Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let Down at the Airport

I flew from Honolulu to Seattle and back this Thanksgiving break, next week I'll be flying to Dallas, and two weeks after that I'll be flying to New Zealand. Lets just say HNL and I are going to become very close this holiday season.
Also happening this holiday season is the fake uproar over the new security measures TSA is implementing all over the country. Everywhere grown people are getting to act like children because the government is trying to keep them safe. "You want to scan me? HELL NO! What? Then you're going to frisk me? How dare you! By the way, what are you doing to keep my plane safe?" The whole thing is much ado about nothing as far as I'm concerned. We like to complain, TSA has a lousy customer service record, and those who complain loudest get the most air time. Perfect storm of lazy news coverage. The truth? Those opt-out protests, much like the Don't Buy Gas on X Day fake protests, didn't happen. No person with a plane ticket in their pocket is going to make it more difficult for themselves than it already is to get from where they are to where they want to be. The brief fame of the, "I'll have you arrested," dummy has faded and we are accepting this change as we have accepted so many before. You have a choice: get scanned or searched OR don't fly. Which plane you getting on? The one where everyone got searched or the one with 400 unsearched, unscanned flyers on it?
I, for one, was excited about the prospect of being scanned and/or patted down. This is science fiction, folks! This is that scene in Total Recall when Ah-nold goes running through the scanner at the airport (spaceport?) and we see his skeleton with the gun! We don't have flying cars, lightsabers, or transporters, but we have body scanners. That's close enough to being in the future for me. And I should be worried that some guy in a room somewhere is looking at a unclear scan of me that kind of shows me without any clothes on? Oh no! Quick, where's my lead Under Roos? That'll teach those perverts who obviously signed up to be airport security on the off chance they might get to check out digital renderings of random people. Think about the last time you were at the airport (or anywhere public in America). How many of those people would you want to see naked? Right.
As for being patted down, who cares? I'm fit and I have negative personal space (I'm not comfortable unless I'm invading your space). Feel me up. Its going to take four seconds and I'd rather a good, thorough job be done than a half-assed, "Missed the knife, dumbass" job. So get up in there. What sucks more, really? That I have to stand there for an enhanced pat down for four seconds or that this poor schmuck who just signed up for a minimum wage gig was told in a staff meeting two weeks ago that his six hour shift will be spent touching the junk of every other fat ass coming through the airport? His job blows. Shoulda finished that GED, bro.
But did I get any of that? No! I had to take off my boots, throw my belt in the plastic basket, and walk through the old metal detector like this was August 2001! WTF? I finally did get scanned in SeaTac on the way home and it was faster, easier, and so anti-climactic I almost asked for my money back. I didn't feel microwaved and am patiently waiting for my radiation-induced superpowers. Now if I can just figure out a way to get felt up next time...