Behold: the TSA. If you were to create a government agency empowered with a vague mission to make people feel safe by making them do stupid shit, then you would be late to the party. They’re already here, and they are in every airport in my beloved U S of A.
I recently had the joy of taking my first flight to and fro with a baby in tow, as Wifefish, Little Danger, and I ventured forth for a business trip to Disney. Sidenote: Little Danger will have no recollection of Disney, but it was still kind of awesome. Suffice to say, getting through security with a baby and a laptop is more than anyone expects you to be able to do in today’s oh-my-gods-we’re-all-going-to-fucking-die atmosphere.
Having reviewed the website list of what is and is not allowed to go in a carryon, we thought we were prepared. Wifefish carried Little Danger through security while I spontaneously sprouted 4 more limbs to empty out the laptop, belt, shoes, diaper bag, cellphones, and all other items and convey them, along with the stroller, into the big x-ray machine. The ensuing trip through the checkpoint would have made a great juggling act for Cirque du Soleil, I’m sure. Of course, we were informed that we were not OK at all, and had to stand to the side and allow each of Little Danger’s bottles to be tested for explosives. Because babies are fucking scary. I gathered all of our gear and lugged it to the “further screening” area, not surprised in any way that a loving couple with a baby should be subject to such scrutiny.
Look, I will admit that my child is fully capable of some explosive force and weapons-grade chemical warfare in the form of the things he creates in his diaper, but to date he lacks the ability to concoct any sort of actual terrorist device out of water and formula. Honestly, I was less upset about being pulled aside than I was about being lectured about taking his bottles out ahead of time so the agent wouldn’t have to run the bags a second time. So very sorry to inconvenience you, TSA agent, but the boy isn’t ready for Big Macs in the terminal yet. Piss off.
As I heaved a sigh born of impatience, frustration, and sadness, the agent had the tits to say “I’m just doing as ordered.” Yeah, they said that shit at Auschwitz, lady. And while that’s an extreme metaphor right there, I have no desire to let these Laff-a-lympics they pass off as security Actual TSA training photo
measures devolve much further. I looked at the idiocy around me at the checkpoint, then looked at Little Danger and thought about how much further down the road to Shitsville things could go. I don’t want that world for him.
Pro-tip. These people have orders that they must follow. These orders are designed to be implemented by people who are qualified to work at the DMV. They are not going to catch a single terrorist, but you must comply with their idiotic bullshit. I’m standing here in my socks not because anyone is ever going to successfully detonate a shoe bomb, but because someone is afraid someone might be able to do so. I fully expect that within two years, they will demand that we do the hokey pokey, and if we cannot successfully demonstrate what it’s all about, we are sent back home, unable to fly.
The further joke is that despite all the fun and fantastic hoops you and I get to jump through, the smart terrorist is just going to drive in the back gate with the catering trucks and fueling equipment, or chuck whatever they need over the fucking fence, or train a flock of emus to carry napalm tanks through the front door and self-detonate in an orgy of flaming feathers and fury. Emu Death Squad
But don’t you dare try to bring a 6 oz bottle of Grins and Giggles Baby Lotion in your diaper bag, because that, ladies and gentlemen, is a threat to everyone on the plane. Wifefish actually had an agent throw out a bottle of lotion once and claim she was “just keeping everyone safe.” I laughed in that agent’s face, despite the risk of anal search.
See, I’ve been in the military, and I’ve done security for installations before. I know that no matter what you have on the front end, your entire security setup is only as strong as its weakest point. And while they’re distracting us with standing in our stockings and not being able to bring our Venti No-Water Chai Latte through security, while the agents are grabbing our belongings and shoving them around because we’re “holding up the line” trying to comply with their bullshit antics, while we’re too afraid to speak out for fear of missing our flight, the fucking terrorists have already won. We gave up some of our freedom, some of our common sense, for the illusion of safety.
There is no substituting bureaucratic procedures that must be followed without anyone being offended by “profiling” for well-trained officers who are allowed to use their own judgment to implement security, or for advanced technology, such as the infamous “naked scanners”. I’m actually all for them, because they can cut down the time I have to be inconvenienced by all the other bullshit, and also because I just don’t care who gets to swoon over my junk. Not my problem if they have a hung-like-a-hamster fetish.
I really could go on and on and on with this topic, but I don’t really want to become boring. Too late, I know. Suffice to say that it has been proven by journalists (search for security theater) that almost every single hoop you jump through is every bit as useful as Paris Hilton’s thesaurus. It’s just there for show.
And so I salute you, TSA, but I salute you with one finger. Guess which one. You are every bit as useful as the Ministry of Silly Walks, and I wouldn’t let half your employees make me a sandwich at Subway. May you go the way of the dodo, and soon.