Will You Puh-Leeze Make Up Your Mind!
“YES – NO – MAYBE… WE’LL GET BACK TO YOU.”
These people are driving me crazy – as if I need much to get me there…
To give you the opportunity to run away and hide I will tell you now that today’s blog is about my most recent encounter with my favorite whipping boy: the bozos of the TSA.
We are on the road again down to Texas for a Family visit. We always enjoy going there. No…We always enjoy being there. It is the “going” part that we can do without.
If you have been following this Blog for any length of time you have read my tormented soul screeds about my skirmishes with the TSA. You’ve seen me call them all sorts of names, most of which would get me off of their Christmas Card list forever. Now, after all I’ve said about them and all the names I’ve called them, they have thrown me a curve ball that made me speechless and nervous all at once.
I should have known that something was up when we checked in at the Southwest Airlines counter and we were issued our Boarding Passes without ever showing any ID at all. None. Zip. Nada. Our reservations were made online and as long as we had the confirmation numbers we were kosher in the eyes of the folks at Southwest. I have a sneaky feeling that we could have been Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale from the old Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and gotten through.
We were both quite surprised by that apparent lapse of basic security, but maybe that was just a fluke or maybe we both just looked so sweet and harmless that they kissed us on the cheek and sent us on our way. I think that would be perfectly appropriate.
That was Southwest Airlines and not the TSA. That razor wire topped hurdle lay ahead of us. We headed down the concourse wondering what kind of numbskull nonsense we were going to have to endure. The last time we flew the TSA gnome insisted that I had an artificial hip because his Magic Metal Detector Wand kept indicating that my left side was made of metal. When I told him that I did not have an artificial hip that TSA Jackalope asked me the dumbest question of all time. I said, “No” and he asked, “Are you sure?”
I answered that question with, “I think would have noticed the surgery.”
This most recent gauntlet was, how shall I say it, weirdly disturbing?
We approached the first stop – the initial ID check. There were two TSA clerks on duty. One of
them looked about 12 years old. Maybe this was his first job. The other clerk looked older than dirt. He also looked hung over and ready to pass out. As we got to the desk the Kid Clerk announced, “Show us your IDs only. We don’t want to see your Boarding Passes.”
What the heck? Last time they came close to asking for a DNA cheek swab. Today: who cares?
After that I started to undo my boot laces in preparation for my Official TSA Groping. Then came announcement Number Two.
“Leave your shoes on. Leave everything in your pockets other than metal. Don’t unpack your computers. Leave them in your computer case and go through the metal detector.”I was only
following orders. I kept my work boots on my little tootsies and I left my ‘puter in my carry-on bag. While my stuff went down the conveyor belt I walked through the Metal Detector Gate…dead silence. My non-existent artificial hip didn’t trip the buzzer. The TSA Easter Island Lookalike Agent just waved me through, ignoring my ever so polite “How are you today?” (Like I really cared). She didn’t even look at me.
Maybe I’m exaggerating a slice, but I think I could have walked through that airport security screening dressed as Robo-Cop and carrying a dozen Stinger Missiles without so much as raising a TSA eyebrow.
When we head home we will go through the Corpus Christi version of TSA Airport Security. By that time I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to take tissue samples and colonoscopy pictures. They always surprise me, but never in a good way.