Question: Can I Get This On a Plane?


I’m going to Haiti on Tuesday. The guy I’m meeting needs some parts for a project. (One-foot long screws are in that tube.) I have been enlisted to bring them down. Logistical question: can I get that sketchy looking package on the plane? Talking carry-on.


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  • It should be no problem. It is about as harmless as an umbrella. You will probably get the swab treatment, though.

  • ket

    It depends on the agent. See stories re cupcakes.

    I’d check it if I really wanted it to make the trip.

  • Daniel

    Looking forward to your report on Harvey Lacey, Exemplary Homo Sapien.

  • towski

    I am tired of these screws on this motherfucking plane.

    Obligatory. I’m ashamed of myself.

  • D. Shapiro

    A tube filled with foot long daggers. Sure.

  • mikenfrisco

    Looks like a potato gun. Which shoots potatoes. Like a gun.

  • Frank

    Zac, when you go, are you going to break it to Harvey gently that the hexayurt has already made an end run around his Rube Goldberg vanity project and is setting up for the extra point?

    Of course, that wouldn’t prevent him from still pitching his plans to the City Council. They have a strong history of running with those sorts of things.

  • JB

    I’d arrive early enough to go back and check. My guess is you will have to check that. Anything that could be a weapon gets confiscated and I’d say that qualifies – especially if metal forks are considered contraband.

  • Colin Z

    I’d guess no. Tools longer than 7″ in length are prohibited, as are drills and drill bits. I’d think it’s reasonable to expect that foot-long screws would not be allowed.

    Prepared for the 7″ tool jokes.

  • Daisy Mae

    Just Fedex it down there!

  • Daniel

    I believe Harvey Lacey is a credit to his species. But something tells me Zac’s article will be where, as they say, the other shoe drops.

    This going to be no fluff piece, but rather a scathing moral indictment of all that is savage in the human heart — exemplified pitilessly in the form of Harvey Lacey, who has established himself as a venerated despot, a god among mortals, in the forsaken backwaters of Haiti. Our correspondent sets out to find the elusive Lacey and meets some chortle-chortle wacky characters along the way.

    by Zac Crain
    Photos by Jeanne Prejean

    “I LOOKED at him, lost in astonishment. There he was before me, in motley, as though he had absconded from a troupe of mimes, enthusiastic, fabulous. His very existence was improbable, inexplicable, and altogether bewildering. He was an insoluble problem. It was inconceivable how he had existed, how he had succeeded in getting so far, how he had managed to remain– why he did not instantly disappear. `I went a little farther,’ he said, `then still a little farther–till I had gone so far that I don’t know how I’ll ever get back. Never mind. Plenty time. I can manage. You take Lacey away quick–quick–I tell you.’ The glamour of youth enveloped his parti-coloured rags, his destitution, his loneliness, the essential desolation of his futile wanderings. For months–for years–his life hadn’t been worth a day’s purchase; and there he was gallantly, thoughtlessly alive, to all appearances indestructible solely by the virtue of his few years and of his unreflecting audacity. I was seduced into something like admiration– like envy. Glamour urged him on, glamour kept him unscathed. He surely wanted nothing from the wilderness but space to breathe in and to push on through. His need was to exist, and to move onwards at the greatest possible risk, and with a maximum of privation. If the absolutely pure, uncalculating, unpractical spirit of adventure had ever ruled a human being, it ruled this bepatched youth. I almost envied him the possession of this modest and clear flame. It seemed to have consumed all thought of self so completely, that even while he was talking to you, you forgot that it was he– the man before your eyes–who had gone through these things. I did not envy him his devotion to Lacey, though. He had not meditated over it. It came to him, and he accepted it with a sort of eager fatalism. I must say that to me it appeared about the most dangerous thing in every way he had come upon so far.”

  • RAB

    I got detained by Customs trying to bring a Christmas wreath into the country from Canada. But then again, the wreath was just in a big plastic bag and not wrapped as nicely as your package (especially with that nifty duct-tape handle).

