, sitting atop the conveyor belt at the end of the line, orphaned and forlorn and wrapped in plastic, for the third time in my life … I found a cookie!

So I took it.

And I ate it!!

I did, I did! I found a cookie at the TSA and took it and ate it! And I’ve done it before!

Listen, listen: I need you to listen!

Can we agree that there are cookies. Yes. Some cookies get wrapped in cellophane and packed into purses and bags when people go on airplane trips. Yes, well, sometimes these airplane trip cookies — I guess one time it was a brownie — get knocked out of those bags while inside the TSA conveyer belt scanner! The bag gets bumped! The cellophane-wrapped cookie falls out!

And the person who packed the cookie doesn’t realize it!

Who gets their purse off a conveyor belt and goes, “Wait, wait; let me make sure my cookie made it through.” No one does it! Only later, halfway across the country, will the person become dimly aware that a cellophane-wrapped baked good may have been lost on the journey … But when? How? Was there a cookie in her purse, the person wonders … No, it couldn’t have been …

Yes! Yes, you had a cookie! It was wrapped in cellophane and it was in your purse! It fell out in the conveyor belt! After it got bumped around in the dark for awhile, it came out! A TSA person put it on the top of the conveyor belt! It sat there for a long time, probably an hour!

And then I came through and found it! And I took it!

And then I ate it!

The thrill of this TSA cellophane-wrapped cookie is extreme. And because it keeps happening it’s a serious game for me, now, spotting and liberating a TSA treat. The liberation moment is intense because we all know there is not to be any kind of funny business in the airport. I get that; I respect that. But let’s use our heads, people. The treats I keep finding at the TSA screening area are fine. These cookies are not involved in a scheme. No one is “planting cookies” at the “airport,” and if they were, they wouldn’t be using the TSA “screening checkpoint” as their “base of operations.” The TSA cookie — or brownie, that one time — is innocent. And abandoned.

I think the cookie I got today was homemade. Seriously, I’m eating it right now. Somebody makes a good oatmeal raisin, let me tell you. Delicious! Wish I had a glass of mil —

“Mary!” you say in a sharp voice. You purse your lips and look disapprovingly at the crumbs on my blouse. “That cookie might belong to someone! You shouldn’t take something that doesn’t belong to you. You should let a TSA agent know. What if the person comes back for their cookie and it’s gone?”

I look down at the cookie in my paw and look back up at you. You see that I am confused. “But … Who would want a cookie that has been bumped around a TSA checkpoint for an hour and then placed on the top of the conveyor belt?”

You shake your head, but secretly, you want a bite.

16 Responses

  1. Mary
    | Reply

    That was my cookie!!!!!!

    Not really . How I wish I had one right now

  2. Judy Forkner
    | Reply

    Serendipity! Glad you found the homemade cookie–they’re always special!

  3. Jennifer Reinke
    | Reply

    I would go for it too 🙂

  4. Anita Brayton
    | Reply

    I think it could be part of the plot of a good old cold-war type spy novel. A computer chip containing all the information we need to right the wrongs of the world is in one of the thousands of cookies left at several airport baggage claim carousels in the USA. It up to our intrepid traveler to find it and save the world!

  5. Ginny
    | Reply

    LOVE IT! OMG! I’ll have to watch for cookies next time I fly out of Des Moines or Omaha!!! You rock! Ginny

  6. Richard Stofer
    | Reply

    I understand you are traveling, a lot.
    Relentlessly crossing the country researching and documenting information not only for your job, but us your readers. With that much airplane time, getting bored and hungry is only natural.

    Honestly, your scaring me. First airport spaghetti, and now a found cookie?
    Maybe it’s just me but there is no way I would touch it, much less eat it. Way to much weirdness happening in our world at present.

    Maybe I’m a weirdo, maybe germaphobic, maybe momma told me never eat something you find.
    Maybe,simply not as brave and daring as the outlaw known as
    Mary Fons.
    Hope some little kid didn’t lick it, rewrap it, then leave it for found treasure.
    Again, bravery.
    Mmmm, licked cookie.
    Let us know if you catch scurvy or something like that Mary.
    ( vigorously shaking my head)
    Oh yea, be safe.

  7. Carrie
    | Reply

    Love it if I found a cookie it would be mine.

  8. Cathy Melancon
    | Reply

    Hysterical!!! Loved your story! That cookie was asking to be taken by someone and enjoyed!! I’ll be on the lookout for abandoned cookies in the future!!!!

  9. Jennifer Fiske
    | Reply

    If you find a pb&marmalade, it’s mine!
    Though I always check to make sure it’s in my bag….

  10. Marianne Fons
    | Reply

    Mary, this is your mom! I would never eat this sort of cookie but I raised you to think for yourself and you are definitely old enough to do so. As I read this hilarious story it occurred to me that an uneaten cookie is like an incomplete quilt—crying out to be finished.

    • Lori Walter
      | Reply

      Tell your daughter a found cookie at TSA is not something to eat! My imagination runs wild thinking of the filthy homes it might have come from!!! Yuck!

  11. Mary
    | Reply

    I love you, Mommy!!! I can’t wait to tell my readers that we’re SEWING TOGETHER NEXT WEEK AT WIWI!!!!! 😀 sorry i’m a scurv, eatin’ cookies at the airport!!!! lol

  12. Glenda
    | Reply

    My basically humourless husband liked the column but his first comment was, “Maybe there was weed in the cookies!”. Mr. Practicality and I hope you “really” enjoyed the brownie!

  13. Sharon Flor
    | Reply

    My husband is also someone to whom hilarious things happen. We say he is an attractor of the bizarre. But I think that people with a sense of story find interesting things in the everyday. Whereas I would walk past that cookie without even thinking, you see a story in that cookie. So keep looking for the story and keep writing about the story. It’s people like you who make the world interesting.

  14. Betty Elliott
    | Reply

    Hmmmm….. Except for the fact that I very rarely fly, this could become a new hobby (? hobby isn’t quite the right word) of mine. Surreptitiously leaving wrapped cookies at airports (maybe other places) and hoping they get eaten and making someone’s day just a little brighter because they found an unexpected treat! I would love it! It would make me happy knowing I had made someone else happy.

  15. Bethany
    | Reply

    Well maybe if you’re ever in the Denver airport and find a cooky you might wanna maybe just eat half and give it a while before you consume the rest. If you’re not feeling all funky and hearing your own soundtrack go ahead and finish it.

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