Because I decline to avoid air travel, I still get to encounter the TSA at the airport from time to time. I just caught a flight with my wife and daughter, and was struck by how desultory the Testicle Security Administration has become.
It seems to me that TSA officers have internalized the widespread sense that they’re low-status people doing a foolish job poorly. And it seems very clear to me, after flying this week, that the TSA’s managers also understand the degree to which they’re operating a jobs program for people with profoundly limited life options.
First, a note on my decision to fly. The TSA’s halfwit employees, and its bootlicking defenders, constantly insist that critics of the agency have no right to travel by air. If you don’t like the TSA, they say – over and over and over again – then you can take a bus. (Or, as they tend to actually write it, “flying is a priviledge not a right if you don’t liek it take a grey hound lol.”) So it seems to me that the decision to refuse to fly validates their idiotic position, granting them the power to kick you out of an entire system of travel. I decline.
With that said, my daughter is six years old, and my wife and I agreed in advance that we would turn around and go home if a Toddler Sexual Abuse officer stepped forward, licking its creepy pedophile lips, and announced its intention to touch our child. I don’t care about patdowns for me; my position is that get down there and grab yourself some dick and balls, you miserable p.o.s. My daughter can make her own decision when she’s old enough; but for now, she’s off limits to these people, who tend to be the scum of the earth.
On Thursday at the airport, a pair of TSA agents were working the line, walking up to passengers and pointlessly, uselessly, pathetically swabbing their hands for explosive residue before we reached the ID check area. But we ignored their theatrical performance – literally just ignored them, walking past them like they weren’t there – and, after an awkward pause, they moved down the line to the next passenger.
Then we walked over to the Pre-Check line, undirected and without having signed up for Pre-Check, and walked through the metal detector without removing our shoes or taking anything out of our bags. You might think the TSA allowed us to make this choice because we were traveling with a child and all their defrocked priests and child porn collectors were on break, but other adults traveling without children made the same choice with the same result. We waltzed through in maybe three minutes, walking past an openly bored TSA clerk at the metal detector without a word.
And this, it seems to me, is increasingly the reality at airport checkpoints: It is frequently possible to just do this in the presence of the theatrical performance. Ditto the idiotic “behavior detection officers,” whom I always ignore without consequence.
Then we got to our gate, and – nearly an hour before boarding – six TSA officers appeared. Six. They stood in the boarding area until boarding began, doing absolutely nothing at all but leaning on a counter and bullshitting with each other. Then the airline’s gate agent announced that the TSA would be checking everyone’s ID at the gate. Then four of them immediately left, having fulfilled 1/8 of their their daily make-work requirement.
So again, I handed my boarding pass to the gate agent, walked into the jetway, and just walked past the two remaining TSA clerks without bothering to take notice of their existence. Again, no consequences: You stare blankly ahead of you, they stare awkwardly at the ground, life goes on.
When we arrived at our destination, two TSA clerks — morbidly obese and, again, openly bored — leaned against the wall at the top of the jetway, watching us shuffle off the plane. The total uselessness of their presence proves the primary purpose of the agency: It’s a jobs program for marginal people.
I vote for “ignore them as much as possible, and do what you want.” Unless you’re a survivor of sexual abuse, or they take a special interest in your children, they are the most ignorable people on the planet.