Saturday, August 26, 2006

I'M TRAVELING; ERGO, AIRPORT RANTING TIME -- WITH UPDATE

The rest of the world is wanting the United States to start using Racial Profiling in its war against terrorism.

This post is not going to be a statement either way, as this is not a political blog. But I just wanted to say that while we do NOT conduct racial profiling, and certain people may or may not be searched on a random basis; I just want to assure the rest of the world that my sweet little mother will not ever again be able to sneak a bomb on board a plane.

I know, I can hear your sighs of relief.

Because my little gray-haired mama (which is dyed brown, but that's another story) made the mistake of undergoing a knee replacement last year, she can never travel by air without being throroughly wanded, probed and searched.

Before going through the metal detector yesterday, she told the agent she had a knee replacement. He waved her on through.

bee bee beeeee beee beeee

They asked her to step to the side and the TSA agent called for "female assist". A seemingly nice lady came over and brought my mom to the conveyor belt and asked her to point out her possessions. Mom started to pick up her jacket and touched my father's shoulder.

The nice female TSA agent immediately morphed into a Gestapo officer.

Female TSA Agent (Brusquely): Do NOT touch anything or anyone. That is why I told you to point them out!!

My Mom, Dad and I turned to look at the Kommandant. "Seriously?" I asked, just barely escaping Gitmo for my brashness.

We soon watched as Mom assumed the position as she was being wanded, and then watched as her belongings were meticulously searched.

I observed another agent following the same procedure with a gentleman who appeared to be slightly older than my mother.

Go to sleep tonight, America, safe in the knowledge that these people will always been thorougly screened each time they fly, so they can no longer be a threat to your security.

UPDATE: While waiting for church to start on Sunday, I was digging around in my purse for an ink pen, and in the bottom, found a knife/corkscrew combination tool. I had it with me a week or so ago when I'd gone to an outdoor concert so I could open a bottle of wine. I forgot all about it, and while my mother was being thoroughly wanded and probed by the TSA agents at the airport, I apparently snuck this by the screeners:




On our return trip, we were running a little behind time, so I dropped Mom and Dad off at the terminal before I returned the car. I explained that gave Mom some extra time to get through security.

After driving to the car rental place, returning it, and taking the shuttle back to the airport, I checked in and went to find my parents. I found Dad, who informed me that Mom had just finished with security a few minutes earlier and had gone to the ladies' room to collect herself. He said they had taken a very long time with her. She joined us just then and told me that her sweater was the problem. I looked and noticed she had teeny tiny silver metallic bits woven into the fabric. Duh!

Gotta wonder how many knives snuck through while they were wanding my elderly mother's knee and sweater, making sure she wasn't sneaking something on board.

11 comments:

Jeff Meyerson said...

Sly, this is no surprise. I saw a little old lady older than your mother barely moving WITH A WALKER being forced to remove her shoes and get wanded.

I feel much safer now.

/end sarcasm

Leetie said...

*test post*

I'm still having issues with Blogger. :(

Leetie said...

And (((hugs to your parents)))

neophyte said...

Remember when we used to respect our elders, instead of inspect them? I am sorry your mother has to go through this.

Trillian DBB said...

"Knee replacement? Sure, like we haven't heard that before. We're gonna need a full cavity search over here."

neophyte said...

Glad they didn't find your cork scew. It was smart of you to use your mother as a decoy.

Kafaleni said...

aaarrrrgggghhhhh. Morons.

wysiwyg said...

BEADS?!? You Mother was trying to smuggle BEADS through security?

Doesn't she know that beads are WAY up on the list of terrorist tools? I mean, all you have to do is throw them on the floor like marbles and the air-marshall is rendered POWERLESS!

More seriously, though, I came across this article recently, which explains some of the hoo-hah around liquids on a plane, and things you can do to make the security experience a bit easier.

And more amusingly, this article, about awards for stupid security measures. Good to see Australia is topping the list for the "Most Egregiously Stupid" security measure. This is a backhanded reference to the fact that the Republican-like "Liberal" party not only won government, but has retained it for the past decade on its rabid anti-terrorist and boarder protection policies.

I never had a big brother while I was growing up, but good to see I have one now....

KDF said...

I agree, sly, the additional "security" measures are are a joke and totally useless. I found out midway through our flight last week that my daughter's chocolate milk came on board with us in her backpack, without anyone noticing.

The bottom line is that anybody who is willing to die for their "cause" will manage to find the loopholes in the system, and will get their nail scissors/pocketknives/electronic power sources/liquid explosives on board, every time. If we are going to attempt to deal with the problem by throwing money at it, maybe we should focus on policing the airplanes themselves, instead of filling the airport with National Guardsmen whose primary job seems to be intimidation of elderly women wearing metallic sweaters. It's ridiculous to think that any of this makes any difference to the relative safety of the actual airplanes, while they're in the air.

Mad Scientist said...

Once pre 9-11 I had a broken leg and had to fly from Miami to Atlanta. They did everything short of putting my leg with the cast on it through the xray machine. They searched the wheelchair all over when I got out of it. This was a wheelchair that belonged to the airport! Nothing they do on the ground will make me feel safer. As KDF said if someone is willing to die for their cause then they will succeed

rita said...

I think that additional airport "security" is simply a smokescreen that can be used if/when another disaster occurs: "See, we told you it would happen, we need to tighten security measures."

Meanwhile, I've happily knit across this country and across the Atlantic (oh, okay, I drank a lot of wine and slept through most of those two flights) while carrying bamboo skewers (size 1 double-point needles) and other deadly knitting weapons.

But not a pair of scissors.