Thanks to the geniuses at the Transportation Safety Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, you now have two choices if you decide to fly: a virtual strip-search or a very real feel-up. The Muslim Mad Bombers who scared us into submitting to this nonsense like a bunch of sheep must be laughing themselves silly. (Well, since they’re sexually repressed, there’s a slight chance they’re outraged … but I doubt it.)
As John Tyner (the now-famous “Don’t touch my junk” passenger) found out, if you refuse to walk through a body-scanner, the only other option the TSA allows is a full pat-down that includes your genitals if you’re a male and your breasts if you’re a woman. (They didn’t specify if they’ll also touch the breasts of overweight men.) You can read full details about Mr. Tynan’s experience — which ended with him being escorted out an airport and threatened with a $10,000 fine — on his blog.
How revealing are the body-scanners? Here’s all you need to know: A TSA agent who was scanned as part of his training was arrested some days later after attacking his co-workers with a police baton — because they kept making jokes about his small penis. I don’t believe the only way for the TSA to stop terrorists is to know whether or not you’ve been circumcised.
The TSA has responded to public outrage by assuring us that TSA screeners aren’t allowed to take pictures or keep digital copies of the scans. Well, I guess that settles it. As we all know, civil servants never break the law, and government computers have never been hacked. You may now rest assured that those images of your naked wife and naked children will never, ever be swapped by perverts in internet newsgroups.
But oops … there’s already been at least one case of federal officials saving body-scans. Just wait until the celebrity body-scans start showing up on the internet.
I plan to fly as little as possible from now on — the stupidity of airport security has rekindled my love for making long drives while listening to books — but when I do fly, I think I’ll opt for the feel-up. But instead of arguing with the federal molester, as Mr. Tyner did, I plan to express my full cooperation with something like, “Oh … oh, yeah … higher, big boy … don’t stop, it’s just getting good.”
From a P.R. standpoint, I don’t think it was a good idea for Mr. Tyner to refer to his anatomy as “junk.” When I hear “Don’t touch my junk,” I picture someone with poor personal hygiene — which, if anything, makes me feel sorry for the TSA agent on junk-checking duty.
The federal molesters don’t deserve sympathy; the molested passengers do. So if the goal is to embarrass the TSA into dropping the “we must molest you for your own protection” policy, we as citizens need to express our outrage in terms that don’t denigrate our own privates. I’d suggest any of the following alternatives:
- Don’t bump my lump.
- Don’t jack my hammer.
- Don’t pet my dog.
But of course, it’s impossible to shame the federal government. We’re talking about people who can open a charge account in your child’s name, run it up to the max, increase the credit limit, run the account up the max again, and then congratulate themselves on their compassion. Compared to that, how could anyone be embarrassed for mandating a little groping?
Since we can’t stop the TSA from petting our dogs, we should at least demand that the government make the experience more pleasant and more equitable. For starters, I don’t see any reason the TSA agents need to be fully clothed. They’re working indoors in a temperature-controlled environment, so I believe they should be required to work in their underwear at least, and preferably completely naked. I’d feel considerably less violated if I knew my molester was every bit as embarrassed as I was.
Also, if a guy is going to pet my dog, I want to get to know him a little first. As long as we’re required to show up at airports two hours before our flights actually leave, we should be able to meet the federal gropers in an airport bar, have a few drinks together, tell some jokes, and share some childhood memories. If all goes well, if there’s some chemistry between us, we can agree to meet later for the groping. If not, we’ll just be friends.
Finally, and most importantly, the groping should be (at the passenger’s discretion) a mutual experience. When the TSA agent says, “I need to touch your groin area now,” you should be able to answer, “Fine. But I need to touch yours first. Or we can do it together if you prefer.”
After all, there’s no guarantee the federal groper doesn’t have a bomb stuffed in his pants. I need to know. And as the TSA has made clear, we can’t let personal privacy get in the way of national security.