I flew across the US today and even though I do that often, things had changed since my last flight. Air travel has become so convenient that if you haven't flown lately it is in many ways changed. I bought my ticket online and checked in over the internet. After I printed my boarding passes I was feeling kind of good about being so organized (Usually not how I roll) when an e-mail alert rang on my cell phone.
The e-mail turned my cell phone into a boarding pass and I didn't even need the printed copy. I was amazed at how far technology had come and of course I had to try it at the airport. I didn't know it at the time but I was going to have an adventure before I ever got the chance to wave my cell phone in front of the little bar code reader at the gate.
It all went wrong at the security gate where the metal detectors are. I was standing in line behind a young lady who looked a little nervously at the equipment and bolted for another line that was longer. I recall thinking that she must have a friend in that line or something. My shoes were off and all of my posessions loaded onto the belt before I realized that the metal detector had changed...a lot. In fact it wasn't a metal detector at all, it was one of those machines that looks right through your clothes and you end up standing there naked.
Besides wishing I had lost a couple of pounds instead of the other way around I figured I didn't have any reason to be ashamed and it probably wasn't going to kill me. So I thought some happy thoughts, and jumped up there for my big debut in standing around naked before security people. That is when I became extremely curious about the matter. I wondered who was on the other side of the curtain, what their job was like, if their was any way of communicating with them, and then a humorous impulse came over me (The kind that gets me in trouble).
I was supposed to stand there with my hands in the air palms facing the controller with my gut sucked in and my junk on full display. Well I did some of that but my hands were not palms out. My traitorous digits were in fact (without my knowledge of course) flipping off the person in the little booth that has the job of looking at everyone naked. The other security didn't notice and after a prescribed amount of time I was let off of the stage. So we took a bow and headed for the exit.
They didn't let me go directly to the gate. I was held for further screening. So I am standing there feeling pretty dumb when this guy walks up and asks me if I would like to do this security screening in the booth for privacy. That didn't sound like a good deal for me at all so I told him right here would be fine (Save that butt check for later buddy). He proceeded to tell me that anytime he was groping my private areas it would be the back of his hand and set to work.
As I was being groped and fondled by some strange guy at the airport (Knowing inside that it was probably what I deserved for making fun of them). I realized that I was being treated to one of the few things in our society that was free. I may not ever have any health care and social security will probably be looted for another bail out by the time I ever get near benefit age, (If it is possible to live that long). A life time of paying taxes for benefits that others enjoy and largely to make the wealthy, fabulously so, and my big benefit is getting groped and stared at naked without even the benefit of some medical advice. What a bargain.
It wasn't until I got to the gate and had to pull up my pants that I realized they had taken my belt away and didn't give it back.
The one thing I took away from the experience is this. Don't mess with TSA, and if anyone from airport security is reading this please know that we would all like a woman to do our security screening and if she is nice about it the guys won't even check to see if that really is the back of her hand.
Ps- It is still possible to avoid being stared at naked, just use the method the young lady in line did and flee for a different line when you see the Stare-At-You-Naked Machine.