Ron tested positive for explosives at Sea-Tac Airporton January 2, 2013 @ 6:13 pm (Updated: 11:15 am - 1/3/13 )
Ron & Don Show host Ron Upshaw's vacation almost didn't happen after he was screened for explosives at the airport.
Ron was at Sea-Tac where he was meant to catch a flight to Hawaii with his wife. He removed his shoes and belt for typical airport screening, but was then flagged to get tested for explosives.
"I've never been tested for explosives before," says Ron. "I'm thinking, 'OK this will be interesting you know you do the thing, they rub your hands with this little piece of paper, stick it in the deal and then I'm back in line.'"
Only things didn't go off quite that easily.
"So they rub my hands and I was embarrassed, I was like, 'I just went self tanning.'"
Ron's wife had convinced him to go tanning for the first time. He'd selected a light level spray-on tan and the orange evidence on his hands was in clear view of the TSA screeners.
"They rub my hands, put the thing into the machine, and then I come back positive for explosives."
He didn't know what to do. Ron couldn't remember having been in contact with anything explosive. His mind ran to the self tanner.
"Maybe there's a secret agent that turns your skin orange that is actually explosive," says Ron.
Ron wasn't sure what would happen next. A TSA agent told him to hold tight, grabbed a partner and led Ron out of the area.
"One guy has my bag and he won't give it back to me. The other guy is carrying my shoes and my belt," says Ron. "We walk over and it's an enclosed room and so the Cowgirl [Ron's wife] says, 'Oh my God they're going to strip search you.'"
Ron was led into the room by the two agents.
"I'm waiting for the guy to be like, 'OK take off all your clothes.' Which I actually was kind of hoping for because I was golden tan from head to toe. I mean this would be the most tan I've ever been. I was like, if I do have to disrobe this guy is getting the best version of me in the last 15 years," says Ron.
"But that didn't happen. I didn't have to disrobe."
Instead the agents were met by their supervisor who administered another test on Ron's hands. He told them about his spray tan and asked if that might be the culprit.
They said, 'It might be the tanner. We don't know but let me do a retest and we're going to go to a different machine.'"
Ron says there was a lot of awkward silence and he did his best not to act like a terrorist or crack any inappropriate jokes about bombs or explosives.
In the end, the second test cleared Ron. He tested non-explosive and was released to board his flight to Hawaii. But he's worried that maybe this dalliance into tanning got him listed on some watch list that will keep him in the test-for-explosives category of travelers forever.
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