Larry: I recently had an interesting experience while traveling to
Europe with a gift I made for a friend's wedding. They were a
spinoff of the German tradition of the wedding cup. Instead of
traditional goblets, I made a couple of high-tech looking cups that
fit together, making a cylinder, joined together by a band with an
etched description of their wedding date, etc.
While passing through the x-ray machine, the attendant looked kind
of funny at the screen and signaled to one of the security agents
near by. Immediately I found myself surrounded by a couple of burly
guards who took me and my bag to the side and searched my luggage
for the item in question.
Of course, I didn't have a clue at the time on what the excitement
was all about, they finally took out the box with the cups (which
was wrapped as a present, which of course they unwrapped.) After
explaining to them that the cylinder was nothing more than a couple
of cups, not a bomb, they let me through without too much trouble.
Since I was carrying this on take on luggage (I didn't want to run
the risk of losing his present) , I learned to explain at every
checkpoint what the item was.
The lesson? Don't carry around something that might be interpreted
as a potential bomb....