Thank You We're Driving This Time
December, some coworkers and myself embarked on a business trip
to Cleveland, Ohio, from our home base in Huntsville, Alabama. Being
very frugal (as successful companies usually are), we ticketed a
flight from Nashville, Tennessee, to Cleveland. As LewRockwell.com
has been documenting the stories of unhappy passengers around the
country who have had the misfortune to be "frisked" by the Federal
Airport "Stasi," I am going to digress from my story to expound
on an experience my wife was subjected to weeks earlier.
14-year-old son was flying to Atlanta from Huntsville and my wife
wished to accompany him to the gate because it was his first flight.
As they proceeded to go through the metal detectors, my wife got
"beeped." As has been reported many times before, she was asked
to step over to the designated frisking area. A female federale
who seemed to have more common sense than some that have been reported
here asked her if she were wearing an underwire bra. The response
being "yes," she informed my wife that she would have to frisk her
bra. My wife took the ensuing pat-down without externally detectable
protest and was allowed to proceed to the gate. She was more patient
with the personal intrusion than I think I would have been.
his return flight, I went to the gate to meet young son and not
wearing an underwire jock strap, I was not molested – well almost.
I came up to the extremely bored federale who checks passengers
for a ticket before allowing them to go to the scanner/molestation
-er "inspection" area. I was denied passage because I didn't have
the required papers (i.e., a ticket). The helpful federale was abrupt
and coarse and said nothing else. When asked if there were any allowances
for meeting minor children at the gate, she said "no."
mulling it over for a minute, I went to the Southwest counter and
explained my plight. Demonstrating the wide gulf in service that
exists between the private sector and any armed federal agency,
the Southwest employee promptly and courteously solved my problem
by issuing me a gate pass. After passing the same gatekeeper, I
was scanned and released to meet my son. I made it just in time
to catch him disembarking from the plane. We passed back through
Checkpoint Charlie and left for home. The point here is that the
gatekeeper federale knew that the airline could issue me the required
pass (she accepted it without question on my return so she obviously
knew they existed) but she refused to provide me with the crucial
piece of information despite the fact that I asked her if any other
means than a ticket existed to get to the gate.
back to our trip to Cleveland. It was an interesting trip through
the scanner in Nashville. The operator asked me to remove my boots
before I went through the scanner because she believed that they
would set it off. I declined and the machine didn't detect my brass
shoelace hooks on my boots and they let me pass unencumbered again.
I surmised later that they really didn't want to frisk this middle-aged
Stonewall Jackson look-alike so they took extra steps to avoid it.
I wonder if they do that when Shania Twain grabs a flight? I think
not. I can imagine them extremely gleeful to have the machine beep
for a country music starlet. Note to Shania, Faith, et. al., buy
your own plane and use the general aviation terminal. The feds haven't
started molesting women there yet.
things considered, our flight to Cleveland took eight hours from
driveway to hotel check-in. Some of our compatriots drove the same
trip in ten hours. The two hours saved were not worth the loss of
freedom, hassle, and expense. We are going to go on another trip
soon. This time we will be driving. And because our trip will pass
through Lexington, Virginia, we may just stop off and visit the
graves of two men who fought in the defense of liberty against federal
McKamey [send him mail]
is an engineer. His wife and he homeschool their seven children
in Taft, Tennessee.
© 2003 LewRockwell.com