LOT'S WIFE

LOT'S WIFE..Turn around..look back...see with new eyes

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Day With The TSA


I spent Thanksgiving this year visiting my youngest son and his family in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Although the flight out of Florida was uneventful (SWR Airport has no scanners yet), the return trip through El Paso, Texas was a different story.




Believe me…I had prepared. I was devoid of jewelry, watches, belt buckles, and hair clips. I was dressed only in a shirt, non-underwire bra, underpants, and Danskin pants.  I was metal purged….or so I thought.


I went up the escalator dragging my worldly goods behind me. I had all my potentially noxious unguents and potions secured in my ziplock quart bag. I had my driver’s licence and preprinted boarding pass. And I was prepared to offer up my voter registration, my original social security card, and assorted work verifications.


As I weaved through the black roped security maze with my fellow SHEEPLE, a blue uniformed TSA man kept informing us in a loud voice to EMPTY OUR POCKETS….REMOVE ALL RINGS….TAKE OFF BELTS…..



I finally reached another rather large TSA agent who took my boarding pass and driver’s licence. He spent a little under a minute looking at my picture and then looking at me. (Yes..the picture is 7 years old..so what?) He passed over it with a mysterious blue light and told me to have a nice day.


I walked forward and there it was………THE SCANNER!




Ok….I know I said I was GOING TO OPT OUT BY GOD! I was going to DEMAND THE GROPE IN FULL PUBLIC VIEW FOR ALL TO SEE!


But…I REALLY did not want the ENHANCED treatment…..and the scanner looked fast and easy….and everyone else was just ASSUMING THE POSITION and moving through……BAA! BAA! BAA!..I had become a SHEEPLE…..Just hand me the CONE OF SHAME now…I deserve it.


I piled everything into the trays, removed my shoes and waited my turn. I justified my decision by running scenarios in my head about smart ass things I could say or do while standing in the scanner.


I could ask for two 5 x 7’s and a sheet of wallet size……I could start talking to my imaginary friend and demand to know why she was not special enough for scanning?.....I could become a mime and wait for the TSA agent to unlock the invisible door to the scanner….I could do the RAIN MAN thing and start to mutter “You’re an excellent screener, definitely” I could start talking loudly about the Constitution and the 4th Amendment.


I did none of those things….I just stepped in…spread my legs…raised my hands, like a prisoner, over my head…..and got nakedly scanned. The deed was done.


I was motioned out…I walked in my socks to the end of a rubber mat right into another TSA agent blocking my path. He said WAIT RIGHT HERE….. ok



He pointed to the conveyor ..TELL ME WHEN YOUR BELONGINGS APPEAR…ok


I indicated that they had come down and turned to get them and was then told NO…THERE IS A PROBLEM…..ok


It was at that moment a short, red haired TSA woman took his place. Still blocking my path she explained that SOMETHING UNUSUAL APPEARED IN YOUR GROIN AREA THAT WE MUST CHECK OUT…..uh?


Wait a minute…I was metal cleansed….I had nothing in my EUPHEMISTIC groin area. She said THERE ARE TWO UNUSUAL INDICATIONS….uh?


I started feeling MY GROIN AREA and then….yes…my concealed weapon of mass destruction was discovered….look very closely….zoom the picture if you need to….see…those two tiny little metal tips on the end of the string ties on the waist of my pants?


There they were…DAMN DANSKIN…oh the betrayal!



Ms. TSA agent said I F YOU HAVE NO OBJECTION I WILL TAKE YOU TO THE PRIVATE ROOM WHERE I WILL EXAMINE YOUR BODY….objection? uh? yes I have an objection…you can see them..they are little tips on the ties..


I REALIZE THAT MAMM BUT THIS IS THE RULE…..ok



I followed her to the frosted paneled room to the right of the scanner. Another blond TSA woman was waiting for us. This was THE WITNESS.



My agent explained I WILL BEGIN WITH YOUR HAIR AND PROCEED DOWNWARD…TRACING THE OUTLINE OF YOUR BODY…I WILL FEEL INSIDE YOUR WAISTBAND AND BETWEEN YOUR BREASTS ….I WILL PROCEED UP YOU INNER THIGH…AND DOWN THE OTHER SIDE…


…ok (teeth are now very clenched)


I was MAD!! But I was also intimidated…..interesting.



And then I really looked at these two ladies…they looked as disgusted as I did. I ventured a comment …I said, “ I bet this is not what you signed up to do is it?”


