I’m at the Sioux Falls airport checking in for my return flight to Austin (via snowy Denver).
At the security check point I put all my stuff on the conveyer belt and turn around to go through the metal detector. But there is no metal detector. In its place is something I’ve never seen…
It’s a big, cylindrical glass container, with the outline of a pair of foot prints on the small carpet at the bottom. It’s one of those new-fangled x-ray screening machines.
Oh. Hell. NO.
I stop dead in my tracks a few feet from the entrance and ask “What IS that?!” just as realization begins to dawn on me. Now I begin to back up, hands in the air, as the TSA agent calmly tries to explain how benign the monster device is.
I don’t hear a word she says other than “You don’t need to back up.”
The hell I don’t.
I’m looking again at the footprints on the small carpet inside the big, glass screening machine. I wonder to myself if those are what was left of the last guy’s ashes when the “screening” was over.
Perhaps not so oddly, the movie Soylent Green suddenly pops into my head.
Me, shaking my head: “Uh-uh. I know what that thing is. Can’t I just get wanded or something?”
Other agents, realizing the direction this was going, have come over to “A”: let me through a special gate for panicky people, or “B”: take me to the ground, cuff me a drag me off to a secret room. We both choose A and they guide me around the Soylent Green screening machine to another small carpet with a pair of foot prints just like the others.
About three female agents are hovering around me, probably unaware my panic subsided the minute they let me go around the Soylent Green screening machine. One takes charge and tells me to stand on the other foot prints – the ones not made of someone’s ashes.
She explains the process I’m about to go through in great detail. She makes a point of telling me she will not ‘touch the sensitive areas’, but will use the back of her hands to feel around my buttocks, and the side of her hands to feel around my breasts. She also mentions she will be feeling my legs – four times – using her palm, and the edge of her hand will come in contact with my crotch.
What?? Maybe the Soylent Green screening machine isn’t looking so bad.
But then again… wait! What? NO!
We have an audience, one of the other TSA agents is supervising while the first agent starts the pat down. Other passengers look on as they go through their Soylent Green screening. She starts on my head, pony tail, and then starts smoothing her hands over my back.
It feels kind of nice. I say, “This must be what my kitty feels like when I pet her.”
TSA Agent Supervisor, “You have a cat at home?” I think she missed the point.
My pat-down/petting continues and now she’s on my legs. She starts at the top and… bumps the edge of her hand right against my “happy place”.
Three more times.
I say, “Are you going to buy me dinner now?” (Yes, I really did ask her that.)
TSA Agent Touchy: *nervous laughter*
Then I say, “I can’t wait to write about this.”
I didn’t get dinner.
I made it home safely through frost-bitten Denver (twice!) and Frozen Sioux Falls. Had I not needed to get some full-time RVer completed, I never would’ve left the balmy 86 degrees in south central Texas. Thank you to all of you who wished me safe flights through all the frozen weather!
My sister, Chickenbone, is still in Hawaii. Bitch.