Sunday, November 8, 2009

The S Word

There is a masochistic part of me that enjoys going through airport security. Not because it is fun to do. Hell no. It is awful. Taking off half of your clothes and taking half of your items out of your luggage is not fun.

I actually have an idea to speed it up though. I propose we have a security check in for nudists. I know, I know. Multiple posts on this very blog have seen me detailing my issues with those who feel it necessary to take off their clothes at every possible moment.

But when it comes to airport security, they already rifle through your toiletries, make you take off your clothes, and practically cop a feel on you as you try and get past them. So it really can't get much worse than it already is.

So let's set up a lane for people who don't mind walking through a metal detector naked. Nothing will beep. And you are free to go. Hurray. I feel like we could scan a lot more people at a much quicker pace.


If you feel comfortable enough to do it, more power to you. You would have to continue to go through the metal detector just to make sure you weren't hiding things in your... mouth.


Overall, I kind of doubt the effectiveness of the security check in. Mainly because to get into a bar in New York City the bouncer has to run my ID through an electronic validation scanner. But to get on an airplane they just... look at it.

The reason I enjoy the security line is because it takes people way out of their comfort zone. Everybody is in a rush and everybody is stressing. And that is hilarious to watch.


Shoes come off, laptops come out, coats, keys, and of course liquids all get removed. Everything gets its own bin. And passengers run back and forth along the the table trying to make sure everything gets into the scanner. It looks like that episode of I Love Lucy at the assembly line of the chocolate factory, hurrying to beat the pace of the rapidly running conveyor belt.


By the time you actually get to the other side of security it looks like a scene out of a 1st grade classroom at cleanup time. Everybody's stuff is all over the floor, nobody is wearing shoes, and nobody has a belt to hold their pants up.

After a recent trip where I only had 1 piece of carry on luggage, I was able to compile a list of things that won't arise suspicion with airport security in New York, but WILL in Denver.

1. Big plastic sword
2. Kenneth Cole Signature cologne
3. Hair Taffy

When the TSA woman in Denver asked to do a manual check of my bag I readily complied. I figured the pirate sword might raise some eyebrows, but I did not expect her to spend a full minute checking the "blade" and handle of the sword like it was a container for smuggling drugs.


Like I was Pablo Escobar trying to smuggle my cocaine out of Denver which everyone knows is the cocaine capital of Colorado.

Even if I was trying to smuggle drugs, do you really think a plastic pirate sword is the best option? I mean shouldn't it be something that doesn't look suspicious?

I would like to point out at this point that I do not regularly travel with a plastic sword. While I consider it to be a fantastic accessory to any outfit, I was traveling with it on this particular occasion because it was part of my Halloween costume that weekend.

When she gave up hope of finding contraband in my swashbuckling accessory, she put it down, gave me a sly smile and said, "Let's just put that here, we don't want to the police over here do we?"

Well, I mean, no. But why would the police come over? You realize the sword is not real right?

Right?


First of all, you already have x-rayed my sword (I never imagined writing that sentence) so why are you examining it by hand? Unless of course you don't trust the x-ray machine, and you yourself have a type of incredible vision that can see through plastic.

When I fly out of New York I don't do the plastic bag thing for my liquids because most of the time they don't care. It's when I am in the smaller cities that I find myself having to explain the things in my dopp kit.


Then as she checked out the bottom of my cologne and discovered it was the appropriate ounce amount, she put it down, with a "Let's put that away, it looks expensive."

Damn skippy.


And then she came to my hair taffy. I feel the need to explain that I do not purposely search out and purchase hair taffy. I used to work for a magazine that sold off all their reviewed cosmetics at the end of the year for a dollar each. The male products were few and far between so I snagged what I could.

It just so happened there was some expensive hair taffy ($44 bucks, what a deal!) which I came across, and it smells good!

So she picks it up, looks at it, reads the label aloud and follows with, "Taffy? I've never even heard of that."

Alright lady, no need to make feel like an outcast in your city.

While I have loved every visit I have had to the Denver airport and will probably return many times, I question the excitement level where the most exciting thing seen by 3 pm in the airport is a plastic pirate sword.


I know this was the most exciting thing the TSA woman has seen all day because she told me so.

She then proceeded to explain the process for putting liquids into a plastic bag. And then she demonstrated by putting liquids into a plastic bag. I nodded along emphatically because in all fairness I broke the rules, and she was so dang nice. It was kind of sweet.

In fact she made my experience so pleasant that I almost feel bad writing about it now. Maybe I should send her a gift as a thank you.


I wonder if she'd like some hair taffy?

4 comments:

Quincifer said...

Hehehehehe, I just had to stifle my laughs at work reading that....never have I found a plastic sword to be so funny!
Airport security is annoying but necessary I guess.
In a couple of airports in the UK they have set up body scanners so you don't have to go through the whole "take off your belt/shoes/jewellery/etc" thing....but they won't put kids in it incase its like paedophilia or something.....so if you ask me, I'd just give all the dodgy stuff to the kids and tell them to smile!
x

Caroline B said...

Oh come on, you were planning a little insurgence with that plastic sword weren't you?

We had a tighter security check going into visit the USS Constitution, an ancient wooden warship, (even had to take off my belt :0() than at the airports.

A long time ago, when we in the UK had the fear of IRA bombs & planes being hijacked, my dad agreed to take everyone's Christmas presents in his suitcase to my sister & her kids in Greece. Little did he know that one of these carefully wrapped packages contained a cowboy outfit....complete with plastic guns...which showed up on the x-ray.....what a lot of explaining he had to do. My brother was in the doghouse for weeks.......

Pat said...

Boy, you took your chances flying with that plastic sword. Were you going undercover as a pirate? Arrg! They would have really strip-searched you if you were wearing an eye-patch!

For some reason I, moi, little innocent ole ME, looks suspicious. I have been pulled out of lines and frisked. I always want to know if I can hand pick the person who's going to do the frisking. Hey, I might as well get a cheap thrill from it, right?

Julie said...

I just want to let you know Derek has spoken to someone (not my roommate) that works at DHS about the scanner at bars not at airports issue. The discrepancy isn't resolved quite yet, but it's so on their radar.

We'll keep fighting the good fight for you here!

P.S. Thank goodness for everyone at Gillian's that the sword made it.