Posted September 25, 2006 by CaJohn in Makers

TSA & Hot Sauce Don’t Mix

Something to remember when flying: Always ship the gernade shaped hot sauces home!

I’m sure that you probably don’t remember me but I met you at the Zest Fest last weekend in Ft. Worth. My wife and I went down there, from New Hampshire, just to go to the fest. I stopped at your booth and had a taste / got bitten, by Black Mamba. WOW ! I bought several of your sauces while there: Black Mamba, The Legend #63 / 1500, Caveat emptor #32 / 100 that came with a bottle of Light you up Fatalii, and others. I actually got to meet you and shook your hand.

Now for my story. On Monday 9/11, we headed to DFW airport for our flight home. After checking our baggage and going thru all the security we headed towards the gate area. We had arrived quite early, about 3 hours, so we headed to a bar for a few beers. During our wait we noticed that our flight was delayed 40 minutes. About 45 minutes before departure we headed to the gate area. 20 minutes before departure our name was called to go to the gate counter. The agent told us that the TSA, Transportation Security Administration / U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, had been trying to get ahold of us since we checked in hours ago. We figured we didn’t hear any pages because we were in the bar. She told us we had to go back thru security to the TSA area. We asked what the problem was and if we were going to be able to make our flight and she said she didn’t know. We couldn’t imagine why we were being asked to meet with security.

Once we got there, we met with a Security Officer who told us that they indeed had been trying to get ahold of us because there was a problem with an item in one of our bags. He was quite upset with us and told us because of this item, Homeland Security and the Dallas Police Dept. were involved and the entire American Airlines baggage check-in system had to be shut down while my bag was seached. Resulting in a back-up of baggage check in and the delay of our flight. The Security Agent asked me if I knew what the item was and by this time I realized what it was. If you haven’t guessed it by now one of the other sauces that I had purchased was the MK2 Grenade in the wooden crate. I was so embarressed by the problem I had caused.

My wife and I never even thought about it. Imagine, checking a bag for an airline flight with an item in it, in the shape of a grenade, on 9/11. Well, needless to say they confiscated the sauce and by now we had missed our flight. We ended up getting home 3 hours late. I guess we can’t complain, we’re lucky we didn’t get into anything more serious that would have involved fines or legal matters. The reason that I’m telling you all this, besides the fact that your sauce has now just probably earned another award, is that when I purchased the sauce, you signed the crate for me. It was quite the deal at the show too. I got the sauce and the crate for $25.00.

Anyways, I was hoping that there was a way I could get another one signed by you to replace my confiscated one. I’ll gladly pay the price for it. It would just mean alot to me if I could get you to sign another one for me as a rememberance of the Zest Fest and the flight incident. Something that I could actually show my friends as I tell them about the incident. Let me tell you, it was quite the day. One my wife and I will never forget. I was reluctant in contacting you about this, but my wife said I should try because you might enjoy the story and we would really like to replace the sauce. I hope to hear from you soon.

John and Ann Asselin