Hi travel friends! This post is from 2019 but it made a whole lot of people giggle, so we’re bringing it out from the archives. Enjoy!
The TSA admittedly doesn’t have the best reputation in the world. People complain of long delays, being yelled at, “TSA approved” locks being broken on checked luggage, contents in checked luggage being messed up or gone missing, and even being “felt up” when frisked.
We even posted an article, way back when, about where to complain if you have a problem with the TSA (or some of the major airlinse, for that matter).
Sometimes though, you have to take chance and make sure the TSA knows how important the contents of your luggage are, even if said contents may appear to be a little…extreme? Such was the case of a Florida playwright named Michael Presley Bobbit.
Bobbitt lives in Gainesville, FL with his wife, Laura, and son, Liam. At the time of this story, back in 2019, his play, Florida Man, was scheduled to soon be featured at the Broadway Bound Theatre Festival in NYC.
I know you’ve heard of Florida Man, the man (or sometimes the woman. And sometime [s]he isn’t even in Florida at all). In fact, the concept of Florida Man has become so famous that Bored Panda even did an article about him. Or her.
But back to Florida Man, the play.
The synopsis, as per National New Play Network/New Play Exchange, is:
“A Florida Man, racked with guilt, digs up his dead father to give him the proper Viking funeral he always wanted. Set in the wild world of the Florida Man headlines that have captured the nation’s attention, this comedic odyssey explores some of the deeper human issues that affect us all — that exploration coming partially in the form of a jelly-donged homemade sex machine.”
Well, OK, then. 😉
Anyway, the show was scheduled for that week and Bobbitt had to get himself, and all of the show’s props to New York, for set up and rehearsal before the show’s debut. Because of the nature of the props and not wanting to risk them being seized, he included the following in the bag:
DEAR TSA AGENTS:
All the weird, random items in this suitcase are for an Off-Broadway production of my new play FLORIDA MAN, debuting July 31st on W. 42nd Street in NYC. You can verify this claim by visiting www.broadwayboundfestical.com or www.floridamanplay.com.
The sex machine and PVC pipes and fake fun and camp sniper ghille suite and wigs and judge robe and convict jumpsuit are all integral parts of the play, not he tools of a creepy terrorist pervert. I’m a regular pervert I guess, but totally harmless.
Please feel free to call me with any questions at:
I REALLY need this bag to not be seized as my NYC playwright career largely rests on it.
PS: I’ll gladly accept an “enhanced pat-down” if it’ll make everyone feel better.
So yeah, I thought it was VERY clever. Oh, and the response from the TSA? Almost as good. From Bobbitt’s Facebook (reproduced with permission):
Michael Presley Bobbitt UPDATE:
My bag was flagged for additional screening because they saw the replica guns. These are totally allowed but they generally trigger additional scrutiny. I heard calamitous laughter going on behind the wall so I waited where they could come out and I could tell them it was mine. They said it was the best thing they had seen in as long as long as they could remember. All clear!
TSA agent lady: that sex machine really work?
Me: do I look like the kind of guy that would use an untested sex machine in a professional theater production?
TSA agent lady: Oh honey…
you’re not messing around.
Me: No ma’am!
*** Many thanks to Kat O. who made us aware of this topic
*** A bajillion thanks to Michael Presley Bobbitt, who allowed us to share his story. I wish you and Florida Man many broken legs and lips, and hope you had as easy of a time getting your props back home as it was to get them to NY. Especially the sex machine and dongs.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary