Coming back from visiting some family for the holiday weekend, I came upon the new option of either going through TSA’s full body scanner or “opting out” and getting the full feel up. Going out of SFO there was nothing like that, but coming back from the San Diego airport they gave us the reach around, I mean run around, I mean full monty, I mean full treatment, I mean . . . no, that is what I mean.
Anyway, I opted out, along with the two female passengers I was traveling with. I’ve read a little bit on the health concerns and remain convinced that there are dozens of things I should be addressing about what we’re exposed to daily before I worry about a few seconds of this level of radiation. I opted out because I don’t think it should be easy to push us into new areas of decreased options without some push back. Not intended to slow down progress, but to put pressure on the deciding bodies to check their intentions. Blah blah. So I got the pat down.
Actually, it seemed quite like the body searches I’ve had plenty of times while being picked out of the line to be touched all over.
Seeing the Giants temporary tattoo on my forearm the TSA Toucher got me comfortable by talking about baseball. Despite being a Red Sox fan, he was a very pleasant fellow. He didn’t give me grief or even ask me why I was choosing to opt out of the scan. I asked him if the opting-out had created bottle necks in the process and he said that he usually worked at a terminal that didn’t have body scans and people would walk up to him exclaiming “I want to opt out!” and he would just sigh and tell them to go on through.
He started off by telling me that he wouldn’t do anything to me that would require him to buy me a drink. First he patted me down and when he got to the bottom of my happy trail area he quickly brushed across to my inner thighs with the back of his hands, making no moves to grab or fondle anything he may have found. A couple leg pats and that was that. Residue tests came back negative and I was on my way. Not so bad, but also not so great. Safety first, for sure, but with complications like privacy issues and racial profiling, this whole business becomes quite tricky.
Then we had some free time and since the TSA guy hadn’t bought me a drink I got the round and we did some airport karaoke.
Any other TSA thoughts?