Say hello to the holiday season! It’s a merry time of the year when people all around the world follow tradition and come together to spend their vacations stranded in airports sleeping next to complete strangers. This means then, that there will be hordes of people queuing up to walk through security machines designed to make certain that the travelers don’t have plans to make a mess of themselves by exploding in public.
Depending on the size of the airport, and the city in which the airport is located, the lines to get through these machines can range from a wait time of just a few moments to hours of mindless mulling around in stocking feet. At some airports, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll have grown a beard and gone grey by the time you actually get pulled out of the line by the TSA agent, pushed though a machine to the side, and thoroughly frisked.
Being frisked is an interesting experience. First they’ll start with a wand, to make sure you don’t have any metal objects capable of piercing the delicate skin of the TSA agent who is about to feel you up. As soon as they’ve given you the once over with the wand, they begin to grope, running their hands up and down your torso, then your legs. Normally, if a man touched me anywhere near the gentleman’s vegetables, I’d put him down. In this instance, though, slugging the agent in the Adam’s apple is not allowed… it’s frowned upon, even.
The most interesting thing about this experience is that it is done in plain sight of everyone around you. Therefore, not only do you have to submit to an authorized groping, you will have it done in public.
Most travelers would agree that these machines and public gropings are a necessary evil. They’ll tell you that even though the queues can be a nuisance, they’ll submit to the machines and the gropings rather than go swimming after their planes have come to a sudden, fiery stop somewhere above the Atlantic ocean.
This year, though, the TSA agents have a new gizmo. This machine has been coined a “body scanner”. I’m fairly certain the name was contrived by one of those mustachioed men who shoot dirty movies in the San Fernando Valley and that the TSA stole the machine from the CIA or some other sort of black operations agency. Not only will this machine allow the agents to see the massive amount of guns, knives, swords, bombs and nuclear warheads the average person carries with them, but (as the media would have you believe), it is also capable of showing to the agents your wife’s naughty bits, in all their bedroom glory.
As one can imagine, the media has gotten a hold of this gem and will not let it go. They’ve convinced a group of idiots that the TSA won’t be looking for weapons at all. These dumb asses believe that instead of agents, the TSA now employs pervert mouth breathers who will be more concerned with which man’s wife has the most shapely areolas than the safety of the plane’s inhabitants. What’s worse, is that they have decided to protest the use of the “body scanner” and refuse to submit to the scans. In doing so, they think they’ll make a difference. They think they’ll hold up the flights. And they might, for a short while. Until the airline companies decide that they’re fed up with dealing with these tools and decide to let the planes take off without them, refuse to refund their money because they’re being difficult and tell them to shove off.
Which is what they should do.
I think that any person worth their weight would agree that a few moments disruption is worth making sure terrorist wackjobs don’t end up making life miserable for everyone else. I also maintain that the embarrassment caused by walking through a “body scanner” is worth keeping the public safe. This means that the people who are protesting are not only inconsiderate, selfish and rude, but they can also be said to have little respect for human life.
What about the application of some law that demands airline travelers submit to these scans? There are laws in place for people traveling in cars. Refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test and your vehicle gets impounded, you get a free ride in the back of a squad car, and you have the pleasure of spending the night in the county’s own version of the Hilton. It’s like admitting you’re in the wrong, without ever actually incriminating yourself. Why can’t we do that here? Why can’t the TSA say that if you refuse a body scan, you get labeled a terrorist and arrested. Just for the night. Long enough to make you miss your plane so that you have to shell out the money for a new ticket. (Unless, of course, you are found to really be a terrorist, in which case we should remove your skin and bathe you in saltwater). Of course, the airline should be allowed to keep the money from the ticket you forfeited.
Who are these protesters anyway?
I caught a glimpse of an interview with a couple of these protesters and have decided that the people who actually are protesting should not only be embarrassed of their nude bodies, they should be absolutely ashamed. These people shouldn’t even be allowed in public, let alone an airline. I can honestly say that if I were the TSA agent assigned to look at the pictures of these people, I would sue for mistreatment of employees. They should employ the sub-human prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to monitor these pictures. It’d be a better torture treatment than waterboarding. Maybe that’s why the machine was developed in the first place though. Physically touching these people to frisk them would be so grotesque that scanning them for weapons really is the better choice.
What’s more is that I don’t even want these people on the same airplane as me, because chances are I will, at some point, be forced to at least look at one of them. And I want to that as much as I want to fist fight a polar bear that’s been dipped in kerosene and ignited.
Then there’s the off chance that I’d have to sit next to one of them. I take issue with that, because of the problem created by their blubber spilling over into my lap and the fact that they’d probably want to converse with me. I would become personally offended by the entire experience. They’d want to tell me all about where they’re going, who they’re visiting and then show me pictures of their ugly children who should be killed with fire. I would not be able to handle it.
My head would explode. And that’s exactly what the airlines are trying to prevent in the first place.