Airport Security vs. Being Admitted into Prison: A Comparison

 

Passing through airport security seems more and more like being admitted into prison. First they confiscate two things: anything remotely sharp and… your belt. Then you’re standing in line with a bunch of barefoot people holding up their pants up with one hand and their sole possessions in the other. The travelers who passed through security hours earlier are looking on and chanting “Fresh fish! Fresh fish!”

Upon reflection, that last part doesn’t sound plausible enough to deem reliable memory. But you get the idea.

Air travel stopped being something to dress up for more than a generation ago. Tank tops, shorts, fish with slacks are now commonplace, even in first class.

But just because the culture made air travel more difficult to enjoy doesn’t mean the government had to ensure it could never be so.

An example. Last week while flying out of LAX they tried to confiscate my hair gel because I had six ounces of it in my carry-on bag. (I didn’t let them take it — I just put it in my hair where, apparently, it’s legal).

Contrast this with the much more sensible protocols in Europe (where I lived and flew around for five years) where “Guilty until proven innocent” is not policy. And yet they get the job done better than our vaunted TSA.

This new reflexive risk-aversion is evident everywhere, from the flimsy plastic forks which are no match for the the lasagna to peanut bags which warn us that “These peanuts were processed in a facility that produces nuts.”

The overall effect on passengers is a chilling one. Contrast how exciting it once was to board a plane  to how humorless we are now. Recently I was boarding a plane in Burbank and I politely asked the gentlemen in the seat behind me if he would mind swapping seats with me so that his wife and I could sit together.

Like I said, no sense of humor.

There are 36 comments.

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  1. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Top form, Dave!  I’m laughing out loud and shaking my head in disbelief at the same time…Good to see you here; don’t be a stranger.

    Update:  “Main Feed/Home”, Woo-Hoo!

    • #1
  2. user_1029039 Member
    user_1029039
    @JasonRudert

    I’ve wondered whether you were using some other name.
    What we need next is a written tutorial (no videos) on how to juggle when only one of your arms works. And you’re drunk.

    • #2
  3. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Your post caught my attention with the mention of LAX- the hub of Gestapo tactics instigated by an unusually high number of terrorist threats. I recently spent an additional $25o to avoid this haven of transportation to fly in and out of John Wayne.

    As an aside, wouldn’t you just love flying into O’Hare, Dulles, JFK, and Atlanta Intntl in the near future with the joy of knowing what TSA personnel are now required to do?

    • #3
  4. user_1026136 Inactive
    user_1026136
    @BeHappy

    TSA – To Stupid (for) Arbys

    • #4
  5. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Be Happy:TSA – To Stupid (for) Arbys

    I disagree with this. Those people have an impossible job and it’s about to get a lot more challenging.

    • #5
  6. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Is it too much to ask for a fresh pair of gloves after the ebola patient?

    • #6
  7. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Is it too much to ask for a less fresh TSA after the ebola patient?

    • #7
  8. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    The King Prawn:Is it too much to ask for a fresh pair of gloves after the ebola patient?

    Interesting that the unions didn’t go after Obama for forcing TSA agents to deal with possibly contagious incoming as opposed to cutting off all flights from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea. I would have taken it a step further and cut off all Western and Central African passports arriving from any international airport.

    • #8
  9. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    EThompson
    The King Prawn:Is it too much to ask for a fresh pair of gloves after the ebola patient?

    Interesting that the unions didn’t go after Obama for forcing TSA agents to deal with possibly contagious incoming as opposed to cutting off all flights from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea. I would have taken it a step further and cut off all Western and Central African passports arriving from any international airport.

    I see the people that clean planes at LaGuardia are on strike.

    • #9
  10. user_541971 Member
    user_541971
    @DavidDeeble

    Gentlemen, if you ever want to get out of the pat-down you just have to know your rights and remember these two words: “female assist”. I look them right in the eye and I say “Listen: I’m gay and I don’t feel comfortable being patted-down by another man. It’s too arousing. Then I insist on being patted down by a woman – preferably a leggy blonde in equestrian boots.

    • #10
  11. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Blondie:EThompson The King Prawn:Is it too much to ask for a fresh pair of gloves after the ebola patient?

    Interesting that the unions didn’t go after Obama for forcing TSA agents to deal with possibly contagious incoming as opposed to cutting off all flights from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea. I would have taken it a step further and cut off all Western and Central African passports arriving from any international airport.

    I see the people that clean planes at LaGuardia are on strike.

    For the first time in my virulently anti-union life, I would say I don’t blame them. My husband and I are both flying into Dallas and JFK this week and are uncertain about what to do as the CDC is apparently more concerned about protecting African PR than educating the U.S. public.

    A wild guess, here: Ebola is currently being marketed as AIDS was in the early 80s- a random disease that could strike just about anybody. As it turned out, AIDS was very much limited to cartels of promiscuous homosexual men and junkies, but none of us knew that then.

    • #11
  12. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    Oh, “Boots.” I misread that the first time.

    It makes more sense, your way.

    • #12
  13. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    They fondle the dead as well.

    • #13
  14. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    David Deeble:Gentlemen, if you ever want to get out of the pat-down you just have to know your rights and remember these two words: “female assist”. I look them right in the eye and I say “Listen: I’m gay and I don’t feel comfortable being patted-down by another man. It’s too arousing. Then I insist on being patted down by a woman – preferably a leggy blonde in equestrian boots.

    I’ve been the victim of pat-downs from some pretty nasty looking women; what would be your advice to heterosexual females?

    • #14
  15. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    TSA motto: “It puts the laptop on the belt or it gets the glove.”

    • #15
  16. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    EThompson: I’ve been the victim of pat-downs from some pretty nasty looking women; what would be your advice to heterosexual females?

