Sunday, June 24, 2012


So, I got patted down by a blue shirt in an airport in Florida this week.  My first pat down.  Apparently I either didn’t stand still enough in the porno-radiation machine or I didn’t keep my mouth properly shut.  I’m guessing it was the latter.
Twice in the past three months, we’ve flown out of Phoenix Sky Harbor and walked through metal detectors on our way to visit our ill father.  And twice, as we left our hearts with the suffering family in Florida, we were sent through an airport scanner on our way back home.  This time, I’d had enough.
I walked into the spinning cylinder and simultaneously threw my hands in the air and a look at the pseudo official.  Let me just interject here:  my dog does on the horizontal what we are forced to do in the vertical in those machines.  She lies down on her back, front paws up, legs spread apart, and tells me in canine body language that she is at my mercy, she knows it, and she surrenders.  I am not a dog.   I.Hate.That.Position.  It’s humiliating at every level.  Especially at eye level with blue shirts watching.
They finished radiating me and the agent reached out to take my hand.  I declined impolitely—I know, hard to believe a fake redhead like me could have bad manners—and told him to leave me alone.  I made it six feet past him, walked by a female blue shirt and heard her say, “Just a minute.”  She looked back at the guy I’d just passed.  “I need to pat down your right arm,” she said to me.
Really.  Just my right arm. 
Now I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.  You can just imagine the things I would have loved to say at that point.  Things like, “Thank goodness you only want to pat down my right arm, because it’s my left arm you should be worried about.”  But I didn’t.  That’s how I know God is at work in my life.
So I stuck out my right arm and she patted it down.  And America was saved again from a middle-aged redhead in grayhair denial whose pudgy right arm looked suspiciously like a concealed weapon.  Well, I did take second place in a karate competition that one time.  
“Have a nice day,” she said as she released my arm.
“Whatever,” I answered bitterly.
“Whatever,” she replied professionally.  And then we both felt better.
She, because they put me in my place.  And me, because I refused to just smile sweetly at ignorant employees while they stripped me of my dignity, my privacy, my health and some terminally ill constitutional rights.
But, hey.  It’s all in the name of safety. And airport security means we ‘are now free to move about the country.’

Photo courtesy of Thomas Hawk's photostream, 


  1. I'm really looking forward to the flight to conference. You have to give me some advice on how to deal with all this crap. Clearly, I should leave the sarcasm at home, eh?

  2. It things like this that convinced us to drive the 15 hours (not counting the stops) with an infant rather than suffer through TSA's security theater. Don't get me started on the righteous outrage of my beloved husband - sample quote "I fought to defend THIS?" I suspect that it will be a long while before we are willing to bother with flying again. But I applaud your unwillingness to just take it with a smile.

    1. I need the applause! I really have had enough. And the more I read through facebook links to groups like Freedom To Fly USA, and We Won't Fly, the more furious I become at what has become of us.

  3. I'm with ya. Terminally ill constitutional rights amen. But the porno radiation line? That had me snort-giggling. Tweeted it and stumbled it.

    I refuse to fly so yeah, I'll miss funerals, weddings, and other important events. Oh well. If I want my naked body in a database somewhere, I'm getting paid for it. ;) I do think however, that we need to keep bitching about these 'safety measures' gone Orwellian on us.

    1. Love that I made you snort-giggle! I told my husband that maybe I should just save them a lot of trouble and carry a photo of myself naked in my wallet. It would serve them right. ;)

  4. OMG my comment just disappeared. ARRRRRG. Let me try again. And I'm not anonymous. I'm zencherry and have told it 3 times. (Pant, pant, frizzy hair rant)

    I'm with ya on the airline's safety measures. The porno radiation machine line had me snort giggling so I tweeted and stumbled it. :)

    Can't remember the rest but went on a rant about Orwellian safety measures and how we need to keep bitching about all of these 'safety' measures. ACK I hate it when a comment disappears. It's a plot I tell ya. ;)

    1. It probably IS a plot! Although, by the magic of . . . something . . . both your comments have been retained. I keep trying to prove on other websites that I Am Not A Robot and I can copy their scrambled letters and validate my existence, but half the time they blow me off, too. I'm blaming that on the TSA, too, while I'm at it. :) I'll keep ranting, but I'm going to have to give up on flying, I'm afraid. The sad part is, this invasion of our privacy is slithering out into all areas of public transportation even as we speak.

  5. Before I go further, I must say, I love your post -- not only the message, but your way of writing it, too.

    I was forced to go on a business trip a couple of years ago. I've since decided that business simply isn't worth it. I won't say, Never Again, because we all know where that gets us. But, I will say, Not Likely.

    By the way, I'm not allowed to greet my husband with a quick "Hi" on any commercial airplane. But my hubby, Jack, understands. :)

    1. I've enjoyed flying since I was a kid and went up in four seater Cessnas with my dad. But there's a reason no one looks happy anymore in an airport. Even if people think giving up their privacy makes them safer, no one enjoys being treated like a criminal undeservedly. We aren't safer with TSA security - we're in serious danger.

      I really appreciate your encouragement about my writing, Yvonne! And kudos to your husband (and mine) for understanding our hearts, huh?