The TSA operative was intrigued by the coins that had also affected his machine. My friend pointed out that some of them were from his collection of genuine silver US coins and that these were made of sterner stuff than today's government counterfeits. The security man was happy with that explanation and said: "It's a good idea to have some of those at hand - you never know what a future government might do. I've bought some gold coins for my own children."
So at least one lowly member of the US public sector understands basic economics. Perhaps he should be made Chairman of the Federal Reserve.