Xmas woes: Police shut major airport over suspect clarinet

From Ludwig Van Toronto:

Calgary police temporarily shut down the International Terminal Building at the Calgary airport yesterday afternoon after a musician’s instrument from local kids orchestra was mistaken for a rifle…

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  • In some states in the USA, the Eb clarinet has to be registered as a deadly weapon and licensed by regulatory authorities. Saxophones are illegal for obvious reasons.

    • Pretty soon eardrums will be banned as well, resulting in everyone being bumped off of every flight.

    • You think that’s bad? Imagine what they’d do when confronted with a tuba? Call in the Mounties? The army? A surgical airstrike? LOL!

  • I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again: in the years before 9/11, I was regularly asked by security to open my flute case. Apparently on the x-ray machine it looked like some kind of pipe bomb, or the kind of rifle that screws together. (The first time it happened was in 1979; it happened more often than not, probably 60-75% of trips, over the next 22 years. One exception was when a security agent looked at the scan and said “Oh, are you in town for the audition? My daughter’s auditioning too. Good luck!”) After 9/11 I was never asked about it once.

    I came to hate air travel and have successfully avoided it for the last 5-6 years. I wonder what would happen now.

  • Players of the ondes martenot have this difficulty all the time since they always fail to convince airport security staff that it is a musical instrument. Players of the ophicleide, serpent and litui get into comparable trouble and are mostly required to demonstrate their claim, which is then always resulting in some general upheaval.

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