Embarrassing moment at security checkpoint

By James Phillips
Posted 4/22/18

Going through security checks is a pretty basic scenario

these days.Whether it is getting on an airplane, walking in a

courthouse (not the Walker County one yet) or entering a sporting event, …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Embarrassing moment at security checkpoint


Going through security checks is a pretty basic scenario these days.

Whether it is getting on an airplane, walking in a courthouse (not the Walker County one yet) or entering a sporting event, we are all used to placing the items from our pockets into a small, plastic basket and walking through a metal detector. If its top-notch security, an electronic wand or a good, old-fashioned hand frisking might even follow up your walk through the scanners.

My most recent encounter with a security checkpoint was a couple of weeks back when my 15-year-old Stone and I were attending a basketball game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the hosting Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.

After walking across downtown Atlanta, Stone and I rushed to the entrance to get into the game. He didn’t have anything in his pockets so he blew through security. I had cell phones and keys, so I had to unload my pockets. As I placed the items in the basket, I looked down, expecting to only see my keys, phone and a couple of quarters. I wasn’t prepared at what I would find on the top of my items, staring at me from the basket. It was an unopened tampon package.

The guy working the scanner looked down at the basket and looked back up strangely at me. I just held my hands out to the side as to say, “I don’t know how that got there.” I stuffed my items back into my pockets and headed to our seats. I didn’t tell Stone about the incident until later, because I knew he would have been mortified.

I live with five females, so there isn’t much that surprises me, but finding a feminine product in my pocket that day certainly did. Unfortunately, it was earlier in the day when I was surprised, and I had the opportunity to remove it from my pocket before the ball game. I just forgot about it.

We were in Atlanta for a two-day family trip during spring break week. Earlier in that day, we were eating lunch at the Hard Rock Café. It was at that time that I first found the item in my pocket. I was looking for my phone while we were waiting on a table. I realized a few minutes later that I did not have my phone, but I did have a tampon in my pocket.

I held it up for a just moment, and my oldest daughter said, “Oh…sorry about that.” Breeze went on to tell me that the item had found its way into the side pocket of my cargo shorts without me knowing it earlier in the day, while we were at Zoo Atlanta. She was about to do a ropes course at the zoo, and the worker told her to empty her pockets. That is all that was in her pockets, and she quietly slipped it into my pocket as I was paying for her ropes course adventure.

I should have cleaned out my pockets after our meal, but we spent time at the hotel pool before Stone and I started our trek across downtown Atlanta to the arena. After watching the 76ers destroy the Hawks, Stone and I walked back to the hotel, which is when I told all the girls about what was found in my pocket. Everyone had a great belly laugh, because the manly men got caught with a feminine product.

After I posted a few details of the story on Facebook, I realized there was one reason that I could have had a tampon in my pocket. Several of my friends who have sons that are wrestlers said they keep them in their pockets to stop nosebleeds. I would have never though of that. During the next high school wrestling season, that is good information to know. Stone never had a nosebleed this season, but I’m sure that will happen before his next three seasons are over. If it does, I’ll be ready.


James Phillips is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He may be reached at 205-221-2840 or james.phillips@mountaineagle.com.