Getting patted down by the TSA: Actually not that bad

By on November 18, 2013, in Blog

So as I was innocently making my way to New Orleans for a work trip, I landed in some hot water. There was some weird beeping happening when I went through the metal detector at Sky Harbor (the metal detector at Flagstaff “International” “Airport,” better known as the Flagstaff Airport, Hair Care and Tire Center,* had no issues).

Whyyyyyyy? [/Nancy Kerrigan]
My hands, hairdryer and inside suitcase pocket tested positive for “explosives.” I spent 35 or so very nerve-wracking minutes answering questions, having swabs run over my hands and being patted down before it was revealed that upon a re-test, none of my shit actually had explosive material on it. I can only imagine what came up when they did a search for my name: Fucking Boring Lady; Absolutely Least Likely Person on the Planet to Provoke Terror or Even Complain When Her Drink Order is Wrong; Overeducated Sarcasti-Bitch**. I don’t even have parking tickets.

The pat-down
The TSA lady earnestly and sweetly explained to me what she was about to do to me. As the daughter of a dude who used to be a corrections officer: Ha. The words “cavity search” never even came up. Using the backs of her hands she was going to [do something that didn’t even register] and using the fronts of her hands she was going to do [something that also didn’t even register]. I have had underarm waxing appointments that have felt more thorough and violating. I’m not complaining that I didn’t feel violated by the TSA. After metal-detecting them and x-raying their shit, violating their person is probably not productive. Honestly, the whole TSA thing feels like a placebo and this experience didn’t change my perception of that.

Oops, you aren’t a terrorist after all. Our bad!
Some TSA dude and his TSA buddy came over to question me, which was really nerve-wracking (they weren’t gonna let me leave til I answered them to their satisfaction AND I HAD NO ANSWERS BECAUSE I DO NOT BUILD EXPLOSIVES) until the other TSA peeps were like, oh, yeah everything came back negative on a re-test. Then I was immediately allowed to leave, because WTF.

The aftermath
I went immediately to the airport bar/restaurant and got a very large beer and a burger and fries, because I deserved it. Oh, how I deserved it. Key learnings: Check your damn bag and wash your hands thoroughly. Also, leave a lot of layover time.

*Yeah, I steal jokes from Ron White. I grew up in Kingman. What do you even expect.
**For the “Drew Carey Show” fans out there.