Blog commentators, inevitably, are having a circus: "Has to be fired...unacceptable behavior...uncool and uncalled for...." Yada yada. Fine--except everything so far is awfully neat. Precisely why in heavens' name did he do something so (apparently) idiotic? I'm not quite saying "there must be an excuse...;" the full story might be even more bizarre and unsettling than we guess. At least for all the incipient novelizers out there, it would be nice to have more
A TSA worker was staring at [the subject]. He motioned her toward him.
Then he pulled a small, clear plastic bag from her carry-on - the sort of baggie that a pair of earrings might come in. Inside the bag was fine, white powder.
She remembers his words: "Where did you get it?"
Two thoughts came to her in a jumble: A terrorist was using her to sneak bomb-detonating materials on the plane. Or a drug dealer had made her an unwitting mule, planting coke or some other trouble in her bag while she wasn't looking.
She'd left her carry-on by her feet as she handed her license and boarding pass to a security agent at the beginning of the line.
Answer truthfully, the TSA worker informed her, and everything will be OK.
Solomon, 5-foot-3 and traveling alone, looked up at the man in the black shirt and fought back tears.
Put yourself in her place and count out 20 seconds. Her heart pounded. She started to sweat. She panicked at having to explain something she couldn't.
Now picture her expression as the TSA employee started to smile.
Just kidding, he said. He waved the baggie. It was his.
As to Sheila--evidently the explanation is not a bit more interesting than it sounds. Turns out that like the rest of us, she's just a yokel.