On the way back though security in DIA (which is in the middle of a huge tract of land -- it took a lot longer to get from the airport boundary to the terminal than it did to get from Reston to Dulles), the TSA screener saw something in my laptop bag as it was going through x-ray.
I don't know what he saw, though it apparently looked like a container of liquid or gel (it might have been an old prescription pill bottle that I carry Tylenol in -- it's stuffed with cotton so it doesn't rattle -- or possibly a plastic tube I keep some foam earplugs in).
Either way, they pulled my bag off the belt for a hand-search, and as the TSA person was looking through my bag, she came across something that, um, should not have been in there.
Now, it's not otherwise illegal, and it's just a piece of plastic (it's not even sharp or pointy), but it's conceivable that it could possibly be interpreted as a prohibited item. Maybe.
"What's this?" she asked.
"Keychain," I instantly replied, "It's an ankh." (Close enough.)
She handled it briefly (including in the fashion it's supposed to be held), threw it back in the bag, and finding nothing else, sent me on my way.
It could have been unpleasant.
Now, I do have a lot of useful junk in my bag (even after taking out the sharp and excessively heavy things before the trip), including a Craftsman 12-in-1 screwdriver and a Pocketwrench II,
any of which could be used in a pinch to klonk someone with.
I also have a few different flashlights (a 2AA mini-Maglight with an LED drop-in module, and an Inova T3 that has a much brighter, focused beam, at cost of a shorter runtime and requiring less-common lithium batteries that are super expensive if you don't buy them online).
However, this time around, one of the lights did actually come in handy.
When I turned off my phone, I'd put it in my bag, which proceeded to tip over during takeoff.
After we landed, I couldn't find my phone, even after I turned my bag inside out several times and looked under the seat.
It was only until I shone a bright light under the seat that I saw it had slid back by a seat strut (it had been hidden by their shoes of the people behind me).
Of course, it would have given me an excuse to get a new phone, but whatever.
Other than that, the flight was pretty uneventful. Well, it ended up taking an hour longer, since we had to take on more fuel so we could route around some bad weather, but at least I had a row of seats all to myself.
So while it was an older 757 and not the 777 I had westbound, it was a pretty good flight, and not at all jail-like.