Blond TSA said, ABSOLUTELY NOT. IT HAS BEEN TERRIBLE.






Short TSA said, as she was outlining my breasts, YOU CAN’T IMAGINE HOW IT HAS BEEN. PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SO ANGRY AND ABUSIVE. SOME HAVE CRIED. I ALWAYS APOLOGIZE AND TRY TO MAKE THIS AS FAST AND PAINLESS AS I CAN BUT IT IS NOT GOOD.


I ended up telling them both that I was sorry too that we had all come to this. I told them that it was hard being the messengers…administration needed to spend some time in their shoes. They both laughed. Short TSA asked WAS IT TOO AWFUL? I just said I was ok.


They both led me out to MR. TSA agent …I told them to try and have a good day…blond TSA just rolled her eyes and smiled….there are no good days at the airport anymore.






MR TSA then took my boarding pass and driver’s license to further check me out on THE MAIN FRAME or something and told me to SIT HERE…..ok.






About 5 minutes later he returned, apologized for any INCONVENIENCE and said I could go. I looked into his eyes…he really did look sorry…as he turned to leave his shoulders slumped a little.


I put on my shoes….stuffed my plastic bag in my suitcase…and with my CONE OF SHAME still firmly around my neck I walked to my gate.



In the end I am grateful for this experience. It has caused me to question. I wonder how far I can be pushed? Evidently I can be pushed into a scanner,  and pushed into a room to receive a very enhanced PAT DOWN,  and pushed into a chair to wait in my socks for my PAPERS.


I was intimidated in the airport. Not by guns, or torture, or even YELLING.  I learned that I am a great talker but not a very great walker.


I have a new, profound respect for those people who have stood up to tyranny under far more terrible threats to livelihood and life.  I am in awe of all those who have been willing to give up everything, even their lives, for their freedom.  I got a glimmer of what that commitment requires... and it is not for the faint of heart.






I turned,  saw myself with new eyes…..and found I was wanting.

 
 
 
 
 

16 comments:

  1. oh. i sit here with tears in my eyes. god damn the government godDAMN them.

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  2. I'm sorry, but you've got it wrong, Ellis. It's not goddamn the government. It's goddamn the terrorists who have made all this necessary. As for me and mine, I would rather go through this humility (yes, and watch my family go through it too) than to be blown out of the sky by a person who looks just like anyone else--and isn't.

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  3. So now the airlines are safer, but the determined terrorists will move on to "softer" targets, like Times Square, Xmas tree lighting ceremonies and cargo bombs.

    Next attack - shopping centers, schools, cruise ships, sports events, subways, tunnels, buses, airport security lines to name but a few.

    We cannot possibly catch every attempt by screening, but we can humiliate millions of people and help bankrupt already hurting commercial aviation companies.

    Fire 25,000 TSA clerks, dump the scanners and pat-downs, bring in dogs, and give the saved money to the FBI & CIA, who can actually catch terrorists (maybe).

    I, for one, won't fly until this travesty is lifted.

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  4. Thank you for this article.

    We're all found wanting lately... it's time for us to stop allowing them to push us. It's time to stand firm... and then, push back.

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  5. Nothing's ever going to change until we do a CLEAN SWEEP of the government, dismantle this broken-ass, sorry excuse of a department for "homeland security" and its nasty subsidiary services, and start paying attention to what we're acting like as a nation in the world. Our foreign policy sucks, and we are globally regarded as war-mongering bullies. We need to do a better job of listening to what other sovereign nations are telling us, and accept the feedback gratefully, as an opportunity for improvement and open communication.

    And finally, we need to re-read and re-commit to what Roosevelt told us in 1941 in the State of the Union address -- the "four freedoms" that everyone in the world should enjoy:

    1. Freedom of speech and expression
    2. Freedom of worship
    3. Freedom from want
    4. Freedom from fear

    Guess what? We're failing badly on at least three of the four.

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  6. And by "them" I mean the statists control freaks. This is not about "protection". This is about control. We're cattle, and they're putting us in our place...

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  7. I can't believe that there are people so naive to believe that this is for security. I guess they are very trusting of the people working in and on the plane who do not go through any daily security checks like passengers do. Not much commonsense there.

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  8. " December 4, 2010 9:29 AM
    Anonymous said...

    I'm sorry, but you've got it wrong, Ellis. It's not goddamn the government. It's goddamn the terrorists who have made all this necessary. As for me and mine, I would rather go through this humility (yes, and watch my family go through it too) than to be blown out of the sky by a person who looks just like anyone else--and isn't."

