I brought my laptop to Minneapolis thinking maybe if someone broke into my house while I was gone (I do live in DC, after all), at least I'd have my laptop. I didn't plan on using it.
In fact, I used it so little (read: at all), I forgot I had it in my bag when I tried to head back to DC from Minneapolis.
As of tonight, it's glowing green, the white parts of the screen are now pink and I can hardly see to type. I apologized to the TSO, who wasn't trying to mess with me when he pulled my laptop out and carefully examined my "Stop Bernanke" stickers. I couldn't possibly be a threat; I'm far too obvious to be useful for someone's covert mission to do anything. This is somewhat intentional, as the last thing I want is for my trip to be delayed because I forgot to be obvious in the airport.
Anyway, I'm not sure what happened differently at the airport except that the laptop was accidentally inside my bag (having not used it once, I genuinely forgot it was in there... while still somehow managing my 2 oz of lotion) and now it's jacked up. It got scanned twice, if that means anything.
In TSA's defense, the MSP TSA is nice, having experienced them in Richmond, both sides of DC, Chicago, Dallas, SFO... it's mostly been traumatic, so maybe my plan of being obvious (and dumping all liquids above 3 oz, f*** it, I'm not trying to make them mad, I have places to go) is not working out for me. That's why I apologized, that's just what you do up there, and it was nice to spend a few days in a place where people do that on a daily basis. The TSO wished me a nice day when it became obvious to his trained eye that I was a lazy DC-er on "vacation," not any sort of threat to their mission to keep our airports safe. I couldn't say the same for the old lady who was pulled out for further inspection near us, but it's not my job to worry about her.
I'm not the first one to claim a laptop destroyed by TSA but mine could have also been old, neglected, or maybe stepped on. Or ruined by TSA. I guess we'll never know.
I had a good trip, that's all that matters. No junk was groped that day. By TSA. God bless America.