My family and I instituted a twist on gift-giving this year: the ugliest gift contest. Avid yard sale shoppers, we knew other people’s treasures (ahem) would yield plenty of contenders on the cheap. My mom, with no hesitation, nabbed hers in June: squat Indian corn candle holders. The $1 price tag seemed exorbitant, but she could hardly bargain using the truth. And it was hard to lie. “Oh, these are just daaarling.”
I wanted to share a picture with you, but the candle holders have mysteriously disappeared (interesting), so you’ll have to use your imagination. The candle holders have turned up, so now you can judge for yourself:
I knew immediately when I spotted mine:
But the showering elephants never made it to the Christmas gathering. It was so ugly it was confiscated at the airport. I know, I know: “ugly” is not on the prohibited list, but you know what is? Snow globes.
“Seriously?” I asked the TSA agent. “That’s way less liquid than my trial-sized shampoo.”
“Yeah, I think it’s the liquid they use,” he said, giving it the once over, and, to his credit, not sneering.
“It’s distilled water!” I may have made a snow globe once in my Martha Stewart days.
“Come on, that is not on the list,” I tried.
“Actually, I think it is,” he said.
I fought on despite the fact that I knew there was no way he was bending federal law for me, but at some point, I started to enjoy it. This guy had to wonder why this God-awful snow globe was so important to me when it was ugly.
“My mom’s gonna be so disappointed,” I sighed.
“Do you want to check it in your luggage or do you want us to dona–” I’m sure as the words came out of his mouth he realized even the TSA wouldn’t be so cruel as to donate a tacky elephant snow globe made in China, and so I let go, into the world of misfit toys and the bin of dangerous items.
Turns out the TSA agent was right. Not only are meat cleavers, hammers, and ice axes prohibited, “Snow globes and like decorations regardless of size or amount of liquid inside, even with documentation” are a no-go.
Still, I’m having a hard time picturing a terrorist on a plane wielding a snow globe. Listen up, Samuel L. Jackson: there’s a movie just begging to be made.