    There are none so blind as they who WILL NOT see. The terrorists are no longer the threat, your own democratically elected government is the threat, the threat to your liberty. If you are prepared to accept this for the illusion of security what are you not prepared to accept?

    The 2012 election has been postponed due to the threat of an imminent terrorist attack.

    You papers --- please.

    Call DHS for your clearance number 72 hours before you plan to leave your town or county, failure to comply is punishable by forfeiture of all assets and property and 1 year in a re-education facility.

    You are ordered to report to the examining station to determine if you will be allowed to live for the next 5 year life-period.

    And do not say "it can't happen here", go to an airport and see for yourself.

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  9. its about creating a union,obmee needs to say something in the next campaign,but there won't be alot of takers,just the leftovers

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  10. I don't want their "security" - I want MY RIGHTS. The government has crossed another important line, but this is far from over.

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  11. You CAVED! I'm so disappointed. That's the problem... people are sheeple. They talk a big game, and when it comes down to it, they give in, just like you did. If nobody gave in, there would be no more scanners. I'm very upset.. not only with what you had to go through, but the fact that you elected to go through it.

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  12. Mary NOT ANONYMOUS TaggartDecember 4, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    Anyone who seriously thinks these procedures make us safer is seriously stupid, and frankly, does not deserve freedom. But they will not get to give MY rights away because of their craven cowardice and stupidity. This is about control, not security.

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  13. During a telehphone chatt with Lott's Wife (my sister in case any DHS folks are interested in profiling our whole family) about her excellent airport adventure she wondered what would happen if 500 or so would-be passengers showed up at the security gate in burkas?

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  14. As Lot's Wife I learned a great lesson. I did not OPT OUT in order to avoid the PAT DOWN. I got THE PAT DOWN anyway. Trust me when I say...if I fly again I will OPT OUT and I will decline a PRIVATE search. Now that I know what it entails I will hold firm to my principles. We must retain what control we can no matter how small.

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  15. ...I guess I'm a midwife...that is so exactly the story of the she-eple (get it?) when they are pregnant and full of ideals and then get to the hospital only to be molested and unable to stand up to THE ESTABLISHMENT. It is hard. We do like to do what's RIGHT and we think that if THEY are all doing it, it must be right. THEY must be out for our best interest. They are going to save us in the skies and they are going to save our babies.

    It does give you a new respect for people strong enough not only to walk the walk, but walk into things like tear gas...all we can do is keep trying to do what we think is right.

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  16. "It's not goddamn the government. It's goddamn the terrorists who have made all this necessary. As for me and mine, I would rather go through this humility (yes, and watch my family go through it too) than to be blown out of the sky by a person who looks just like anyone else--and isn't." . . . Sorry, but YOU got it wrong . . .What so many of us fail to recognize is that all this "Screening, Scanning, Pat-Downing and generally unreasonable searching and seizure is occuring on DOMESTIC FLIGHTS . . . Think about that . . .these are flights traveling from one city to another, from one state to another . . . the MAJORITY of the people on these flights are CITIZENS of our country. Ordinary, law abiding CITIZENS . . yet we must ALL be treated as terrorists, undergoing humiliations,and violations of our bodies and of our rights . .. Why? So that they can stop "terrorists" . . . Imagine, if you would, if we put the same amount of time, money and government oversight into protecting and controlling our INTERNATIONAL BORDERS . . . If we plug the holes in our borders, it would greatly reduce the risk of terrorism WITHIN our borders. On INTERNATIONAL flights, and at INTERNATIONAL border crossings EVERYONE should be thoroughly searched, interviewed, questioned, identity verified, cavity searched and scanned . . .BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU'VE been or WHO you really are . . . it is not unreasonable to distrust someone who is coming from another country and wanting to gain access to OUR country . . . However, it is wholly different to distrust a CITIZEN of our country who is traveling DOMESTICALLY from one state/city to another WITHIN the countries borders. There is no reason why Citizens should need to be put through a rigorous search of their belongings and bodies . . .they SHOULD have already been vetted so to speak. I am not advocating that we should have NO security at airports .. .bags should be x-rayed, metal detectors used . . common sense says that this does make us safer . . however, it reaches the point of absurdity when we ALL must be treated as terrorists, interviewed, felt up and down and naked scanned . .just to go see G-ma in Florida . . . Save the scans for the millions who cross into our country every year with little more than a wave through and a smile . . .

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