This Thanksgiving, try a full-body scan with a side of grope 6

As if high prices, airport food, and the threat of “Eat, Pray, Love” as your in-flight movie weren’t enough to make you consider staying home for Thanksgiving, flyers now get to choose between two equally distasteful anti-terrorism options before shoehorning themselves into their seats.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the news (I do, so you don’t have to), these are your options: a full-body scan, or a full-body grope. If it makes you feel any better, remember that both are done by someone who couldn’t make the cut to become a mall cop.

I don’t know about you but by my lights, a turkey sandwich at home is sounding better and better (and I’m vegetarian).

The scanners use X-ray technology to produce an image of the body’s outer several centimeters; this allows TSA employees to basically look under passengers’ clothes without ever touching them. This sounds very much like the x-ray specs I bought when I was a kid. Hope the scanners work better than the specs – those were a total rip-off. I should have gone with the sea monkeys.

The TSA says the scanners leave little to the imagination but are “relatively” anonymous. However, when similar machines were introduced at London’s Heathrow Airport earlier this year, it took only two months for the first sexual-harassment lawsuit to be filed. A young woman there got upset when a guard commented on her breasts after seeing her scan. So, apparently TSA’s definition of “relatively” actually means “holy moley – check these out!”

Option two is what TSA calls an “enhanced pat-down.” I read the description — what TSA calls an enhanced pat-down is what we used to call “getting to second base.”

Neither option is exactly popular, and some people are voicing their displeasure. John Tyner of Oceanside, Calif., has become a folk hero to some after posting a video he shot when he refused both the scan and the grope.

Tyner was trying to fly out of San Diego’s Lindbergh Field when he was selected at random for a scan. He refused, calling the scan intrusive. TSA’s reaction was pure federal government: Intrusive? We got yer intrusive, pal; step right over here.

When the TSA staffer detailed the enhanced pat-down, Tyner told the guy, “You touch my junk and I’m going to have you arrested.” This was an immediate red flag for screeners, because Tyner is a software engineer and not a dealer in scrap metal.

Tyner ended up missing his flight and being thrown out of the airport. He now faces a possible federal fine.

This is all in the name of safety, you understand. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, “It’s all about security. It’s all about everybody recognizing their role.” Speaking for myself, scan me or grope me — just don’t make me watch a Julia Roberts movie.

Advertisements

6 comments

  1. I think I’m going to buy me a ticket and keep going in and out of the checkpoint until I get a happy ending. I’m lonely and it’s been a while since I’ve been groped!

  2. I am going to put on my baggiest raincoat and just lurk near the security standpoint. Watching. Oh yes, watching so very closely.

  3. I’m gonna drop a Viagra on the way to the airport and let them scan “the cannon” – a whole new lease on flashing!!!! That fold down tray is going to be a problem though!

  4. “Excuse me Mr Catfish on our full body scan it appears you have a cucumber in your pants. Either that or an Armadillo. You will have remove it. What, you say that’s not a cucumber, you’re just happy to see us TSA people?”

    My apologies to Spinal Tap and to Mae West.

  5. “Hope the scanners work better than the specs – those were a total rip-off. I should have gone with the sea monkeys.” Very well played, sir

  6. If I’m gonna be an unpaid skinflick star, I at least want an incongruous boinka-chikka ’70s porn soundtrack to accompany my scan. (“Ohhhh yeahhhh!”) And Jeff, let’s be for real: You’d totally enjoy this — probably even conspicuously place a copy of the Qur’an on the conveyor belt to ensure the “enhanced patdown” treatment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s