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Playing with the TSA


On the way through the security line today, I pulled off my shoes, put them in the grey bin, removed my computer from the computer bag that is about 1/8" thick and doesn't really need to be separate from the computer, set all of my items down on the table, and waited for Kris to head through the line in front of me.

A few minutes before, we had entered the second line from the right, under instruction from a TSA guy with nothing better to do than direct people into the shortest lines, the lines they were already going to go to, even without his instructions. I muttered something about the waste of funds paying for the man's salary, as he was clearly not needed: people will gravitate to the shortest line without anyone directing them. Kris disagreed, stating the area would be mass chaos without the man's direction. The single, winding line feeds into four other lines, how much chaos could his absence produce? Better people figure it out on their own than have to deal with the man directing them to location they were already going, or attempt is misdirections as he did trying to get me into a different line than Kris was in.

As our stuff approached the x-ray machine, I pondered how much radiation the x-ray viewers were receiving. Would these people sue the government in twenty years for cancers caused by the endless hours of sitting next to blasting x-ray machines? Kinda hard to argue the knee cancer was caused by anything else.

Just as Kris was shoving his bag, which was really my bag, but who's counting, into the x-ray machine, the TSA agent leaned through the metal detector door with a loud, "Ma'am! Ma'am! You need to remove your sweatshirt."

I've been wanting to do this for a long time.

The point of the metal detector is to detect metal. Sure, I could be carrying a bottle of water somewhere in that mass of fleece, but I'm more likely to be wearing nothing than to be smuggling an illicit water bottle.

I knew if I didn't remove my sweatshirt, I'd have a pat down. I hate those pat downs. "I'm going to touch your breasts with the back of my hand. Will that be okay?" "Uh, do I really have a choice here?" "No." "Well, then, enjoy."

So, I removed my sweatshirt.

And waited in line in my bra.

Just after Kris went through the metal detector, an Asian man from a different line jumped up to enter the detector. He and a relation of his, couldn't tell if it were a young man or woman, attempted to pass through the detector immediately behind him, alarms blaring "METAL! METATL!". The TSA agent who had instructed me to remove my sweatshirt, noticed me standing behind him as he asked the two men to go back through the detector, removing all the metal from his pockets. He didn't really talk to them as much as he was talking to me, realizing I was standing behind them without a shirt on.

The Asian man's wife tried to push past the two of them to make it through the detector, but the TSA agent held her back and gestured for me to come through the detector. I walked through, and was reaching for my sweatshirt on the other side, when he stopped the next person coming through the detector and turned to me. "Ma'am? Ma'am? Next time a TSA asks you to do something, if you don't feel comfortable with it, you can decline."

Yeah, right, I thought. Have you actually been through these lines?

He, continued, however, and apologized for asking me to remove my sweatshirt.

Kris, at this point, turned around from gathering up his bag, and realized I had not shirt on. I'm not sure if he was humoured by the bare wife behind him, but my suppressed laughter put him at ease.

On went my sweatshirt as I pondered going through bare breasted next time.