The TSA made an impressive discovery in June when an agent searched through an improperly packed cooler heading from Connecticut to Georgia.
TSA’s spokesman, Michael McCarthy, took to Twitter to share a picture of one of his Boston Logan airport agents holding a massive, “20+ pound lobster” that was found in a traveler’s checked luggage.
According to the AP, “the TSA doesn’t prohibit transporting lobsters. The TSA website says a live lobster is allowed through security but must be transported in a ‘clear, plastic, spill-proof container.'”
That’s it, this is just a cute story, right? Nope—someone had to go and ruin the fun.
A Surprisingly Big Deal
Most lobsters weigh-in between one and four pounds, so it’s not surprising that TSA agents wanted to snap a photo of this enormous catch. The largest lobster ever caught, according to Lobster Zone, “weighed 115 pounds and measured more than five feet long,” for those who are curious.
However, not everyone was amused by the photo of the TSA agent holding the colossal crustacean.
San Francisco-based journalist Scott McGrew quickly responded to McCarthy’s tweet, writing:
Lots of people chimed in, concerned that the TSA might be making a habit of taking photographs of private possessions.
Lisa Feinman, the owner of the company that sold the Georgia-bound lobster, told her local news station, WTNH, that she was furious about the photo. Technically, examining improperly packaged luggage is exactly what TSA does, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement.
Feinman is concerned with the way the sizeable shellfish was handled and re-packed in the cooler.
In the photo, the agent is holding the lobster by the claws; “All that weight is being put on these joints… He could easily snap that claw off.”
“We put paper with saltwater on them just to kind of keep them wet keep them moist,” said Feinman. When the package arrived in Georgia, the huge sea creature was improperly placed atop it’s smaller cousins.
At the end of the day, Feinman understands why her package was searched, but she felt like posting the picture crossed a line:
“Yes it was a huge lobster, and yes it is a novelty that we all don’t see very often, but really the bigger picture was: This is a TSA agent that is going through our personal property and taking selfies.” Nevermind the fact that the picture was not technically a selfie.
A photo of any personal property would be offensive:
“What if you’re into cougar printed underwear and he’s got it on his head, and he’s prancing around taking selfies,” Feinman posed to her local news station. “It’s the same thing.” Again, Feinman misuses her metaphor—there’s no such thing as cougar print—but the point is not lost:
TSA, please don’t take pictures of passengers private property.
Perhaps the saddest part of this story is that the star of the story is no longer with us, having been devoured after touching down in Georgia. Perhaps it would have been better if the lobster had made a run for it instead of cooperating with the authorities.