After a refreshing visit to my home in Chicago for winter break, I took a return flight on Qatar Airways to Doha, where I currently reside. Naturally, the saucy bitch that travel is, two of my bags were left behind due to a very narrow connecting flight time at Dulles International. Nevertheless, I was absolutely thrilled they arrived two days later in tact. But no my friends, that is not the happy ending to our story that I'd hoped for.
While in Chicago I went to my dentist for a regular 6-month cleaning (shout out to Wrigleyville Dental, what what!). Since I am both aging, vain and have money to blow on ridiculous things, I decided to start bleaching my teeth. Which, I would like to add, is an innocent, harmless American pastime.
For those of you unfamiliar, dental bleaching involves getting a mold made of your teeth and having a mouth guard fashioned from the mold. The night before I left I carefully packed away a perfectly sculpted plaster replica of my bite, complete a shiny new mouth guard. I was well on my way to achieving Jessica Simpson level success with my vibrant new smile.
A few days after unpacking, I went to bleach my crusty 30-year-old teeth. To my shock and dismay, I realized I had the bleach but not my teeth and mouth guard. I searched everywhere for them. I called my boyfriend at home to see if I had left it in a drawer or on the bathroom counter, knowing full well that I had not but hoping for some explanation for this horrific incident. I searched my empty suitcases, pressing my hands along the bottom and sides, maniacally digging through empty pockets, praying in vein to feel the prick of an incisor or smooth of a molar. And then, I saw it. A tiny leaflet that read: "TSA Flagged This Bag for Inspection."
There it was. Like old, coffee-stained Nancy Drew, I had solved the mystery.
TSA took my teeth.
What on God's green earth would they do that for? Was I going to bite a pilot into submission mid flight? Also, what if this had been my dentures?! Right now I would be gumming at yogurt and crying my eyes out. Sure, I'd like to believe I'd pack my dentures in my carry on, or even my mouth, but it is my right as an American to pack my dentures where ever I damn well please without the fear of the Transportation Security Administration terrorizing my dental health.
But the joke is on you TSA, because I have the power of the media on my side. Some poor sucker at Huffington Post (my friend, Kerstin Picht) gave me an international forum with which to air any and every grievance I so choose and I am going to use it.
Are you with me America, nay, World? If you are, I implore you to protest this grave injustice. Please, email, phone or write a letter to TSA and demand that Anne Peterson be returned the teeth that are rightfully hers, so that by the end of January her smile may glisten and shine like that of Christina Aguilera!