One of the more intriguing stories to pass for news over the past week has been the episode of a man who refused the Full Body Airport Scanner, and was about to be patted (or “padded” as reported by some news media) down by a friendly airport TSA officer, uttering the now famous words “If you touch my junk I will have you arrested!”. He’s facing a $10,000 fine and is now being investigated by TSA. The man, John Tyner, a 31-year-old software programmer, had been heading for a hunting trip. Well, he recorded the encounter on his mobile phone and posted it to his blog. From there, it quickly went viral, tapping a groundswell of frustration over TSA’s procedures. TSA has launched an investigation of Mr. Tyner, who later left the San Diego airport. Mr. Tyner should take a look at Silvio Berlusconi’s renovated statue of Mars to assure himself that this kind of procedure is as old as the age, and find solace. 🙂
Fear of flying has been overtaken by fear of going through the procedures needed to go flying. Alright, if you find all of the security procedures too much, then some suggest you try to go by means other than plane. Bad news, though. Lots of places do not have bus or train services going there, for instances other countries. So, fine for US business people or Thanksgiving family visitors to hop on a bus, or take the car, or take Amtrak, but those of us wanting to leave the US for a trip, will have to get used to more touchy-feely experiences as we fly. I’m glad to learn that one can opt for the patting instead of the full-body scanning, though.
I wonder if the next step will be to ensure that all the gadgetry that we can take on trips to help us whittle away the time may need to be renamed to make them TSA-acceptable. The iPad may become the ‘iPat’. The Kindle could become the ‘Fondle’. The Nook? Well, the small version could be the ‘Nookie’.
I’m still not convinced that the raft of procedures that exist at airports has made for much better security. I still see enough evidence that people can get through banned items, and the exceptions make for loop holes. Anyway, I’m gritting my teeth, and this time girding my loins, for the coming travel season. I hope that will be enough to get me through what could be quite an ordeal.