So I got strip-searched on my way to LA on Thursday by Airport Security. Not completely strip-searched, really, but what else can you say when some guy closing in on 70 and with an obviously way over-died hair die-job job makes you unbutton your pants and takes a peak to make sure you're not hiding anything. And all this after I had cleared out all my pockets, taken off my sneakers, taken off my belt and was still getting dinged because of the button on my jeans.
Welcome to the Brave New World, I guess.
SFO got all the new, fancy technical equipment and upped the security. Those devices which used to ding you if you only had lot of metal type thingies now dings you if you have the slightest bit of metal on you. I've flown hundreds of time and have never really had a problem with security, even when I probably should have been a problem with Security (for instance, carrying little, tiny water bongs, complete with metal lid in my jacket pocket was probably not such a hot idea). But there I was, before a one day trip to LA, getting dinged all over the place. My pockets got dinged, which is fine because I did have a lot of change and my keys in there. But then my shoes got dinged- there's metal in the shoe-laces, I guess (fucking Shoe Bomber). So off came the shoes to get x-rayed (yes, my sneakers got x-rayed). Then my belt got dinged as the little wand started buzzing right in that area (and yes, any kind of Spinal Tap type joke would apply here). Fine, I think. Then my wallet got dinged so I had to empty the other pocket, despite the fact the only thing in that pocket was my wallet and two nickles. Then the button of my jeans got dinged and so that's how I found in a full-on Jesus Christ pose, getting peeked at by creepy Security Guard guy.
First of all, I've recently flown to and from Washington and had less of a hassle. That's D.C., as in the capital of the Nation, where an actual terrorist attack happened. Second of all, I've fucking flown to Israel, where terrorist attacks happen several times a month, and gotten less hassle. I go on a one-day trip to LA and I'm getting investigated like I'm in "Midnight Express." They got those things turned up so high I'm surprised people aren't having to pull out their fillings in their teeth in order to make it through.
I mean, really, doesn't it strike any absurd that it's now standard practice that people are undressing before they go through security? Doesn't it strike anyone that it might be a bit on the overkill side of things when an entire line of people is busy stripping just to get through a security check-point? No wonder why the airlines are dying, who the hell wants to deal with crap like that? I think it's probably easier to go from one side of Korea to the other now than it is to get from one side of the airport to another.
I know, terrorism, 9/11, blah, blah, blah… but let's face it, 9/11 was a billion-to-one shot. If that. It wouldn't have even happened if our intelligence agencies and immigration services weren't a little less on the inept side. Let's face it too, there's actually less chance of terrorism on a plane than of actually crashing in a plane, and in reality, there's not really that much chance the plane is going to crash.
So what I want to propose is we just like we have first-class and economy class, smoking and non-smoking sections, we have Paranoid Sections and non-Paranoid sections. All you scared-ass, paranoid, whiny Americans who are terrified of terrorism can fly on Paranoid Airways and go through all the security measures, get strip-searched, have every swarthy looking person banned from the flight. That'll make you happy. The rest of us, the one's who aren't that concerned or are too busy worrying about what to do about having two week-hitting third-basemen on our Fantasy Team to worry about terrorism can just do it like we used to do it.
I'll take my chances. I ain't scared of no ghosts.