Here’s Why I Won’t Fly

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How do people put up with this?

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Eric,

    Today’s (2013AUG14) comic made me think of this post.

    From dilbert.

    Sometimes it makes me wonder who’s side the gov’t is on. (Then I remember. 😉 )

  2. Testicle Safety Assessors will keep us safe comrades. Imam Hussein the Chicago toilet water to wine converting messiah will use his laser like focus to thwart the pesky evildoers, just like he did in Boston. To each according to his needs, workers of the world unite, solidarity through redistribution.

  3. Believe me, I wouldn’t even consider flying if I didn’t have to. Unfortunately, the nature of my current work makes it unavoidable. HOWEVER, I’ve begun compensating for this misfortune by giving the TSA and its blue-suited tards (BST) as much headache and heartburn as I can. How do I do this, you might ask? Read on.

    When I go through the security checkpoints, I always –and I do mean ALWAYS– opt out of the pornoscreening process. No radiation bath for this cowboy! And when I opt out, I always –and I do mean ALWAYS– demand that my pat-down take place in a private screening area, away from the main screening area. I do this not become I’m modest or embarrassed; oh no, not at all. I do it because it is a major inconvenience/PITA/hassle for the BSTs. For those who fly on even a sporadic basis, you may have noticed that at any given TSA checkpoint, there are, for every BST who is “working,” a half dozen or more others just standing around with their thumbs up their asses. When I demand a “private” groping, it necessitates one of these otherwise idle BSTs to call another idle BST over in order to explain what’s happening, then they have to call over a third otherwise idle BST to take me back to the private screening area, where yet a fourth otherwise idle BST is conscripted to do the actual pat-down.

    Here, I am killing two birds with one stone. First, I’m causing an inconvenience for the system. Second, I’m forcing otherwise idle, oxygen-thieving wastes of human flesh and taxpayer money to at least pretend that they are justifying the money being wasted on their salaries by actually having to pretend to actually DO something.

    Trust me, dear readers, THEY HATE THIS. Their expressions would make this abundantly clear even to Helen Keller. To make a TSA BST actually “earn” its paycheck is like throwing liquid garlic on a vampire or water on the Wicked Witch of the West

    Next, while I’m being privately “screened,” I become an absolute ASSHOLE about insisting that my carry-on property be completely with my range of vision AT ALL TIMES. I also remind the BSTs in very blunt terms that their reputations for maintaining the integrity of passengers’ personal items is not exactly stellar. This is where I demand that I be allowed to inventory my carry-on items just to make sure that nothing “untoward” has happened in between the time that they passed through the x-ray detector and the time that they arrived on the other side of it on the conveyer belt. Not once has this demand been refused. I then take my sweeeeeeeeeeet time inventorying all my belongings, carefully examining each item to make sure that it hasn’t in some way been damaged by the x-ray process at the checkpoint (those bins DO collide with each other on the belt, you know).

    BTW, I should note that it’s interesting that I have NEVER, EVER heard a TSA BST urge passengers in the security line to “hurry up,” “move along,” or utter any other such obviously totalitarian crowd control line. I think even they realize that if they do so, they will either 1) provoke a riot on the spot, or 2) provoke everyone to move at the same snail’s pace that I do. Maybe this means that they’re not complete morons after all. But I digress.

    Finally, I make them draw out the pat-down for as long as I can. This might seem counter-intuitive, but there’s a method to the madness. The longer I draw out the pat-down, the more visibly UNCOMFORTABLE the BST becomes. Seriously. I kid you not. Each and every time I’ve done this, the BST patting me down has uttered some version of “believe me, I don’t get off on/enjoy doing this.” It is PRICELESS to hear these guys say this, especially in the most embarrassed and sheepish of tones*. I’m actually optimistic enough to feel that I’m inducing, at least within some of them, a twinge of shame for doing what they do/being what they are. Probably misplaced optimism, but I’ll take it over nothing.

