We were traveling home from Regina after a weekend trip. While Regina is not exactly a hot tourist destination, we were there for a family visit.

We found the people exceptionally friendly and the town to be nice, as only mid-Canada can be nice.

Then went to the airport to come home. One souvenir gift we were taking back was a small jar of Saskatoonberry Jam. We thought it might be fun thing to bring back and never gave it any thought as contraband.

We were wrong.

On coming upon airport security, we were confronted and told that this particular jar of jam was a security danger. It was more than 100ml.

I had never thought of Saskatchewan as a dangerous place… a stronghold of terrorism, danger and international intrigue.

But I suppose Security officials have been watching the Little Mosque on the Prairie on the national TV network and concluded that Saskatchewan was indeed a hot bed of Muslim fundamentalism.

So a jar of Saskatoonberry jam, in the hands of a terrorist is a potential weapon of mass destruction like those found in Iraq — no wait, they never found any WMDs there – did they?

The same professional paranoid security folks who told us to surrender our freedom based on the now-missing WMDs have a theory that jars of jam can be used in ways assassins never dreamed of. I read a book once that said there were 100 ways to kill using a piece of paper. But no where in the book were Saskatoonberries mentioned… The author knew so little.

Obviously part of the screening process at airports is to prevent problems. We used to regularly get people hijacking planes and trying to get to Cuba. Now we send charters to Cuba on purpose.  Times change.

The authorities concluded from these random incidents of years passed that we were all not to be trusted. They dreamed up every dangerous scenario ever dreamed up by left brained people. Someone even thought – “Better watch out for the Saskatoonberries.”

Imagine someone applying the Saskatoonberry technique to overcome the crew. Spread a little on crackers. Entice the crew out of the cockpit. Sure the crew knows better, but who can resist these lethal berries. We obviously cannot reveal here more of the details of this technique, but it must have been envisaged by those same Security Einsteins. Why else prevent a jar of jam from travelling inside the passenger compartment?

“Well, it is not that Saskatoonberries are inherently dangerous,” said the Security man removing the jar from my possession. “We just can’t take the chance because the regulation says nothing more than 100ml.” Are we all that stupid? Someone dreams up a regulation and in being precise by arbitrarily stating 100ml creates a ridiculous scenario. And we have to stick to the regulation.

One of the screeners was laughing at the confiscation. We all knew it was a charade, yet the security personnel were powerless to accept it as ridiculous. This is a sickness of the post 9/11 society.

The purpose of security no longer seems to be to protect us. They are only reminding us they are there and it is like applying a band-aid to a cancer victim. It shows that the medical attention is there, that someone cares, but it has absolutely no efficacy.

We are constantly reading about skilled security people who waltz through the screening process with the makings for real weapons. These are knowledgeable folks showing the system can be beaten. But these pros obviously never carried Saskatoonberries.

Is there a psychological benefit to the passengers in showing “security” so passengers feel protected?

At a time when the airlines companies are crippled, isn’t it time to make it more convenient for travelers.

Surely no one really expects that some regional flight from Saskatchewan, or Topeka, or Boise will become BIG TROUBLE.

Because even if you used these Saskatoonberries to overcome the crew and take control of the plane — try to find a tall building to fly into in Saskatchewan! Arrrgh.  Tricksy hobbitses.  Foiled again!

Our pseudo security folks should learn when to apply real security and when to let people freely live their lives.  Right now this kind of security is just a negative service for a troubled poor service industry.

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