Life in the TSA-USA

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Writes Ryan Alford:

I travel weekly for work and always choose to opt out of the naked body scanners. (I don’t know what’s worse, the pat down or radiation exposure, but there’s something liberating about saying “opt out.”) Anyway, this week I was asked by an agent, “Why did you opt out?” to which I replied, “Am I required to answer?” He mumbled a bit and continued groping and poking. He then asked, “Where are you traveling to?” and again I replied, “Am I required to answer?” It wasn’t long before a supervisor appeared, accompanied by a man in a suit (who was sporting a cross-shaped lapel pin clad in the American flag…sigh). He repeated the minion’s same question and my answer again remained unchanged. After a hushed conversation between the two busybodies, I was finally allowed to go on my way, smiling with my head held high. Perhaps sometimes it’s just the small acts of defiance that leave one so fulfilled. Thank you so much for all you do. Keep up the great work!

UPDATE from Jeff Klein:

I was proudly wearing my Paul t shirt while leaving Denver International Airport on Friday. One of the TSA Agents commented that he liked my shirt. I kept my mouth shut, resisting the urge to explain the irony of such a comment. The captain of the aircraft also told me he liked my shirt, and that Ron is his guy. I had various other positive comments from fellow travelers at the airport as well.

UPDATE from Joel Poindexter:

Ryan’s “small acts of defiance” with the TSA was great. Indeed it does feel good to say “opt out.” Something I’ve begun doing when I fly is look the gropers in the eye when they pat me down. It makes them even more uncomfortable than they already are and, for those with any amount of conscience left, reminds them I’m a human being.

11:41 am on February 21, 2012