Friday, November 19, 2010

Coffee or tea, blondes or brunettes, body scan or pat down?

My sister was leaving yesterday morning for Barcelona - I called before she was heading out to the airport and when she answered her phone, I said, "one question, full body scan or pat down"?  "Full body scan baby, I don't care what they see, I just don't want anyone touching me" she replied.

I think I feel the same way.  Except I'm a tad nervous about the radiation.  Maybe when the TSA is finished taking our "picture" they can give us a copy, kind of like a door prize or party favor that you get at a children's birthday celebration.  That way we could all keep them in our medical file, perhaps to use at a future doctor visit.  Could save us a few dollars and save us from another unhealthy serving of radiation!

So I've been listening to some of the debate going on.  The people touting their civil rights, their personal freedoms.  Refusing to do either.  Both are too invasive, the groping and the humiliation.  Whats next, fly in the nude, full on rectal exams?  All this to enjoy a family vacation at Disneyworld?  But I know deep down my own hesitation isn't quite as political, frankly it stems more from my lack of a positive body image - I just don't want to let anyone see how out of shape I've become!  I don't even like looking at myself these days in a full length mirror, and now I have to show you?  And all joking aside, the sad truth is that once we all comply with this, just like we complied with leaving our toothpaste, lighters and hairspray at home, someone will figure out a way to bring the airplane down if they really want to.  We are not talking amateurs here.

But for the record, I still think we should try.  Try and do whatever needs to be done to give us some peace of mind, even if it is a false sense of security.  It is like pretending to believe in Santa, even when you are ten and know the truth, but it just feels so much better this way!  So, my suggestion or pathetic solution to this problem is this.  We will split the flyers into two groups, the "I'll get naked it front of you, no problem" and the "No way in hell are you going to touch/view my cellulite and sagging breasts" groups.  (Men, I know you have your own issues, think George Costanza).

Back to the issue at hand, it's not a left/right, liberal/conservative issue anymore.  Now please bear with me and throw all logic out the window.  Everyone who wants to refuse a body pat down or full body scan, this would be Group A, line up.  We have a plane for you.  Of course, the pilot of this plane has to be some poor bastard who is willing to take the risk too, believes in the "cause" -  and belongs to Group A wholeheartedly.  So let's just say they offer these flights (they are not as frequent of course) but the stipulation is that no one on the plane has been searched or scanned.  You are going to have to trust that they are all as innocent as you.  They are just exercising their civil rights, their personal freedoms.  It's a win/win situation. There is a choice, and everyone is free to make their own. Well good luck with that.  Instead of getting a scan, you are now the one doing the scanning.  Eyeing everyone around you.  Hoping and praying that no one on that plane wants anything more than to visit their Aunt Louise in Omaha.  Instead of suffering a bit of humiliation for a matter of seconds you will next spend the next few hours suffering a bit of anxiety and entertaining random thoughts of the afterlife.

I think I prefer the Santa Claus scenario.  I am pretty sure that I would rather let one stranger see me naked for a split second, and if a few others get a glimpse, so be it.  I am sure the other passengers are more worried about going through the scanner themselves and what people might see than to worry much about me, or to think twice about my lumpy thighs and stretch marks. :)

1 comment:

  1. Thank god I didn't have to make that choice! Leaving out of little Santa Barbara airport, there was no "pat down" or "body scan" available- and we went on through LAX and JFK already in the 'past security' concourses, whew! Loved your article, I have to say I'd choose to know that everyone has been scanned in one way or another, so I could rest easy...tho there is never a way to get comfortable enough to actually sleep on these long flights and always seems to be a crying child...all night! Exhausted, but Barcelona is beautiful, larger than I thought. We walked around for hours last night taking it in, did see the Sagrada Familia- (Gaudi's unfinished cathedral) last night. Lots to get in today as we fly out for Granada at 10:30am Sunday. Jetlagged but up, showered and ready to to find that cup of coffee! love you-Pam