The TSA: Not Just Another Ineffective Government Run Agency

Well, well, well. What do we have HERE???

So I'm back home. Last night we flew from Portland to Atlanta and BOY are my arms tired.... (I can't believe I just typed that.)

Anyway, I noticed something along the way, at the airport specifically, and feel the need to comment. There is something inherently fucked up about airline security. (Oh yah, I'm going there.) Here is the thing - I want to believe in the TSA. I really do. Further, I definitely do not want to be in a plane that is blown up or crashed. And for these desires I am willing to put up with all sorts of absurdities, such as:

- waiting in the long and serpentine security line with my squirmy 2 year old.

- worrying so much about whether or not they were going to take my kids sippy cup of milk away that I began to have an upset stomach.

- frantically digging through my Mary Poppins bag in search of my lip gloss to make sure it is less than three ounces so "they" won't make me throw it away. (It's MAC lip gloss and I LOVE it. It be POPPIN!!!)

- checking my suitcase instead of carrying it on because I need more than three ounces of shampoo and conditioner to get my moppy hair washed. I actually used to pride myself on being a "carry-on" kind of girl. No more, I'm afraid.

Then I saw this man standing in line by himself - Mr. Lonely. He was corralled in some kind of stall, holding his bags and looking just kind of bored and somehow accepting of his state. Finally, a little old lady wearing an imposing TSA uniform came over, opened his rope and led him to some kind of Xray machine he was to stand in. He knew where to stand because on the bottom of it were the outline of two feet. So he stood there and suddenly, without warning, the machine blew on him. HARD. So hard that his shirt untucked and blew up towards his neck. He stood there another minute and then had apparently passed whatever test they had given him and was permitted to pass through to his plane.

I said out loud, "What the...? What is that? Do we all have to do that???" Nobody answered me. I stood there, trying to remember which bra I had donned that morning. Was it my cute Victoria's Secret bra that cuts the circulation off to my rib cage or the unsexy yet practical Playtex cross my heart and bet my ass that my tits won't be going anywhere in this sucker... Nope. It's the one that screams, "Yoo HOO...Hey, fellas, check ME out...I have given birth to and breastfed THREE babies!!!"

I rounded the corner and the checkpoint came into view. I looked up at the TSA screener who would screen my bag. My mouth dropped open in shock. He was, I kid you not, an Osama Bin Laden look-a-like. I swear he was!! I almost yelled, "Holy SHIT! I found him!" Turban, long flowing beard...the whole works! I actually rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn't seeing things. The only difference was that he was in a snappy TSA uniform (verses the long white robe) but still.

I immediately felt bad for my thoughts. This guy looked like he was working hard. Every bag that went through the machine got his undivided attention and scrutiny. He kind of reminded me of this guy:

But I could no longer reflect on the bin Laden-ness that was checking bags for bombs and shit. Because I found myself in a sudden flurry of activity where I performed the following tasks at break-neck speed:

1. Took four rectangularly shaped boxes.
2. Pulled laptop out of protective bag, put in a box by itself.
3. Put purse, computer bag and boys backpack in separate box.
4. Threw two plastic baggies filled with my lip gloss and my sons sippy cup in yet another box.
5. Frantically took of my sons shoes (yes, they really make you take baby shoes off, too) and put them with my own sandals in a - yep, you guessed it - another box.
6. Made the boy get out of his stroller - barefooted - so I could clumsily fold it up and put it through the machine.

My son refused to walk through the xray thing by himself. The TSA guy tried to lure him with a sticker (what's next..."want some candy, little boy???"). My kid wasn't having it. He slowly shook his head, looked up at me and then wrapped himself around my leg. I was proud that he wasn't going to be bought with a stupid TSA Junior Officer Sticker Badge. Take that, Copper!

But we made it through, Osama didn't sweat a sista; I got to keep my lip gloss. And it's good to be home.


Michelle said…
OMG that was TOO funny! I love the Playtex Cross My Heart Etc. bra. That rocked.
Shieldmaiden96 said…
In Philadelphia airport the TSA ladies simply look like the slightest provocation might induce them to shank you. So I don't complain about standing on the grotty rug in my sock feet that everyone else (whose podiatric hygiene is unknown to you) stood on. I just meekly crouch by the folding table to jam my shoes back on.
Bex said…
Michelle - Thanks!!

Shieldmaiden - I have been to Philly and seen the wardens who work there. Every TSA red carpet/security screening area looks like an excellent place to pick up a toe rash to me.
Chat Blanc said…
I can't stand being barefoot in the airport. It's just so wrong.

But since security continues to be a time sucking obstacle course I always practice my strip search clothing removal and go for best time before I travel by air.
damon said…
I kinda like the blow-job machine. It makes me all tingly when I step on the footprints waiting for the sweet, sweet whoooosh. I also enjoy watching the people who don't know it's coming. Pure, skirt lifting, comedy gold.
damon said…
I kinda like the blow-job machine. It makes me all tingly when I step on the footprints waiting for the sweet, sweet whoooosh. I also enjoy watching the people who don't know it's coming. Pure, skirt lifting, comedy gold.
damon said…
I kinda like the blow-job machine. It makes me all tingly when I step on the footprints waiting for the sweet, sweet whoooosh. I also enjoy watching the people who don't know it's coming. Pure, skirt lifting, comedy gold.
Leeuna said…
Funny story. laughing my head off at the Osama reference.

Oh, and damon...could you repeat that? I didn't hear you the first 3 times.
Bex said…
Chat Blanc - I've always wondered why they don't play some sexy, slow jazz at the security check point. Men, slowly removing their belts, everyone sliding out of any outer layer of clothing (like coats and sweaters). Shoes dropping in's all pretty hot.

Damon, damon, damon - WTF are you doing, man??? I got all excited this morning when I saw that I had FOUR more comments and then I see that it was the lovely Leeuna and a trigger happy YOU. Perhaps all of the rain you got in Florida has made your return key slippery???

Leeuna - He was a dead ringer. I swear he was.
Shaney said…
Here in Alabama we joke that even to go to Hell you have to go thru the Atlanta Airport first.
Jormengrund said…
I miss the days when you could joke with the TSA attendant that you actually knew, and joke about hijacking the plane in order to get to your destination FIRST..

Seems this little "joke" gets your ass put into a nice, small room where they get to go over every single square centimeter of flesh on your body twice over with three attendants just to make sure you're not hiding anything!

Heck, I'd only had seven souvenir margaritas from Vegas before trying to get on the plane!

Anyway, drunk folks don't get any leniency either, but it was a semi-sex fantasy, so I can still talk about the incident with a bit of a smile..

Mainly because I _did_ get searched by one female, and she wasn't over 40!

I'm out, it's time to daydream a bit...

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