Thank goodness for the Pickle Squad

Bomb squadFlying can be scary. You never know what the other passengers are up to. Some might want to hijack the plane, some might want to detonate shoe bombs in mid-flight and some might want to threaten everyone with their homemade mango pickle: "Show me a Bollywood movie NOW or I'll set your tongue on fire!"

Thank goodness for the Pickle Squad. They really live up to their slogan: "We get you out of pickles."

An airport summoned a bomb squad over a suspicious item in luggage that turned out to be pickled mangoes.

The X-ray equipment used by TSA airport security in Columbus could not detect what was inside a sealed canister in a bag being inspected around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The container was labeled "baby food," but authorities said security personnel became suspicious when the woman who owned the suitcase claimed the canister held pickles.

The fire department bomb squad removed the item from the airport and detonated it, discovering the mangoes.

No one was hurt. Flights and other airport operations were not interrupted. [Link]

Phew! That was a close call. Imagine what might have happened if the woman had taken the mango pickle on the plane. Flight crews just don't have enough training to deal with such a calamity.

You may think I'm exaggerating the potential for disaster, but just remember: This was not just one small bottle of pickle, this was a CANISTER, with enough pickle to send all 250 passengers rushing for the fire extinguisher.

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If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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