PDA

View Full Version : India still on guard. They rock! Or not.


Triskadecamus
09-13-2006, 01:30 AM
In this thread ( http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=383712) I told the story of a friend of mine, who went to India, and could not bring back a rock, because the terrorists have won. Everyone said, "Silly boy, just tell them to put the rock into their checked baggage! See, the terrorists are loosing. Don't worry!"

Well, another friend, actually a whole family of friends just returned from India. They too asked me if I wanted them to bring anything back from India. "Yeah, I said, I want a rock." (no explanation about the rock, you want that, you read the other thread.)

They just got back, and I saw them today. I was told "No rock, just a long story!" "Oh," I said, "You got the rock taken from you at the airport, right? I'm sorry. I should have told you to put it into your checked luggage."

Turns out, he did. Put it in his suitcase.

Special note to the Weapons Experts we heard from on the last thread: This rock was less thanfour inches, by less than three inches, by less than half an inch, made of slate, roughly triangular, and kind of pointed, more or less, on one end. A member of the Clovis culture would blush from embarrassment even being seen picking it up. Give a guy a choice between this rock, and a bare hand, he would beat you senseless with his fist, assuming you went out and got some sense first.

So, the ever alert forces of making the world safe from small guys with rocks in their suitcases, x-rayed the bag, and demanded an explanation. There was no explanation, it was a rock. It was for me. I live here, and I wanted a rock. "Not this one!" says the minion of international self victimization. "I get paid good money to protect the world from guys with rocks."

Tris
--------------------------
"I have a rock, and I'm not afraid to use it. Oh, wait, the rock is in my suitcase. Oh, no, it isn't. Well, I have one coming in the mail, so watch out."

Orbifold
09-13-2006, 04:01 AM
The hell? Did he accidently put the rock in the suitcase next to a coil of wire and a digital clock? Was it a sample of rare Explosive Slate (tm)? Did they think the rock had rabies? Were there encryption algorithms scratched onto the surface?

I'm trying to come up with an explanation that isn't totally batshit crazy, but I've got nuthin'.

fessie
09-13-2006, 05:00 AM
Give a guy a choice between this rock, and a bare hand, he would beat you senseless with his fist, assuming you went out and got some sense first.

Did you make that up, or has it been around for a while? Either way, you just made my day.

Edward The Head
09-13-2006, 06:28 AM
You do know about this right?
Soil-borne organisms threaten both plants and animals. If you visited a farm or ranch in a foreign country, agricultural specialists may have to examine and disinfect your shoes or clothing. Vehicles must also be cleaned of any soil. No soil or earth of any kind is allowed into the United States without a permit issued in advance by USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine Permit Unit. Pure sand, such as a small container of decorative beach sand, is usually allowed. Always check with the permit unit in advance for details.


From here. (http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/clearing_goods/agri_prod_inus.xml) Don't know about the first time, but the second time it could have gone through customs first. You need to start asking for smaller rocks, the rocks I bring back are about an inch long or so at most.

Ponder Stibbons
09-13-2006, 09:11 AM
I'm thinking the way airport security is going, the thing to do is to always pack light and cheap. The barest minimum of what you need, and not too expensive it's not a big deal if security decides to, er, "nationalize" it.

Ship everything else. UPS, FedEx or whatever is not going to be too pricey compared to saving yourself the hassle of trying to get even the simplest stuff past security.

Paul in Qatar
09-13-2006, 09:40 AM
Even weirder, do you think a baggage security person might have stolen a rock? Why?

Triskadecamus
09-13-2006, 10:30 AM
From here. (http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/clearing_goods/agri_prod_inus.xml) Don't know about the first time, but the second time it could have gone through customs first. You need to start asking for smaller rocks, the rocks I bring back are about an inch long or so at most.It wasn't US customs, nor even Indian customs. It wasn't inspected for dirt. It was identified by Indian Airport security and confiscated from checked luggage. It was refused because it was a potential . . . well, you know, a rock. Dangerous thing.

Tris

Q.E.D.
09-13-2006, 10:30 AM
YYou need to start asking for smaller rocks, the rocks I bring back are about an inch long or so at most.
:dubious: Rocks (unless they are covered with dirt) would not fall under the category of "soil or earth". I'm not aware of any rock-borne organisms which could be harmful to domestic agriculture.

