One thing you can say about this whole TSA enhanced pat down mess: nobody will ever board Virgin Airlines again without ruefully grimacing. Folks are flipping out like wolverines bouncing off of submarine trampolines over new regulations requiring a prospective flier to submit to having his or her naughty bits exposed for all the world to see, or else agree to a groinal groping that would have our ancestors’ fathers brandishing shotguns outside of rural chapels or contemporary school children showing Federal Marshalls on the doll where the nasty agent put his hands. “Bad touch. BAD TOUCH!”
Most troublesome is not the compelling of passengers to slide into second base with complete strangers but rather the suspicion these decisions are being made on the fly with little forethought. Flight crews are subjected to the same sub rosa muggings. Face it, you and I, we don’t know nothing, but even we can figure out pilots don’t need explosives up their butt to bring down an aircraft when a second double bourbon at the airport bar will suffice.
Equal representation under the glove would also be nice. VIPs are exempt from screening, but nobody will divulge who qualifies as a VIP. That’s classified. Isn’t everything? We’re in the thick of classified creep. How long before it’s illegal for civilians to videotape pat downs due to “national security;” the federal equivalent of “Because I said so, that’s why.” Not to mention arresting so- called comedians for talking trash. “Don’t taze my junk, bro.”
The recent bleating from the front lines of the security wars is an indication the natives are restless. Business travelers have tired of securing our safety through their captive inconvenience. Then again, 50% of the people experiencing the procedure are in favor of it. Must be part of that large segment of society that enjoys having their inner thighs pawed and genitals, butts and breasts felt up. Me, not so much. I’ve had less intimate fifth dates.
The flying experience is in the throes of a death spiral, from the evaporation of our nuts and pillows and checked baggage to shedding shoes and surrendering fluids and providing peeks under our underwear to being frisked like common criminals. Where does it stop? What happens when some flippo- unit tries to blow something up with zipper shaped plastique? Will only the Amish fly? A single button bomb could result in us all wearing robes and then the terrorists do win.
How soon before we add body cavity searches to the casual molestations in our pre flight check- lists? Precipitating few outcries even when the airlines try to make some extra coin by piggy backing prostate exams. In the meantime, we fly the overly friendly skies and do whatever they want of us cattle and sheep: bend and cough and walk a little funny and act like nothing happened. More static and drool.
In the meantime, just direct me to whichever TSA screener didn't volunteer for the job. And no ex- priests if you please. I might even wriggle and giggle and blush and bloom and slip the man attached to the blue rubber glove a card. Hey, they’re intent on creeping us out, why not return the favor? One last question: are we supposed to tip, or only if there’s a happy ending? Least they could do is provide a well- ventilated room for a post encounter cigarette.
Will Durst is a San Francisco based humor columnist who frequently tells jokes. Out loud. On stage. In front of people. Ideally.
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