Friday, July 10, 2015

Getting Intimate with the TSA

Okay, TSA, what's going on?  I thought we were cool.  Really I did.  I mean, I'm all TSA Pre-check on every flight.  I go through the special short line every time.  WITHOUT taking my shoes off or removing my lap top.  (Follow this link if you've never committed a crime and want the same privileges.)

So why are you picking on me lately?

On my last trip to Kauai, I got one of your cute, little "love notes" in my luggage informing me that you had inspected it.  Why?  Was it the swords on my Khal Drogo doll?  Hellooooo!  They're plastic and about an eighth of an inch wide. (I'll have you know that I hold you responsible for the breakage that occurred when you dislodged Khal from his bubble wrap!  Hadn't he suffered enough in Kauai?)

Khal Drogo, having suffered an ignominious defeat at the hands - er, beak - of a chicken on a beach in Kauai.
Perhaps your doggies sniffed the Mac and Cheese dinners I had brought with me because food is so expensive in Hawaiian supermarkets.

Okay, TSA.  I'm a big girl.  I understand you are just trying to protect other travelers from dangerous senior citizens like myself who might have swapped the denture cream for nitroglycerin or the Preparation-H for peroxide based liquid explosives.

Really?  What could I POSSIBLY have been carrying that made you so suspicious you had to GO THROUGH MY UNDIES?

(Readers, please take note.  I do NOT wear Grannie panties so it was especially embarrassing to have my lacy underthings exposed to God-knows-who.  Hmmmm.  Come to think of it, Grannie panties would have been even more embarrassing.)

Well, I got over all of this (after working through the self-blaming in a structured thematic psychotherapy group) only to suffer yet another indignation today as I went through check in for my Tampa flight.

I must have appeared tense, I'll admit it.  My son had thrown my sweater in the back seat of the car on our way to the airport where it was forgotten until I'd gone through the first part of the short-wait TSA pre-check line.  All I could think of was my rare allergy to cold temperatures exacerbating the discomforts one is already subjected to on airline flights.  Three hours of hives on top of sitting in a cramped seat with a headrest that's too tall for me and pushes my chin into my chest.  It seemed too much to bear.

So I held back.  Let a man in a tweed suit pass in front of me.  Called my son.

No answer.   

Of course not, I thought, he's driving your car and doesn't have Bluetooth.  Grrrrr.

Disgruntled and already having displayed suspicious behavior in New Jersey by letting someone go ahead of me, I approached the luggage x-ray conveyor and walked through the metal detector.

"Go back!"  Said the nice-looking young man waiting on the other side of the machine.

"Oh!  I have keys in my pocket.  That must be it."

"No," he replied.  "We're just doing random inspections, that's all.  Go through the scanner, please."

Now I KNOW the scanners are not supposed to be dangerous. I also know margarine was once  supposed to be good for you and women once happily painted their faces with lead.

I just don't trust the scanners. They swear there is no radiation involved but I don't believe it.  And as a senior citizen, I'm x-rayed enough.  Furthermore, air travel intrinsically exposes you to radiation.  (Thank you to the TSA attendant who once pointed out that every time I fly I'm getting the EQUIVALENT OF A CHEST X-RAY on the plane!  Yeah.  Thanks a LOT!)

So, I asked for a pat down.

I figured I'd just pretend I was an extra in "Orange is the New Black".

No comments: