I was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for work last Monday and scheduled to fly out to Atlanta that night with US Airways. Everything went fine, of course, until I got to the airport and encountered the security freaks of the TSA. Whenever I go through TSA security I always look for the line that doesn't have the AIT scanner and I get in that line. This time, however, I was "randomly" selected out of that line and told to go through the AIT scanner. Of course I immediately opted out.
I was then told that I would have to have a pat-down to which I replied: "ok, but I don't want you touching my genitals or my ass." Not sure of what he just heard the TSA flunky asked me to repeat what I had just said, to which I replied: "I don't mind if you do a pat-down as long as you don't touch the junk or the trunk." Okay, I had been drinking.
Of course, such irreverent talk to a federal divinity is not permitted in the land of the "free," so the circus began. Immediately a supervisor lap dog was summoned along with a super-duper supervisor lap dog and two of Sherwood Forest's finest. The supervisor lap dog told me I wouldn't be flying since I wouldn't let them touch my beans and franks. Yet another TSA troglodyte took my driver's license and boarding pass and began writing me up for after school detention as at least three other TSA trolls began rifling through my backpack and shaving kit looking for the meaning to their useless lives. I have to wonder why they were searching my personal affects if I wasn't going to be allowed to fly. I guess I'm just not smart enough to understand the really important things in life.
After completing his report — a copy of which I was told I could not have so I have absolutely no idea what he wrote about me and the incident — the troglodyte scribe gave me my driver's license back and eventually the other trolls finished sniffing and drooling over my panties and I was escorted out of the security screening area.
From that point I proceeded up to the US Airways desk where I explained the situation to the clerk in hopes of receiving a voucher or even being rescheduled on a flight the following day. After I laid it out to her she replied: "Oh I know who you are, Mr. Cooper. The TSA is on the ball and just phoned us about you."
My first thought was: since when is US Airways on the federal payroll? She went on to spew every nauseating cliché in the book: the TSA is just doing their job; the TSA makes us safer; you have to sacrifice some freedom for increased security; most people don't mind; barf, puke, gag, spit, hurl, yak. And that lady gets to breed.
I said I wanted to speak to a supervisor and eventually I did. Well, when I say a supervisor I mean a garden gnome. And although he didn't spew clichés he did look at me with a dull, blank stare as if he had purposefully put his brain into hibernation until I finished talking. And when I did, he replied: "I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do."
At that point I felt as if I had done everything reasonably possible to resolve my situation with no satisfaction. I had reached my limit of ignorance, incompetence, stupidity, and arrogance. I honestly felt I had been backed into a corner and had only one way out: I went to have a drink.
I'm in the process of trying to find someone to take my case in suing the TSA for violation of my right not to be subjected to unreasonable search and seizure which is protected by the fourth amendment to the Constitution of the United States and paragraph VIII of the Pennsylvania state constitution. Ultimately I want to sue US Airways as well for the cost of my plane ticket, hotel, car rental, and whiskey.
Even worse yet was, after getting to the hotel I got on Facebook to "blog" about my experience. The first response was from an old high school colleague who wrote: "Geez, Don, what's the big deal? I don't mind getting violated a little to be sure I'm safe."
High school was an awkward collection of events for me and I never really felt like I fit in with those people. I can even say that ever since then I've harbored a small desire to ultimately be accepted by those folks. My contemporaries; my childhood classmates. But now that weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I realize now why I didn't fit in: they're idiots.
And that's why I drink!
Don Cooper [send him mail] is a Florida native, Navy veteran, economist, business analyst and father.