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Yesterday, we took a look at the very reasonable bag-size requirements imposed by the Federal Security Apparatus (FSA) on those looking to catch a glimpse of the inaugural parade. The skinny: Any bags that you’d like to take past security checkpoints must be smaller than 8-by-6-by-4 inches. Now, whether that means that a bag that’s 7.9-by-5.9-by-3.9 inches would be allowable is anyone’s guess.

However, it does appear that the classic brown lunch bag (pictured above) may qualify for entrance into what will undoubtedly be the safest 14 blocks of real estate in the entire world, at least on Jan. 20.

Here’s how the classic brown lunch bag measures up. You’re looking at a specimen that’s 9.5 inches tall, 5 inches wide, and 3 inches deep, for a total volume of 142.5 cubic inches. By comparison, the 8-by-6-by-4 jobber has a theoretical volume of 192 cubic inches. But remember: If you read the fine print, the bag you bring in must be smaller than the 8-6-4 version. Though you can never impute, attribute, or ascribe common sense or reason to the FSA, I am going to go out on a limb and advise readers that undercutting the federal standard by 50 cubic inches will qualify as “smaller” and get your bagged PBJ, pear, and granola bar past the authorities.

Then again, a word of caution: The classic brown lunch bag’s height could pose a problem. The FSA, after all, has laid down a maximum size of 8-6-4, and one of the classic brown lunch bag’s dimensions is 9.5, which could trigger an automatic rejection. Anything could happen out there.

Photograph by Darrow Montgomery