Man talking(l), TSA agent(c), Briefcase(r)

Carolina K. Smith MD @brett.gaffney/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Grandmas trying to get me arrested’: Grandson gets stopped at TSA because of briefcase grandmother told him not to open. He’s shocked by what’s inside

"The words 'I don’t know, it’s a surprise' shouldn’t be uttered to TSA.


Amara Thomas


Posted on Nov 29, 2023   Updated on Nov 29, 2023, 1:28 pm CST

In a viral video, TikToker Brett Gaffney (@brett.gaffney) explains how a surprise gift from his Grandma almost got him arrested at the airport. 

He starts the video by stating that his Grandma gave him an early Christmas gift, and that she asked him not to open it till he gets back home to California. He shows viewers the gift. It’s a tan briefcase that he describes as “super heavy.” 

@brett.gaffney Airport Security said this is the second one they have seen today! #brettgaffneyforever #holidaytravel ♬ original sound – brett.gaffney

He then shares his dilemma. “I was like, grandma, I’m going to the airport. Like, I need to know what’s [in here],” he explains. Yet, he says she refused to tell him. 

He says he respected her wishes and did not open the briefcase. “So I go through security at the airport. … The machine goes off, and [the briefcase] gets flagged as it’s going through the conveyor belt,” he shares.

“The guy tells me what’s inside it,” he continues. 

He then opens the briefcase, showing viewers what is inside. It’s a vintage typewriter. “Like, how old is this thing?” he exclaims. “Who am I, Tom Hanks? Am I gonna go to the park and … write a whole book with a typewriter?” 

“I almost didn’t get in the airport because of this typewriter,” he continues. 

This viral video has 369,000 views and hundreds of comments. Many viewers found the story amusing, expressing how sweet his grandma’s gesture was. “The fact you listened and didn’t open it is so innocent,” one shared. Others suggested that he should put the typewriter to work, “Well now you have a story to write,” one commented. 

In a follow-up video, Gaffney shared an update with his followers. He says he plans to use the typewriter and ordered a few things to get it working. “I get a new ribbon and I get some lubricant oil,” he says. 

He also responds to a comment that recommends he “check to see if there are any hidden secrets in it.” This prompts him to inspect that case, and, to his surprise, he finds a “secret.”  Hidden beneath an additional pouch is a $2 bill. 

“Oh, this is classic grandma,” he says. He explains that this is a family secret “in our family.”

“If someone gives you a $2. You don’t spend it, but you hold on to it because that’s a sign of good luck,” he says.  

The Daily Dot reached out to Brett Gaffney for comment via email.

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*First Published: Nov 29, 2023, 9:30 pm CST