After I gained my first few hundred thousand “frequent flyer” miles, I started worrying about those “deaths per million passenger miles” statistics. But I never thought (decades ago) that I’d have to be concerned with “gropes per trip.”
Now I can understand why I was pulled aside in the early ’70s for a “strip search,” because I probably fit the profile of “long-haired hippy,” much as I was not quite “shoulder-length.” I got a “business-cut” upon graduation, and have told my barbers “regular” ever since.
But that was done with “normal” airport security in those days … long before the Federal Government hired another 30,000 people (to start) in establishing the TSA.
I can understand why my mother-in-law (age ~60 at the time), was pulled aside because her carry-on contained two plastic quarts of frozen shrimp with all the wires of a hair-dryer thrown on top her package. Again, before TSA.
I first got ticked off when my (almost-80) Mother was pulled aside as she travelled to bury my Father.
I wasn’t happy when my toothpaste got confiscated, but heck, I had not read the latest rules.
More recently, when my dutiful wife reported a tiny water-filled dolphin souvenir from Florida (I told her not to mention it … it would have passed both x-ray and nitrate-swab), it was confiscated and my wife still laments the Christmas present she couldn’t give.
Meanwhile, cigarette lighters are back on the “ok” list … tho (back when it was legal to smoke on airplanes) I once had to help a fellow passenger put out the fire that spilled on his tray from one of those clear lighters … I watched him pull it out, knew what would happen, dealt with it, and assured the flight attendant (after the fact) that we were “under control.” (She and I shared a knowing glance, and few even noticed the flames.)
ANYway: I understand that there are evil people out there, and inconveniencing millions to save a few hundred LIVES is not a bad thing. I just wish the TSA were trained to use common sense, but this is anethema to bureaucracies.
SOLUTION: we have enough folks to x-ray baggage, purses, and computers. My belt (with buckle) goes through x-ray just as well, and my alternative braces (suspenders) generally don’t set off alarms if I hold the metal parts away from my chest. My shoes go through with my computer (separated from its carrying case, for reasons I don’t understand).
We can save the public the cost of scanners with a very simple solution: when you next go through airport security, after you throw your shoes in the bin, take off your socks/stockings, your trousers/skirt, your shirt/blouse, and any other potentially bomb-laden underwear, toss ’em in the x-ray bin then walk through the magnetometer. If you don’t have any C4 stuck up your behind, you’ll pass. Please get dressed after going through security; it’s chilly on airplanes.