December 10, 2010

Kilt-wearer sticks it to the TSA Man, so to speak

An excellent tale from Subliminal Panda (HT: Arstechnica), "The TSA: fondling fat men’s balls since 2010," or "I got felt up by a guy with a community college security degree, and all I got was this lousy blog topic":

...When I see the TSA’s AIT plan, I see that same sort of overprotective parenting in play. No, I’m not talking about the sort of “nanny state” drivel that you see frequently vilified in libertarian and teabagger blogs [I suspect he would include Jawa in that category, but whatever - B]. There’s common sense, and there’s over-reacting. As Americans, we’re still in a cultural state of shock after 9-11, and we’re still prone to overreactions. We’re Americans. Overreacting to things is as in line with our values as Mom, baseball, apple pie, and forced Imperialism in the hopes of cheap petroleum. In post 9-11 America, the overreactions are just taken to a Spinal Tappish eleven. Go big or go home, right? We don’t even question it anymore when the government introduces new policies…unless it runs the risk of somehow violating our genitals.

So I sat in front of my laptop monitor and tablet screen in the days before my flight, reading the ruckus about the new AIT-patdown combo. I saw the webpages propagating and the petitions surging across Facebook and Twitter. And I thought about my flight. Isn’t it the duty of every good child to resist overprotective parenting and push some boundaries? The last time I was fondled against my will was when I had my pre fat camp physical at thirteen, and I heard the phrase that makes all men cringe: “please drop your pants, turn your head, and cough when I ask you to.” As I figure, if the TSA wants to have a close, intimate relationship with me (albeit a brief one), why not just cut out the boundaries of the AIT and give them one?

I’ve been wearing a kilt for seven months now. For years, I thought about buying one and secretly envied friends who had and wore them. Then, to prepare friends and family for my eventual midlife crisis (start small and go bigger, I argue. The kilt today, new career at forty, sports car at forty-five), I broke down and bought two. By the end of the summer, pants and shorts had been strictly relegated to workplace fare. My kilts were my daily uniform. I’d worn my kilt on a flight two months earlier. Friends were starting to get used to the sight of me wearing a man-skirt (their words, not mine), and I was getting used to being out in them. Why let a new government policy change things? After all, if I had to wear pants or shorts, didn’t that mean that the terrorists won? Then again, isn’t the turning of that question upon the violation of American civil rights in the last nine years a cliché now?

My friends were divided. Most thought I wouldn’t do it. Others dared me to do it. The people in first group still don’t know me very well, what can I say? On November 18, 2010, at about 8:15am, I walked into Raleigh-Durham International, ready to strike a blow in the name of civil rights…or at least kilt enthusiasts everywhere. Friends were bracing to watch the news that night and see my image plastered across Glenn Beck’s wipeboard. I performed the old security theater: my iPad in one bin, Macbook Pro in another, boots, jacket, flat cap, belt, and cane in a third bin, messenger bag in a fourth bin, and TSA approved Ziploc bag containing my travel sized toiletries in a fifth. My rollerboard bag made the caboose of my little public safety train. The TSA agent pointed to the ominous machine (which looks more like the “Shake Shack” that Danny and Sandy serenade one another upon at the end of Grease….come on, could it be that bad? If I broke out in chorus of “You’re the One That I Want,” would I get arrested, or just get strange looks from the TSA agents?), and I took a deep breath. Showtime…literally...

Read it all for the conclusion of the tale.

Meanwhile, the pussy Scots have now decreed that the obligatory "regimental"-style for kilt-wearers is now out of fashion.

Figures.

By Barbarossa at 10:24 PM | Comments |