Triskadecamus
09-13-2006, 10:37 AM
Even weirder, do you think a baggage security person might have stolen a rock? Why?
Well, not covert or anything, my friend was questioned about the rock because you can't x-ray a rock. So, he said "It's a rock. Go ahead and look in the suitcase. It's just a rock." There followed an interview, and the decision that such a dangerous thing as a chunk of rock could never be allowed on an airplane. After all, he could break into the baggage compartment during the flight, get the rock, and wreak all sorts of havoc on board, being the only one on the plane with a rock, and everyone else . . . cowering in fear, I guess.

Tris

Edward The Head
09-13-2006, 10:44 AM
:dubious: Rocks (unless they are covered with dirt) would not fall under the category of "soil or earth". I'm not aware of any rock-borne organisms which could be harmful to domestic agriculture.

Then what is a rock if it's not earth? It says earth of any kind. I didn't say it wasn't stupid, but thems the rules.

Q.E.D.
09-13-2006, 10:52 AM
Then what is a rock if it's not earth?
A rock. Earth is dirt. Y'know, like mud on your shoes or the stuff you stick plants in; that sort of thing. I don't think a rock of the size described in the OP would fit any reasonable definiton of the term, as I understand it.

dropzone
09-13-2006, 10:54 AM
...he could break into the baggage compartment during the flight, get the rock, and wreak all sorts of havoc on board, being the only one on the plane with a rock, and everyone else . . . . . . They'll keep getting bigger and bigger rocks and soon they will get a rock so big, not even God can lift it! [maniacal laughter]

jjimm
09-13-2006, 11:02 AM
Was the rock in a box?

Hypnagogic Jerk
09-13-2006, 12:51 PM
Was the rock in a box?
You burning for that, dawg.

Bill Door
09-13-2006, 09:45 PM
It could have been worse. Around 4 years ago I was coming back to the US through Mexico City and someone confiscated the better part of a half liter of pretty good single malt scotch that was in my carry on. It would have been an entire 3/4 of a liter, having started out as a sealed bottle, but I did the best I could in the time I had. I'd have done better, but it was early in the day.

Terrifel
09-13-2006, 10:29 PM
:dubious: Rocks (unless they are covered with dirt) would not fall under the category of "soil or earth". I'm not aware of any rock-borne organisms which could be harmful to domestic agriculture.Oh yeah, well what about the HORTA, smart guy? How would you like to be the USDA field agent that has to go out and investigate a massive horta infestation, just because somebody accidentally imported a horta egg instead of a harmless rock? The environmental impact of the horta would make the Asian longhorned beetle problem seem like a gentle spring rain, even aside from the fact that they'll totally melt your head off if you annoy them.

Frank
09-14-2006, 12:23 AM
It could have been worse. Around 4 years ago I was coming back to the US through Mexico City and someone confiscated the better part of a half liter of pretty good single malt scotch that was in my carry on. It would have been an entire 3/4 of a liter, having started out as a sealed bottle, but I did the best I could in the time I had. I'd have done better, but it was early in the day.
Italian security almost confiscated my Dad's sealed bottle of grappa when we came back from Italy in 1970. They opened it, sniffed it, and let him keep it. I think they figured a Navy guy flying back to the States with his wife and eight kids was going to need a nip or two along the way.

E-Sabbath
09-14-2006, 01:40 PM
Today, I heard on the news on the way to work, that they tried to confiscate the manuscript for the final Harry Potter book from Rowling... apparently, portions are handwritten and not replacable at the moment.

Paper, folks. Lots of paper. It's a terrorist threat.

wring
09-14-2006, 01:46 PM
Paper, folks. Lots of paper. It's a terrorist threat.
well, sure, paper covers rock you see.

Random
09-14-2006, 05:12 PM
And scissors are banned, , so paper would be the ultimate weapon if allowed.

Ponder Stibbons
09-14-2006, 05:26 PM
Well, I know one person who could still win the game even if you banned rock, paper, and scissors. That's right, Saddam (http://www.rockpapersaddam.com/one.html).