    So how do I prolong this pat-down? It’s easy. I just shift my body the wrong way, or at the wrong time, or jump/startle when they touch me in a certain body area (even if it doesn’t really bother me at all). It breaks their concentration and they have to start all over again. Iget to decide when I’ve had enough, not them.

    The whole process takes between ten and twenty minutes, depending on how backed up the line at the checkpoint is, which is why I always make it a point to show up at least two hours early for each flight. Now ten or twenty minutes is not a long time in real terms, but it is an INTERMINABLE interval to the BSTs who have to provide the “service.”

    Now ask yourself this, folks: what would happen to the system if EVERY SINGLE PASSENGER did what I do and demanded what I demand, prolonging the process like I do?

    I dare say that the whole system would COLLAPSE.

    Trust me, folks, I’m as insulted, angry, and frustrated by this transportation totalitarianism as all of you are and would avoid it altogether if I could. But since I can’t, I’m going to do my part to peacefully DESTROY IT – and have a little fun at the system’s expense while I’m doing it.

    Just two cents worth of food for thought, to mix metaphors.

    • (* At some point in the future I’m considering requesting a FEMALE BST to pat me down, just to see how they’d react to the request. I’d probably quickly and dearly regret this request as soon as I was granted it, but a little voice of perverse curiosity is pleading in my ear for me to try it.)

  4. Hey, those dedicated public servants have to be careful. That gal might have had a pressure cooker hidden in her pants. {eye roll}

    • I sympathize – I feel – for that girl and her mom. But, I am also angry with them. Why do they put up with it? Is it so god-damned important to fly? Will they suffer an outright gynecological/proctological exam if the Blue Shirt Goons demand it?

      It depresses me endlessly that people just… submit. Especially with regard to this. I understand that most people have no choice as far as driving. But most of us do have a choice as regards flying. Enough of us, at least, to shut the fucking system down by not flying until this submission training is ended.

      I probably did myself a lot of harm, professionally, by deciding to stop accepting invitations from the car companies to attend their “long” and “short” lead media events – where they fly journalist to a location so that we can drive cars before they become available to the public. I used to go about once a month to one of these. But I have not attended a single one since the submission training went into effect. I told the car companies why I could no longer attend. They probably think I’m a kook – and in any case, it means I don’t get access to the cars at the same time my competitors do, which means they get to write about the “latest thing” before I do.

      But I will not fly – not until this blue shirt bullshit is thrown in the woods.

      • Here, here, Eric. I don’t either. And I feel exactly the same way. It sickens me to no end to hear people tell “I went to Vega$ or I went to such and such a place,” knowing that they put their hands up in “surrender” mode or submitted to a grope and possible cavity search by costumed low rent thugs that couldn’t get a job at McDonalds. It’s not the fact that they couldn’t work at McDonalds that bothers me. Its the fact that we are being taught to submit while they also rife through checked baggage. When was the last time someone checked luggage and a bomb went off in a plane? Of course, it’s not about that….. Fortunately, I haven’t had to fly for work. I just tell them that I am afraid of flying, which is bullshit. I used to love to fly. Not today. Not any more. I despise the whole notion. Have since 1996 since they started checking IDs at airports. The last flight I took was for work in November of 2011. Luckily I wasn’t scanned or groped. I heard that they have tightened the noose even tighter since.

      • Eric, I was forced to fly for the first time in three years back in Febuary, got god awful sick as a result, but I decided that if they were going to either irradiate my nuts or grope them that I’d go for the full abuse and make it public, not hiding behind screens and such. People have to have their conscience prodded and they sure as hell are not going to get that while viewing fellow sheep go through the radiation booth. They might, just MIGHT have an original thought and realize that if the blue shirted goons are going to violate us then make them work their asses off for their fetid porridge. Choke the lines to overflowing with volunteers to get groped and see the system grind to a halt.

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