I just got back from a trip to visit my fiancée in Germany and ended up with a story that I had to share with everyone here.
We celebrated my birthday in Köln (Cologne), where I ended up purchasing a nice looking Zwilling straight razor as a gift to myself. Upon returning to the US, this would of course have to be transported in my checked bag, but I didn't anticipate any problems with that. Granted, I also didn't anticipate that in the rush of trying to get through the airport and dealing with the customs people in order to get my tax-free shopping refund early on a sleep-deprived Friday morning I would do something so stupid as replace all of the tax-free stuff (razor included) into my backpack instead of the bag I was checking.
So a little bit later I'm going through the security checkpoint and thinking to myself "why are they taking so long scrutinizing my backpack in the x-ray machine? It's not like I have any... ohhhhhhhhh, shiiiiiiiiii...."
At this point I'm trying not to panic, but that's pretty hard as all the thoughts of things that people I know have had confiscated from them and subsequently trashed by airport security float through my head. And who knows what sort of pat-downs and interrogation I would be subjected to?
I get the attention of the closest security guy and let him know that I think I know what it is that they're looking at and try to explain what it is.
"Ein Rasiermesser?" The guard's tone when he questions to make sure that he heard me right is simultaneously incredulous and interested. My backpack is placed in front of me and I'm asked to remove the contents for inspection. The guard takes the razor out of its box and gives the scales an appreciative glance before opening it to inspect the blade. And then, before I can figure out what's going to happen next, I'm at the center of a little circle of security agents and airline personnel and I'm being asked where I got the razor and how much it cost and how long I've been shaving like that. One guy even asks what I strop on! A representative for the airline shows up and arranges for my checked bag to be taken off the plane so that I can put the razor in it and then it will be re-loaded with the rest of the bags. While we're waiting, he laments that his son bought an expensive straight razor but has only used it two or three times.
If I had known that there would subsequently be an hour-long delay before take-off (and if these guys didn't have stuff like work to do), I would have gladly stuck around and chatted about shaving with them, but as things stand, I can only offer a huge thank you/danke sehr to the security personnel and US Airways staff at Frankfurt am Main airport this morning! I'm back safe and sound, and so is my razor!