TSA searches inflatable pink flamingo for weapons

What the flock? This airport security employee had to put his foot down: Floatie birds need to be scanned, even if they're not flying anywhere.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper

Flamingos can fly under their own power, but sometimes, they need to go to the airport just like the rest of us.

On Monday, the US Transportation Security Administration's always-witty Instagram account posted what may be its best video ever It's a brief capture of a giant inflatable flamingo pool toy being wanded for weapons by a dedicated TSA employee at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. How did it get out of Miami is what I want to know. 

The pink flamingo wasn't being carried through by a clueless passenger, because good luck cramming that thing in the overhead bin. The TSA writes that it was part of an airport display, but still needed to be examined. 

The post takes the opportunity to teach the public about flying with floating toys, noting that "it's best to deflate your floatie prior to going through screening."  While the TSA has confiscated some pretty odd things, like a Batman batarang and a bag of eels, deflated floatie toys are allowed on board, even though this bird wasn't bound for the skies.

The video mesmerized more than a flock of us, earning 38,000 views in just 30 minutes.

Advice or no, there's just something so charming about the TSA guy just going about his job, like he wands an enormous pink flamingo every darn day of his life. Hey, he's got a leg up on the rest of us.

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