Saturday, July 9, 2011

Do I Look Like A Terrorist?

Posted by Desert Crone

No, I don't look like a terrorist. I look like a 63-year-old woman--who has had a knee replacement, a heart attack, and kidney cancer. Yet, every time I board an airplane, my knee sets off the alarm, and I am frisked and "wanded." It doesn't matter that I have a very official looking card from my doctor attesting to the fact that I have a titanium knee. I offer that card to every TSA agent I can corner, but they aren't even interested in giving it a glance.

Before I walk through the thingy that dingies, I tell the agent that I will sound the alarm--that I have a knee replacement and a very official card. Still, I'm just ushered through with a loud announcement "WOMAN NEEDS TO BE SCREENED!" And then I am "wanded" and frisked. TSA says, "Now I am going to touch your breasts with the back of my hands." Oh yeah, well, you better frisk around my knees then because I AM SIXTY-THREE YEARS OLD!

I have been tolerant and even jocular about all this hoopla until June 10. I walked through the dingy thingy wearing my flip flops. The TSA agent scowls as he tells me to take off my flip flops as if I might be hiding a bomb in my Crocs. Then I walk through and set off the alarm again. I tell Mr. Cranky I have a metal knee, but he again glares at me and yells "WOMAN NEEDS TO BE PATTED DOWN!" He was clearly irritated with me.

As usual, I am ushered to the glass stall--screw privacy--and patted down. However, as I looked through the four other glass stalls, I see three more old ladies being patted down. One ol' gal has a neck brace on and another has to be helped out of wheelchair for the pat down.

By the way, TSAs are now being screened at least one time during each work day because some have been caught smuggling drugs on the planes. They are screaming in protest--which is a nice segue into my point.

I am ready to scream in protest, "I am mad as hell, and I'm not taking it anymore!"

Why are we wasting time and money on this false sense of security? Four old women wearing a neck brace, sitting in a wheelchair, and wobbling on one good knee didn't fly airplanes into the Twin Towers. I'm not advocating profiling, but I want my government to use some common sense. Alas, I've always been an idealist.

(I wrote this piece three years ago when I was 60. In light of the story of the elderly woman who had to have her Depends removed, I thought this was apropos. Now, when I fly, I have to go through the body scanner AND the pat down, which is more like “May I feel you up, old woman?” Hey, whatever turns you on.)


Anonymous said...

Let me emphasize I do not believe in profiling. I believe that the FAA could create a safe fly list at a cost savings.

NowhereMan said...

When was the last time the government used common sense?Iraq,Afghanistan,cutting taxes in a time of war among many other things,weren't common sense solutions.Along with the military industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about,we have now created a security industrial complex which will continue to grow and be more intrusive on our once precious liberties .As time passes by we will become more and more like the lemmings the Bill of Rights was designed to protect us from being whether it be getting on a plane or trying to cast a vote.
The only liberty we seem to have gained more of is the right to carry a gun into a bar,church or school and thanks to the NRA,these terrorist the TSA was designed to stop,can buy a gun at a gun show without a background check!Common sense?Go figure.