BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Back from a long trip through the Grand Tetons, Motorhead/Dio/Maiden, and the Video Music Awards. A trip that ended in an interesting conversation with a TSA screener at the Denver Airport.

Quickly: My employers were kind enough to fly yours truly from New York to Denver (for my brother’s wedding) after a brief stop in Manhattan for the VMA’s. (95% hip-hop people - had no idea who anyone was – spent most of my time in the VIP lounge drinking free beer.) So, it was up to me to get meself from Denver to L.A, which I did by purchasing a one-way ticket on Frontier Airlines.

Everything was hunky dory until I hit the screening line. That’s when I found out that purchasing a one-way ticket automatically puts you in the “check this guy out” column. In fact, the ticket is marked with an “SSSS” right below the flight info.

I was dragged aside, led to the special screening area and embarrassed in front of the predominately white crowd. I de-shoed, de-belted and placed everything I had in the thingamajiggy. The woman at the screening table began to dig through my bag as some dude worked me over with his tricorder.

The scariest thing in the duffle was an Iron Maiden shirt and a week’s worth of slightly used boxers, but that’s not what they were looking for.

“It’s the one-way, ticket, huh?”
“Excuse me?”
“You know, that put me in this line.”
“Right. Well, if you wanted to blow up a plane, you wouldn’t buy a round trip ticket, would you.”

Come again?

IF YOU WANTED TO BLOW UP A PLANE, YOU WOULDN’T BUY A ROUND TRIP TICKET, WOULD YOU?

Huh?

“Why not? To save money?” That’s what I wanted to say, but I didn’t. I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut, because I was not in the mood to spend the rest of the day in the TSA office…answering questions about my possible “links” with “terra-ists” and “evil-doers” and my copy of Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.”

The TSA screener then turned to me and said, “See, they think they can outsmart us, but we’re onto them.”

I had, oh, I don’t know, about a thousand reactions to that statement, but chose instead to stand there like a jerk. In fact, I wanted to thank her for protecting me. Like many Mericans, I hated living through the Clinton administration. A dreadful time…when planes were slamming into buildings on a daily basis.

I was, however, instantly transported to the Homeland Security seminar were they drill the above-mentioned statements into the brains of their (non-union) workers: “Terrorists Do it One Way!” “Adidas Sambas: Indoor Soccer Shoes or Comfortable Bomb Carriers?” “The Leather Belt: Not Just a Pants Holder Anymore.” (I swear to god I heard a Newark screener tell a befuddled traveler that terrorists DO carry bombs in their shoes just a few days before.)

She finished checking my stuff, and I was free to go. A few stares from a Wal-Martian or two, but that was about it. I couldn’t help but think that this whole thing is done for them…to keep them in a constant state of you know what.

Holy shit. Some guy just walked by my apartment wearing chinos, a red t-shirt and a Mexican wrestling mask.

All is not lost! There is still hope!

More later…





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