So, as I passed through the TSA checkpoint at 5am at the Eugene airport, complete with full body scan, shoe removal and pat-down; my carry-on bag had been pulled aside for a special inspection. I’d inadvertently left my full size Leatherman utility tool in my always-packed spit kit.
My last two overnighters hadn’t been by air. Woe! The very nice, and obviously feeling-my-pain, TSA agent escorted me back through the security gate to the gift shop, which he’d seen was open, so that they would mail it back to my Eugene home for me. The gift shop was closed.
The agent suggested that I wait there, to see if the proprietor returned before I needed to be at my gate, and to judge the time accordingly; and then he left. No proprietor. There was a man sitting in the lobby who observed the agent/traveler/gift shop scenario. I approached him, explained my predicament, gave him a card with my address and contact information on it; and he commiserated that something similar had once happened to him. It turned out that he lived near me.
He would either mail or deliver the folding knife to my house, and no, I couldn’t reimburse him. (Think, Pay It Forward.) When I got home, three days later, the house-sitter had the knife, in a plastic bag so it wouldn’t get wet, waiting for me. Thank you, thank you, nice Eugene neighbor that I’d never met!