Many paranoid experienced air travelers will tell you that wearing leather shoes, cotton clothes and packing light is the safest way to get from one place to the next on an airplane. It’s all about the issues of crashing, fire and preparing to keep your head while others are losing theirs. Bravo. I get that.
Truth be told, I wore the black jeans and a cotton tee on the plane yesterday to be more comfortable than anti-combustable. The weather for where I was heading swayed the choice a bit, too. But little did I know what laid in store for this unwitting, denim clad Delta passenger: I set off the metal detector. A lot.
The Security guy winked and said, it’s probably just your bra’s underwire. Did I mention the ALL Cotton outfit I had on? Me and my saggy boobs were free of separation and support in that region for the sake of expedited travel. So, not the underwire.
I get handed off to a brutish TSA woman who informed me what would happen: first a wanding – which led to the conclusion that I was smuggling contraband grommets on the corner’s of my jeans pockets. Rebel. Scofflaw. Dang, you caught me. But the fun didn’t end with the magic wand – I got a pat down. This is a misnomer. There was no patting going on so why call it a pat down? Mostly, the lady – and I use that term loosely – tried to tear my limbs off. Then she scraped her hands across my neck, back, bum and lower torso. Lastly, she made me roll my jeans waistband down so she could examine my tree rings or something.
At the time, I mostly didn’t mind. I get that air safely thing. September 11th. Harsher new world. I totally understood these principles as I put my shoes on, shuffled away and boarded a very late plane.
It wasn’t until we landed that I was sure the TSA couldn’t safely find their ass with both hands and a metal detector. While I was getting my “pat down”, my companion Amy was gathering up her shoes and bags – one of which contained a full can of…
… wait for it…
The TSA’s list of prohibited items does NOT include jeans, but does specifically ban disabling chemicals. You know – pepper spray. Sure I got a pat down. Our other companion has her bags looked into because she had her lappy in it. But the real contraband got through. I’d call that a fail, and a pretty major one.
Luckily, Amy didn’t realise she had the spray until after we landed. Surly she would have brought down the plane in a fit of napping rage (she actually fell asleep some where between taxi and the end of the runway) if she had realized the power she held in her purse.
TSA – Do better. As for me, I’ll be naked on my next flight, but Amy want to try to fly packin’ heat again. She’s thinking taser.