Thursday, June 23, 2011

We Interrupt This Broadcast...

...for a "man on the scene" report on the TSA. Roving MArooned reporter SCI-FI recently traveled to sunny Texas to attend Phlegmfest 2011, and was kind enough to provide this eyewitness report of enduring the Transporation Security Agency.

Here's his report:
As part of my never-ending job as MArooned's roving correspondent, I was recently deployed to the wilds of Texas to attend PhlegmPhest 2011. I'll submit THAT field report after Jay pays my expense report -- in the meantime, he asked about my trip through TSA. That story is a freebie:

MrsSCI-FI and I got to the airport early for our free grope, mainly because I refuse the nudie-scanners, but also because we had unorthodox traveling companions: six fat lobsters chilled in frozen vegetables.
(Yes, live lobsters. Yes, on a plane.)
[Ed.: I've had about enough of these motherf**king lobsters on this motherf**king plane!]
My wife and I approached the Guardians of the Gate, watching as the Trail Boss and his men herded cattle through the nudie-scanner. We stripped ourselves of anything not safe for airplane travel: bags, cellphones, shoes, dignity, etc, and explained to Guard #1 that the carry-on contains 6 very fat, very live lobsters: "Do these get hand inspected, or do we put them on the belt?"
[Ed.: I am impressed they were not "confiscated" as "contraband". Or rubber band]
The guard stared, utterly nonplussed, and stated that they go on the belt with everything else. Great. Can't wait to see the expression on the X-Ray tech's face when the Six-Pack of Crustaceans rolls through.

Unfortunately, before the lobsters make their debut, we ran into the Trail Boss. MrsSCI-FI announced that she has a medical implant, and must be scanned by hand. Not "Maybe." Not "Scan her Anyway." Not "Subject to TSA override."

Trail Boss, however, knew better. "We get passengers with implants all the time. Just go through." Not a smiling, friendly comment; this was a variation on "Move your ass, you're holding up my line."
[Ed.: Lobsters, OTOH, get a pass]
She repeated her request for a pat-down, and Trail Boss repeated that she is going through the nudie-scanner.

At about the start of the third round of this, I held up my "STOP" hand and repeated what the Mrs had said. Wife, however, was having no problems at this point: she just flat wasn't going through, and the Trail Boss had had enough. He called for a female guard, and told my wife to stand to the side and wait.

Then I stepped up. He looked at me in a manner that I can only imagine Hitler would look at a Jewish mosquito: as if he had some innate "need" to destroy me for interrupting his browbeating.

Doubling-down on trouble, I stated flatly: "Pat down. No scanner." Trail Boss directed me to the "Get out of my way" line next to my wife, and called for a male guard. Somewhere on the scanner belt, our lobsters were laughing up their sleeves at our misadventures.

It's worth pointing out the following: after my wife had been paired off with her designated TSA groper, I saw a family get waved through with no scan. At least five people, one of them an infant, were waved past us all. No magnetometer, no nudie-scanner, no pat-down. I'm not even certain their carry-ons were x-rayed. I pressed the Trail Boss for an explanation: "Why are they just walking through?"

The answer was a load of crap: "We need to relieve congestion." (Wording *not* exact; but damned close.) I went so far as to gripe again (tripling-down on trouble?), but Trail Boss virtually ignored me. No further acknowledgement whatsoever.

After cooling my heels for about five minutes, I was handed off to my male groper. He asked me to point out my carry-on bags, which I did, including the case with the lobsters. He instructed me not to approach them, then took me aside, offered me the choice of doing the colonoscopy in the middle of the TSA checkpoint, or in a private office. I opted for the public grope. I silently wondered if the lobsters had died of boredom by this point.

This pat-down was unlike my previous grope (November 2010). This was rough, like I was being arrested. The more jostling I endured, the more angry I became. When he slid his hands up my inner thighs, each slide culminated in a solid hit on The Boys, port and starboard. I cleared my throat after the first hit, then louder after the second.

Total time for the pat-down was probably just under five minutes. Total cost was my dignity, my appearance (the prodding was enough to untuck my shirt), and two bruised nuts. I tucked my shirt in, grabbed my shoes and carry-on full of lobsters, and stalked off to meet my wife.

The lobsters, for what it's worth, were a hit at the party.

Hmmm. Unnecessary and punitive grope-downs. Ineffective and circumvented security procedures. And crustaceans. This report has everything! Thanks for the report, SCI-FI; that expense report should be approved shortly...

The TSA could not be reached for comment, relying on this audio press release...

That is all.


Marty said...

My trip last month, Dulles to Orlando and back, had no scan, or pat down, belt and metal detector only.

TSA was barely awake.

Teke said...

Going to Kalifornia in 2 months with work. San Diego the ugly underbelly.
Debating on public groping or scanners.

Teke said...

On another note. I found out my Father In-Law has considered being one of these. JBT's in Blue.
Granted I never felt that he had good judgment, morals, sense of patriotism, or honor. He's would probably fit right in.

... Gods Caliber - Disappointing Fathers Day Conversation ...

ASM826 said...

They will continue until they are stopped.

Peripatetic Engineer said...

Stanford Prison Experiment explains it all.

Anonymous said...

I watched a group of screeners ignore carry-on in order to coo over a cat in a carrier. This at the same airport hhere they patted down my head. Apparently my braid is radio-opaque and they've never seen bobby pins.

Julie said...

glad to hear that the lobsters survived their trying experience ... oh, this wasn't about lobsters?

Anonymous said...

ahhh well the lobsters survived.......

for about 10 hours more....


MrsSci Fi

Sideburns said...

My friend carried a hunt knife in his carry on for a few years between 2003 and 2006. They never noticed or at least never said a word.

The Neophyte said...

At least the lobsters got through. My nefarious snow globe from Vegas was confiscated as a possible "terrorist device". Perhaps it was due to the fact I was bringing "snow" to Florida or something.