TSA Pat downs

I am trying. I really am. But these new TSA pat down guidelines are taunting me. Old time readers will remember the possibilities we explored when an assassin planted something up his …er.. ass to blow up the Deputy something Minister of Saudi Arabia, but his plans blew up on his own face/ass. Here’s the link for those who wish to refresh themselves.


I remember feeling biffed at the time because I had recently lost a carefully nurtured bindi collection that had gems from when I was a teenager to airport security all for having a small bottle of Milk of Magnesia with me in the same bag. I remember thinking that Milk of Magnesia is the thing to give the troops and travellers alike to avoid these conflicts of security. I mean what better check than clearing the contents of the bowels before take-off?

The new airport guidelines, I hear, announce clearly and loudly that a passenger is being taken for a pat down. Let’s move the scene to a Doctor’s office now for your convenience: Lots of people go to Doctors offices. When you notice folks sitting in the lobbies of these offices, you’ll notice a certain decorum they like to maintain. Rarely have I seen folks hitting it off and sounding positive seeing one another there. Most look resolutely into the magazines they are holding, or check sometimes non-existent messages on their phone. And there is a good reason for all that. They maybe there for anything and the last thing you want is for some prying Peter to ask, “So, will you be undressing in there today?” or “I hear you are being given a touchdown.” Β or “Top down or bottoms up?”

But at airports, it is different. Man becomes quite the social animal there. He hollers at long lost friends and vague acquaintances – anything to pass time on or before the flight. Will the new guidelines dampen that? I am afraid so. I mean, there you are with Cheeky Chelsea and she taunts, “So, what’s up today?” Suddenly, the innocuous questions takes on sinister connotations. Did she know that the agent concentrated on the top part of your body during the full body scan?

Or Droopy Delphi who is mopping around as usual and you ask, “You look down. Are you coming down with something?” only to find Delphi is now teary eyed and calling you mean. Poor Droopy Delphi was given the bottoms-up version and is still moping about it. But you don’t know that. You just ask a civil question.

Yet, this basic thing seems to be lacking in the new announce-and-jingle-bells before carting your passenger off. Pat if you must. I mean if it makes you feel safer by just touching folks, go for it, but do it discreetly. Say, “Please step into this line.” and go about your patting. Why embarrass the blighters thus? The alternative is to go through a full body x-ray machine. A tough choice for travellers.

The problem with all of this is humans are not infallible. There is the scope for the tired authority figure missing something during the pat down or the x-ray scan. Then what would the aftermath be?

15 thoughts on “TSA Pat downs”

  1. While the concept of a “Pat down” is definitely repugnant to me, I am yet to see any reasonable alternate solution out there.

    1. It depends on what they are supposed to find in a pat down that the current scanner that you walk through is missing isn’t it? Are you looking for something more than metal or liquids on a person?

  2. I am sure good percentage of people hate being “patted” down. Not sure what is the best alternative. Full body scan without x-ray anyone?

    It is interesting to note that in your 2009 blog you mentioned to scan people through x-ray machine.. May be TSA is reading your blog πŸ˜›

    1. Ha! TSA reads my blog πŸ™‚ I still would just like to know what they hope to achieve with the pat down procedures. 9-11 – there was nothing they could have caught with pat downs or full body scans!

  3. All I know is that I have several lonely friends that are flying extra regularly to see if they can “score” one of these pat-downs.

    However they refer to them as “Pat-Ups” and then usually give me a wink after saying it.

    It’s creepy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: