Monday, July 23, 2007

Save big bucks on terrorists' tools

I love the Leatherman Micra miniature multi-tool (CLICK for review from March '07). I keep one on my keychain, and seldom go anywhere without it.

Unfortunately, on a recent flight to Texas, I forgot to remove it from my keychain, and forfeited it a Transportation Security Agency enforcer at the airport.

I wanted to replace it as soon as I got home, but was disappointed to find that my nearby Costco no longer sold the Micra. On a whim, I checked eBay, and found that I could get one for $30 brand new, or get five of them for $25, not new. Even larger quantities were available for as little as two bucks each.

Apparently, lots of Micras, box cutters, Leathermen, Swiss Army Knives, chain saws and assorted other potential instruments of destruction are confiscated from passengers and sold by the government, and then re-sold to the public at a small fraction of their original prices.

The five I bought were all in excellent conditions, but I gave them an alcohol wipe-down in an effort to neutralize the previous owners' biological samples before using the tweezer or finger nail cleaner on my own body.

If you get one, scratch your initials on it. If the Feds grab it, you may get lucky and find it in a batch you buy through eBay.

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