Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, December 9, 2013
Even sock monkeys aren’t allowed to fly with toy pistols these days! A Transportation Security Administration agent at Lambert-St. Louis Airport confiscated the toy gun belonging to “Rooster Monkburn” the cowboy sock monkey last week because of the government’s no-weapons on flights policy.
“Rooster Monkburn,” who is billed as a “take-off on the John Wayne character “Rooster Cogburn” from the 1969 western “True Grit,” is one of the many sock monkeys owned by Phyllis May of Redmond, Wash. May runs a small business which sells unique sock monkey dolls, and was flying from St. Louis to Sea-Tac airport and had a couple of monkeys and sewing supplies packed away in her carry-on bag.
She told KING-TV, the local NBC affiliate, that she was ”appalled and shocked and embarrassed all at the same time” over the incident.
May and her husband were going through the screening process at the airport when she noticed that one of her bags was missing. A TSA agent had taken it off the line for inspection, and it was when the agent searched the bag and the sowing supplies she spotted the two-inch long pistol.
“She said ‘this is a gun,’” May told the station. “I said no, it’s not a gun it’s a prop for my monkey.”
The TSA agent then told May that she would have to confiscate the gun and was supposed to call police on May, as the agent believed someone wouldn’t know if it “was real or not” if it was held up to one’s neck.
“I said well go ahead,” May continued. “And I said really? You’re kidding me right, and she said no it looks like a gun.”
At least May has been able to keep a sense of humor about the debacle.
“Rooster Monkburn has been disarmed so I’m sure everyone on the plane was safe,” she said. “I understand she was doing her job but at some point doesn’t common sense prevail?”
All turned out OK in the end, as the agent ended up not calling the police and May was able to get her other sowing supplies back.