    Tell them it’s a fishing pole.

  • milk&cookies

    umm no
    but try it and let us know how it works for ya!

  • harvey

    I carried two thru on a carry on with no issues. The screws are three foot long with only one nut apiece so they are harmless. The trick Zac is carry the thirty pound tube like it’s full of marshmallows. Then when the inspectors reach for it you get a private grin and they get a hernia.

    @Frank, the yurts, I remember them last year at SMU, gust of wind and they were off into the bushes. Comparing Ubuntu-blox to Hexayurts, well, you are comparing temporary shelters to permanent housing.

    @Daniel, it’s a little early to be hitting the hard stuff don’t you think?

    @Daisy Mae, I’ve found the US Postal service to the best way to send stuff internationally. A large heavy package sent from Wylie, TX to Port Au Prince was delivered on time, 5 business days. Fedex on the other hand is famous for the charges that occur when they arrive here.

    I sent an Ubuntu-blox to India. UPS, $647.00 estimate, Fedex, $350.00. They suggested USPS. About $65.00 and the hiccup for hit being a couple of days late was all in India’s postal service.

    Zac will come back with a ton of stories. He will miss of course the 24 member medical team now staying where I am, they leave Saturday, mostly women, one, a physical therapist, from Richardson that has been treating the rotator cuff surgery. She has to be the hardest hearted woman on the planet. When I get back to Texas she will be my physical therapist, if you are going to hurt me so bad I want to laugh about it.

  • Old newshound

    You should be just fine if you shove it down the front of your pants and demand a pat down. ….

  • Frank


    “Gust of wind and they were off into the bushes”? Oh, dear, someone alert Mongolia.

    Actually, your efforts will be a valuable edition to our local media’s look-at-our-local-boy portfolio, although your weirdly complex, peculiar high-tensile wire and First World trash-dependent engineering are ironically fated to become the perfect physical embodiment of NGO efforts in Haiti as self-satisfying ends in themselves. After all, that’s what Haiti really is for, isn’t it, a permanent, unchanging Petri dish for First Worlders to play in before rotating home feeling good about themselves.

    If the Haitian locals run low on their cast off Dasani empties, we could always organize a drive among the boys and girls here in the Metroplex to collect some more for direct shipment, I suppose. USPS, you say?

    Not that your heart isn’t ultimately in the right place, Harvey, but really. LOL

  • Now, now people, play nice. If you saw hexayurts blow away, somebody forgot to tie them down, and was probably building in polyiso.

    For Haiti, we recommend OSB, and several meter-long rebar ground stakes. That’s several hundred kilos of weight, plus solid ground anchoring.

    We also recommend checking our approach with your own structural engineers – take nothing on faith!

    Vinay Gupta, Hexayurt Project

  • JS

    “I sent an Ubuntu-blox to India. UPS, $647.00 estimate, Fedex, $350.00. They suggested USPS. About $65.00.” Hmmm, I think I know why the USPS loses billions of dollars a year!

  • harvey

    @Frank and Vinay, Ubuntu-blox has been certified by National Technical Systems in Plano to have withstood an 8.3 earthquake simulation with NO structural damage AND only some cracked plaster. A wall section was exposed to sustained 90 mph winds with a 5.8″ per hour rain rate. It took that for thirty minutes. The wall got wet. The report states, “no damage”.

    The videos are on Youtube. It’s an interesting video, you can also go to channels 11 and 5 to see their reports,

  • Randy Leo

    Blox and yurts all have their places in the solution. However, one-upmanship is not part of the solution and should be checked, along with your egos, at the door.

  • amanda

    I saw a TSA agent take a sealed, bagged pickle away from a Marine. So, no. I don’t think you’re boarding with that.

  • Oh, I’m not criticize anything – in fact I showed up because the tone of the conversation around the hexayurt did not suit me. Storm performance is one of many important criteria, and we’ve certainly worked hard to find good approaches to it.