    It won’t work. The last time I flew I requested the best looking male agent I could spot, declaring loudly it had been a long time since I’d been patted down by a “hunk.” But they sent a young chick about 25 or so, and she just laughed and said, “you’re outta here lady” as she parked my wheel chair by the loading door. She didn’t pat me down either.

    • #16
  17. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Kay of MT:

    EThompson: I’ve been the victim of pat-downs from some pretty nasty looking women; what would be your advice to heterosexual females?

    The last time I flew I requested the best looking male agent I could spot

    You tried. I’ve got to respect the effort.

    • #17
  18. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Hi Dave! Es freut mich sehr, Dich endlich hier zu sehen. LG an Sabine und die Deeblings.

    • #18
  19. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Here’s an odd comment interface problem. It won’t let me type using the normal font, but as soon as I hit bold, italic or underline it does. What’s the source of that ?

    • #19
  20. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Hartmann von Aue: die Deeblings.

    HvA: Wie sagen Sie “the *darling*  Deeblings” auf Deutsch, bitte sehr?

    • #20
  21. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Nanda Panjandrum:

    Hartmann von Aue: die Deeblings.

    HvA: Wie sagen Sie “the *darling* Deeblings” auf Deutsch, bitte sehr?

    Kommt drauf an, was man damit meint. If you mean “object of affection or fond feelings” then “die lieben Deeblings”. If your mean “adorable, cute” then “die niedlichen Deeblings.”

    • #21
  22. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Hartmann von Aue: Kommt drauf an, was man damit meint. If you mean “object of affection or fond feelings” then “die lieben Deeblings”. If your mean “adorable, cute” then “die niedlichen Deeblings.”

    Both senses apply, actually; I guess I’m not as rusty as I thought, since I could read and comprehend your comment.  I’ll keep this one for future, frequent use, if you don’t mind…Vielen Dank!

    • #22
  23. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

                      I just put it in my hair where, apparently, it’s legal

    Awesome.  That conjures up all kinds of ideas.

    • #23
  24. Blue State Blues Member
    Blue State Blues
    @BlueStateBlues

    Six ounces of gel in your hair, all at once?

    Eeeeeewwwwwwww.

    • #24
  25. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    You must have went to a better prison than I did. While there are some similarities the prison had a much more intensive delousing and cavity search programs. On the other-hand the prison food was better than airline food and cheaper too.

    • #25
  26. x Inactive
    x
    @CatoRand

    Blondie:EThompson The King Prawn:Is it too much to ask for a fresh pair of gloves after the ebola patient?

    Interesting that the unions didn’t go after Obama for forcing TSA agents to deal with possibly contagious incoming as opposed to cutting off all flights from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea. I would have taken it a step further and cut off all Western and Central African passports arriving from any international airport.

    I see the people that clean planes at LaGuardia are on strike.

    Haven’t they always been on strike?

    • #26
  27. user_541971 Member
    user_541971
    @DavidDeeble

    The King Prawn:They fondle the dead as well.

    #MeetTheParentsMoment

    • #27
  28. user_541971 Member
    user_541971
    @DavidDeeble

    EThompson:

    David Deeble:Gentlemen, if you ever want to get out of the pat-down you just have to know your rights and remember these two words: “female assist”. I look them right in the eye and I say “Listen: I’m gay and I don’t feel comfortable being patted-down by another man. It’s too arousing. Then I insist on being patted down by a woman – preferably a leggy blonde in equestrian boots.

    I’ve been the victim of pat-downs from some pretty nasty looking women; what would be your advice to heterosexual females?

    EThompson: Just blink your eyes at the male of your choice. But you already knew that.


    The King Prawn
    :They fondle the dead as well.

    #MeetTheParentsMoment

    • #28
  29. user_541971 Member
    user_541971
    @DavidDeeble

    Hartmann von Aue:Hi Dave! Es freut mich sehr, Dich endlich hier zu sehen. LG an Sabine und die Deeblings.

    Hartmann von Aue: Wer bist du?


    EThompson
    :

    David Deeble:Gentlemen, if you ever want to get out of the pat-down you just have to know your rights and remember these two words: “female assist”. I look them right in the eye and I say “Listen: I’m gay and I don’t feel comfortable being patted-down by another man. It’s too arousing. Then I insist on being patted down by a woman – preferably a leggy blonde in equestrian boots.

    I’ve been the victim of pat-downs from some pretty nasty looking women; what would be your advice to heterosexual females?

    EThompson: Just blink your eyes at the male of your choice. But you already knew that.


    The King Prawn
    :They fondle the dead as well.

    #MeetTheParentsMoment

    • #29
  30. user_541971 Member
    user_541971
    @DavidDeeble

    Hartmann von Aue:Hi Dave! Es freut mich sehr, Dich endlich hier zu sehen. LG an Sabine und die Deeblings.

    Ah, ein…. “multi-spracher” oder etwas? Kennst du mich?


    Hartmann von Aue
    :Hi Dave! Es freut mich sehr, Dich endlich hier zu sehen. LG an Sabine und die Deeblings.

    Hartmann von Aue: Wer bist du?


    EThompson
    :

    David Deeble:Gentlemen, if you ever want to get out of the pat-down you just have to know your rights and remember these two words: “female assist”. I look them right in the eye and I say “Listen: I’m gay and I don’t feel comfortable being patted-down by another man. It’s too arousing. Then I insist on being patted down by a woman – preferably a leggy blonde in equestrian boots.

    I’ve been the victim of pat-downs from some pretty nasty looking women; what would be your advice to heterosexual females?

    EThompson: Just blink your eyes at the male of your choice. But you already knew that.


    The King Prawn
    :They fondle the dead as well.

    #MeetTheParentsMoment

    • #30

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