Wednesday, November 24, 2004

"Please step aside, sir..."



This past weekend, I went to my aunt's funeral in Kansas. On my way home, I was in the airport waiting at the screening area behind an idiot whose mother was in a wheelchair; he was pushing her. Now before you think me cruel, I must tell you that sonny boy was acting very suspiciously. He was nervous and jittery, and he kept trying to push the woman toward the scanner even though the agents were telling him to stop, asking him to back up and wait, et cetera. After about six minutes of this crap, they finally asked her to stand up and walk through the scanner with a cane, which she did...and she walked quite well for a woman in a wheelchair. I was thinking to myself, "you should certainly detain this pair." I showed my boarding pass and ID to the TSA agent and headed for the scanner.

"Excuse me, sir," the TSA agent yelled after me as I walked toward the screening area, "I forgot to give you this." It was an orange card the size of a boarding pass. Non-descript. No print on it. She handed it to me and walked away suspiciously quickly in the opposite direction.

When I got to the screening gateway, I discovered why.

After mother and idiot finally managed to go through, it was my turn. The agent motioned me through the detector and it went off. I realized that I hadn't removed my watch as I walked through, and that was what had set it off. But the screener wasn't even paying any attention to the scanner, he was fixated on the orange card.

Rather than directing me to remove my shoes and watch as I had seen him do with two other people, he tersely directed me: "please step over there now," motioning me out of the way and to a chair. Another man took my carry-ons and gave them to a woman who promptly unzipped them and dumped the contents out on a table for everyone to see. Underwear, socks, personal items, were all throw on the table and she rifled through them. Thank God I hadn't packed any toys!

Meanwhile, the second man wanded me, asked me to remove my shoes, patted me down all over, made me take off my belt. Asked me a ton of questions about where I lived and where I was going. I felt very violated. Why hadn't they done this to those people in front of me?

At any rate, ten minutes later I left the screening area with my carry-ons in hand, feeling as though I had been molested. I got over it, until I got home and was unpacking my bags. There in the checked luggage was a present from TSA (pictured above) that they had ransacked my checked luggage! The nerve!

I'm sure that to Kansans, all New Yorkers look like terrorists, even those of us who are the very definition of WASPy. I couldn't wait to get out of the place. I'm glad I'm home.

1 Comments:

At 11:10 PM, November 24, 2004, Blogger Jess said...

Well, I can't actually say what their motivation was, but I can guess.

I, for one, have found strip searches and cavity searches of Bokey to be very useful!

 

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