Tuesday, November 1, 2011

If You Get Naked in the Airport, Then the Terrorists Win

I just got patted down at the airport. Twice.

My mum's vacationing in the Cape Cod area, and I'm going to spend a couple days in Provincetown visiting. I arrived at Reagan Airport, ate some lunch I had brought with me, and then got in line at the security checkpoint. I opted out of the body scanner machine with the vague idea that on some level seeing a fellow passenger treated like a criminal suspect would register with the other fliers the invasiveness and stupidity of the whole process.

The pat-down went as well as it could; the TSA officer told me to put my arms out "like you're flying." When I put them straight ahead--I thought he meant as if I were holding a steering instrument, honestly--he clarified. "No, I meant flying, like in Titanic."

We all laughed, me, the officer, and another TSA officer rifling through my backpack. It admittedly wasn't the most appropriate thing to do at the time, but given the inappropriateness of the security process to begin with, there can't be said to be any single standard. Then the other officer, asked, "You had a bottle in your bag, sir?"

I had brought a NAKED Juice with me, having forgotten about the stupid liquids rule. It's not that I didn't know it, I can't bring my acne treatment with me for that reason, but in getting my lunch it'd slipped my mind. The officer asked me if I wanted to just throw it away or to go back out and drink it.

"I have to go through security again?"


It's bad enough to have to drink my juice earlier than I wanted, but to have to go through the whole ridiculous security theater again? What is this supposed to do? How does it make us any safer? If a would-be terrorist were so inclined, he could detonate an explosive within an airport, in a security line say, and still inflict considerable damage and casualties. What difference to anyone except the food vendors does it make if I drink my juice after the security checkpoint?

So not wanting to let a good drink go to waste and intending to see my half-assed protest through to the end, I went out, downed the bottle, and proceeded through security, and the pat-down once more.

Don't you feel safer?

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