Hanging around San Diego Airport after Etech, surrounded by approximately 3 million people whose flights were delayed for one reason or another, I thought this sign seemed especially cold. The gate area was packed with bodies and luggage and clusters of people standing uncomfortably, shifting from one foot to another, wanting nothing more than to get the hell out of there to wherever they were ultimately going. But in the interim, they’d all be subjected to numerous invasive questions, accusatory looks, explosive-residue swabs, X-rays, and searches.
Think about what you sacrifice when you fly. While you’re thinking about it, take off your shoes and belt and put them into this basket. Empty your pockets. Raise your arms and turn around. Don’t worry; your laptop will still be there on the conveyor when we’re through, although we’re not liable for it, and in the meantime we’re going to shoot this big ray-gun at it and maybe open the lid and fondle it for a moment. Say, you didn’t have any film in that carry-on, did you? And don’t mind me while I grab your crank.
In line, I always hear nervous jokes like “What’s next, a cavity search?” (although, to be fair, it’s usually me who’s making them). While I can’t imagine that ever happening, I wouldn’t be surprised if some ladder-climbing TSA executive had proposed it in earnest. In any case, I’m sure the invasions will get worse before they get better.