Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting Groped: A "Pat-Down" At MIA

We report herein an amazing statistic. According to the TSA, only 5% of travelers are subject to the groping search... oops, make that "pat-down." Yet, Kathy was the target of a pat-down on our outbound flight, and it was Brian's turn yesterday at MIA.

Giving us one more reason to dislike MIA, a TSA employee told Brian to remove his wallet from his pocket and place it on the conveyor belt. Brian, bemused yet again by the inconsistency displayed at TSA check points, had the effrontery to state that this must be a new policy. The employee replied that it's "always" been the policy that travelers remove their wallets.

Brian had the nerve to question that statement. Gosh, it turns out that Brian is right and the employee is wrong, as you can confirm by clicking this link.

In any case, Brian was selected for an apparently punitive X-Ray scan, and of course opted out. The employees at least were more discreet than we've read about elsewhere. One simply cooed repeatedly into her shoulder-mounted mike "Male opt-out, male opt-out." Brian made it clear that he would be caressed publicly and that Kathy was to be his witness. The male screener had the grace at least to appear as uncomfortable about the procedure as Brian was, ("we don't like it any more than you do") and Brian didn't make it any easier for him, reflexively giggling at the wrong moments. The early parts of the search felt somewhat like a massage, but it gets tricky as the gloved hands slide up and down the legs a couple of times and brush against the tender parts.

At the end of the ceremony, Kathy made a couple of pithy comments about the cost-effectiveness of inflicting this on a couple of old geezers who flew 150,000 + miles in 2010 without committing any acts of terrorism. The screener muttered something about "not disagreeing" with us, and Kathy and her blushing husband exited.

Brian may or may not complain. He'll probably just wait for the next election to vote for any and all candidates who promise to reform the current procedures. Of course, that might just mean he won't be voting at all.