Guilty of Having a Paper Clip in My Pocket

By Val
@valmnz (12742)
New Zealand
November 23, 2015 1:09am CST
I've just been reading a post by @jaboUK about being frisked at the airport and it reminded me of a time, many years ago, when I too was frisked. My husband and I were travelling across the Tasman, from New Zealand to Australia. I'd been at work, teaching, until lunchtime, then rushed home to grab my bag and my husband before departing for the airport. We had to check in by 2 pm, so there was no time to change clothes. As we went through security I set the bells a ringing. I was quite mystified, and so was the security person who frisked me. Eventually we found the culprit. I had a tiny paper clip from school nestled in the bottom seam of my pocket. These days I guess even that could be interpreted as a dangerous weapon, but this was about 20 years ago. Have you ever triggered off the security alarms at the airport?
26 people like this
25 responses
@boiboing (12881)
• Northampton, England
23 Nov 15
Not so long before 9/11 I tended to always carry a pen knife and to forget it was in my bag. One airport stopped me and asked if I had a knife and when I realised I did, they still just waved me through. Times have certainly changed.
3 people like this
@valmnz (12742)
• New Zealand
23 Nov 15
It's a sad but essential way of life now. I had to hand over a pair of tweezers in my handbag once.
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12881)
• Northampton, England
23 Nov 15
@valmnz I think that a hijacker is fairly unlikely to tweezer a pilot into submission.
2 people like this
@valmnz (12742)
• New Zealand
23 Nov 15
@boiboing agree, but it was still considered a weapon.
1 person likes this
@just4him (128539)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
23 Nov 15
I've never set them off, but my husband did once. He wasn't frisked but he did need to empty all his pockets and found the pocket knife he always carried. Of course they took it away from him until we landed.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164471)
• Garden Grove, California
24 Nov 15
I do go flying but the social security building has the same apparatus and I send it off because I am bionic Ihave a steel and plastic shoulder jo int. I ex plained that and everything was fine.
1 person likes this
@just4him (128539)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
24 Nov 15
@Hatley I've never known a real bionic woman before.
@valmnz (12742)
• New Zealand
24 Nov 15
At least he got it back when you landed. Here, if something is confiscated at customs on the way in, you lose it forever.
1 person likes this
@SIMPLYD (84599)
• Philippines
23 Nov 15
I suppose those are the aluminum type of paper clips , not the plastic ones now .
2 people like this
@valmnz (12742)
• New Zealand
23 Nov 15
Yes, the silver metal ones.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (56551)
• Delhi, India
24 Nov 15
It is interesting to read that paper clip could sounded an alarm at airport. In my case, sometimes coins in my back pocket sound an alarm and I need to pull out and show them that these are coins, nothing else.
2 people like this
@topffer (36371)
• Djibouti, Djibouti
23 Nov 15
It happened to me for a 2 Euros coin forgotten in a pocket. I needed 2 minutes to find it because I was a bit nervous.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Nov 15
i bet that 'twas quite perplexin'! yepperz, i'm sure they'd be confiscatin' such these days 'n puttin' ya on a 'watch list' these days. i don't fly :)
1 person likes this
@maggs224 (1708)
• Alicante, Spain
24 Nov 15
@crazyhorseladycx I think the next big project for the UK to work on is a tunnel like the channel tunnel so we don't have to fly to the USA lol...
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Nov 15
@maggs224 yes ma'am, wouldn't that jest be grand?? i've only flown 3 times'n my life 'n all were horrific 'n that 'twas years 'n years 'go. i'd much rather drive! that'n i'm prone to haulin' back tons'f schtuff with me 'pon my return home, lol.
2 people like this
@valmnz (12742)
• New Zealand
25 Nov 15
@crazyhorseladycx that could indeed be a problem for you with flying
1 person likes this
@bluesa (15201)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
23 Nov 15
Crazy how sensitive that sensor is to be set off by a paperclip, Val. I have not set one off @valmnz , I rarely carry a handbag, so only have to pass them my cell phone or so.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12742)
• New Zealand
24 Nov 15
My handbag had gone through the sensor, this was butied in the seam of my pocket. No idea how or why it was there
1 person likes this
@bluesa (15201)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
24 Nov 15
@valmnz , oh my goodness, I don't know why I thought it had been in a pocket in your handbag. I have also wondered how bits and bobs have landed in my pockets. :-)
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12742)
• New Zealand
24 Nov 15
@bluesa it does make you wonder, though I guess, teachers should expect almost anything
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Nov 15
I haven't traveled in many, many years but hopefully I'd never set off alarms and have to be frisked. That paper clip probably would be considered a weapon these days
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (136799)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Nov 15
I know they don't like nail files or crochet hooks.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12742)
• New Zealand
24 Nov 15
@JudyEv yes, I can see them falling into that category too
@moondebi (1209)
• Bangalore, India
24 Nov 15
I never faced such a situation. I am a bit careful about the items in my hand luggage as security check is a bit strict these days.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12742)
• New Zealand
24 Nov 15
Things have changed a lot in the last ten years!
@JudyEv (136799)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Nov 15
Vince had some foil-covered tablets in his pocket once and that set the bells ringing.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48223)
• Manchester, England
23 Nov 15
I have set off the alarms at the airport most times that I have flown. I still have no idea why it is always me, but these days I expect it and feel surprised if the bells do not go off. A security guard did tell me that they sometimes go off randomly to select a few people, but somehow those machines really do not like me. My best occasion was in Russia when I actually forgot to take my keys out of my pocket.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (70649)
• India
23 Nov 15
The bra hook normally makes that sound. That does not bother them. I wonder why (lol) I have not travelled in the recent past and so would not know if that would be a matter for further examination.
1 person likes this
• Dayton, Ohio
24 Nov 15
I was just telling Jabo about the time the airport caught me with a long screw in my pocket! I forgot I had it in there from putting the kids beds together.
@Lucky15 (33687)
• Philippines
24 Nov 15
I haven't thougb our country is now facinig issues with regards to carrying bullets
@snowy22315 (54199)
• United States
23 Nov 15
haha that is pretty funny. One time security, I think it was in London, chased my then husband around for having a fountain pen in his pocket. If they only knew...he would probably be the least likely terrorist in the whole airport lol.
@GardenGerty (104028)
• United States
23 Nov 15
Hubby did. He has to practically undress. Belt buckle, keys, change and just plain junk in his pocket.
@Jessicalynnt (47879)
• Centralia, Missouri
23 Nov 15
My purse has, carrying my hubby's tank for his vape. lol
@shshiju (10557)
• Cochin, India
23 Nov 15
Interesting. We have rely upon mostly road transport. So there is no problem. you can carry a 100 paper clips.
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
23 Nov 15
No as I will not fly I am petrified of flying
@gudheart (12741)
23 Nov 15
I have not been on holiday since I was a kid, so no. It is easy to do though lol