Toothpaste (or, Flyer Beware)

They took my toothpaste at Derry.

The previous day, the nice people at Dublin Airport nicked my shaving foam, which I'd been accidentally concealing in my carry-on luggage as a 250ml threat to society.  I attended my meetings the following day sporting the classic Canadian grizzly look.

Thus relieved of offending colloids, I was quietly confident before my return flight to Dublin.  My only remaining toiletries were a long-suffering toothbrush, my toothpaste, and a deodorant stick.

Just a few words now about my toothpaste.  I like my toothpaste.  It is nice Sensodyne toothpaste.  It was not written in .NET as far as I know, so I'm not biased here.  I buy it specially in Canada because it's nice to my gums, and it costs half as much there as it does here in Ireland.

Volumetrically, my lovely Sensodyne is an acceptable 100ml.  So, in theory, it is permissable under the new European air travel standards. 

But I had made a crucial and embarassing mistake.  I'd forgotten to pack my beloved Sensodyne in a plastic, re-sealable bag, no larger than 7x7 in dimensions.  (Seven what? cm? inches? cubits?)

The nice people at Derry airport security explained that because I was therefore trying to "conceal it," it was a potential threat, and they would have to confiscate my Sensodyne.

They were on a roll, and even considered taking my deodorant.  They debated the matter briefly before graciously deciding against.

But the nice people at Derry Airport took my toothpaste. I can't possibly imagine a malicious airborne use for Sensodyne (oh wait, I just did, but it also involves snakes).

To add insult to injury, I was flying between Derry and Dublin.  That's just shy of 250km.  If I'm going to keep up like this, I ought to ring Steve up and see if I can borrow SpaceShipOne for my flight home to Canada at Christmas.

I wrote this while having a concilitory pint (0.473L) before boarding.  In my confused state, I quaffed the pint, fearful that I otherwise would need to transfer my gargle before boarding into five plastic, re-sealable bags.

Comments (6)

  1. Martin says:

    I hate it when they confiscate toothpaste.  It leaves a bad taste in the mouth 😉

  2. Philip says:

    Bad day at the office Rob! But who flies 250km? Next time, get the bus! And how come Martin can comment on your blog 4 hours before you wrote it!? Spooky!

  3. Michael says:

    I had some TSA jobsworth confiscate an almost entirely empty 100ml toothpaste tube in JFK last week. I am not exaggerating – the tube was >90% flat.

    Michael, Armagh.

  4. cathal says:

    I had the same experience at the weekend flying to Liverpool. I had my showergel confiscated despite the fact there was only about 10ml of it left in a 250ml bottle, as the rule is per container, rather than amount of liquid. Clearly I was going to produce something much more sinister later (from where I dread to think), and use my lynx showergel bottle as a WMD.

  5. Martin says:

    Surely the smell of Lynx alone can be classed as WMD 🙂

  6. Derek says:


    A pint in Europe is 568ml (0.568 L) – I suspect you’re referring to an "American" pint.

    If you weren’t and you really got served that quantity when you asked for a pint then you got stiffed twice in the same day! 😉

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