If you have ever had the airport security call you over so they could check something out, then you know the feeling of bewilderment. "What did I do? I don't have anything", you may think. As I found out on a recent trip, sometimes you are carrying things that you don't know.
On this climbing trip we flew from Denver to Minneapolis, Denver has a well deserved reputation for losing luggage. We were on the way to an important competition. Not wanting to risk the "Denver Luggage Gamble" I elected to carry my climbing gear on the plane. On the way through airport security, I was pulled out of the line. Two very serious men asked to examine my bag. I was confused; I did not know what to do. Of course I had to let them look at it. I really did not have anything to hide. Or so I thought.
My dad and I were directed toward an isolated corner. While thinking of what I could have possibly done wrong, I became aware of a very big, buff man blocking my view of my yellow Marmot pack containing my climbing gear. This did not make any sense to me. Stepping slightly to the side, I saw the other man place my pack on a table. He then reached under the table to get an odd looking object. It looked like a little vacuum cleaner. He unscrewed a nozzle at the end of the hose and put on a different, somewhat larger one. He began to back away slowly and place the odd thing near my pack. After a while of running the odd thing around over my entire pack, the 'vacuum cleaner man' approached us. He said it was okay for us to go and handed me my Marmot pack.
During this time, my dad was snickering. Once we got to our gate he asked if I knew what the odd thing I had seen was. Did I know what they were searching for? Not knowing, I shook my head in dismay as he told me it was an odor detector. The strong odor that seems to be common to all my climbing shoes had set off a detector. The airport security thought I had a bomb in my pack!!
I really did not think they needed to test my shoes. I don't have stinky feet. Do I?