Eileen Gault Burmeister
2 min readApr 3, 2022


Did you happen to read about the bomb scare at the Eugene Airport last week? No? That’s because the TSA agents were on top of their game at 5:30 a.m. and intercepted me before I could do some real damage.

Let me back up.

When I travel, I make sure that I wear the perfect outfit for skating through security. I usually wear sweat pants so I don’t slow down the process by being forced to take off a belt. Then I have a long-sleeved t-shirt on without a jacket (I’ve already thrown that in my carry-on bag which is being scanned at this point because I’m a ninja packer). I keep all jewelry in my suitcase so that my huge diamonds don’t set off any alarms (kidding … I meant to say sterling silver).

And to top off this outfit, I usually wear flip flops so I can slip in and out of my footwear before you can say, “Ma’am, can you please take off your shoes?” Have I mentioned I’m like a ninja when it comes to airport security?

But not last Tuesday. Last Tuesday was entirely different.

Let me back WAY up now to my birth.

I inherited a head with a ton of hair atop it. I’m not just talking a good amount of hair; I’m talking circus freak proportions of hair. Just ask my hairdresser, who is regularly thinning it out for me just so I look normal (okay, somewhat normal). Left to nature, my hair resembles Rosanna Rosanna Dana on a bad hair day. As a result, my flat iron is my most important hair tool.

But a 6 a.m. flight doesn’t exactly constitute a flat iron kind of morning, so instead I threw my crazy hair in a messy bun atop my head and was off.

I checked my luggage, got my ticket, and headed to security where I would glide through as usual. Just as I was sending my flip flops through the scanner, I heard, “Ma’am, can you please come over here? We need to pat down your hair.”


So after standing with arms akimbo over my head while they electronically scanned my bladder, pancreas et al, I had to have my hair “patted down” by a gloved TSA agent who has no respect for hair self esteem.

Never before had this happened.

Just days before the country was freaking out over sequestration, which would surely result in cuts to schools, governments services and airport security. Well, let me assure you that the Eugene TSA members are no worse for the wear at this point. In fact, they seem to be upping their game.

Looking for a little sympathy after my harrowing experience, I texted my husband: “You know you have big hair when you get pulled aside by the TSA agent for a ‘hair pat down.’”

His response? “Did you have the hair bomb on you or is it still at home?”

Everyone’s a comedian.



Eileen Gault Burmeister

Storyteller, writer, editor, photographer, fascinated by words, forever reading the room.