Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

16 October 2011

My Ass and the TSA

I have to go to Chicago this week to look at a helicopter we’re thinking about buying. Quick up-and-back. On the phone with my friend Matt, he suggested that I get a cheap flight that connects through in Atlanta so I could come see him. “You are flying, right?” At which point I launched into one of my patented diatribes about how I will NEVER fly on a goddamn airliner ever again, period. I worked myself into high dudgeon, cursing like an ex-sailor-turned-New Jersey mobster, blood pressure setting off alarms at nearby hospitals and clinics, CIA eavesdroppers yanking off their headsets and blushing in embarrassment. Long-suffering readers will know that this is familiar ground for me.

At one point when I inadvertently paused to take a breath, Matt said in a quiet voice, “Sorry I asked.”

Well, he should have known better.

The last time I flew on the airlines was before the implementation of these new body image scanners (Advanced Imaging Technology) that allow the TSA perverts to look through your clothes and see you naked. This was before the newer, more-invasive "bad touch" pat-down/feel-ups of incontinent grannies in wheelchairs, nuns and little children. No, the last time I flew we merely had to remove our shoes, belts, watches, etc and sneak through the metal detector, hoping our iron-rich blood wouldn't set off the alarm. I wrote about it here. It pissed me off so much that I vowed to never set foot on another airliner. It angers me still.

Fuck the TSA! That’s what I say. I’m tired of this shit.

Those last three sentences are basically what I said to Matt. Only I took about thirty minutes to say them.

I will drive to Chicago. It will take a day and a half each way. It will take a total of 30 hours of driving – in my own car on my own schedule. I may remove my shoes – but if I do so it’ll be so I can drive in comfort not because some idiots are afraid that there’s a bomb in them. I will bring as much luggage as I like including substances packaged in containers exceeding three ounces. I may even bring my gun, or my guitar so I can practice in the motel rooms.

Gas will cost $220 (at $3.50/gallon). I will spend three nights in a motel…figure a total of $300. Food…I dunno…figure $50. Total trip cost: Call it $600. Could I fly up and back more cheaply? Maybe not. The cheapest flight/hotel/car package on Orbitz.com was $573. The cheapest similar package on Travelocity.com was $610. Could I book each item separately and find cheaper deals that would result in a lower overall cost? Perhaps. But the total isn’t going to be that much cheaper than driving. The difference would be that I could do the trip in two days instead of three. But I’d have to agree to being felt up or seen naked by the TSA. The choice for me is easy.

You can't see it with your fancy xray machines, and you certainly can’t feel it with your rubber-gloved hands, but you can kiss my ass, TSA. I will drive.

Sorry, Matt.


Brad said...

You probably should drive from now on, I think the TSA has a "random" cavity search policy for people who post "fuck the TSA," on their blog.

Bob Barbanes: said...

Heh, probably! Look what happened to JFK when he said he wanted to abolish the CIA. He said he wanted to "...splinter (it) into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds." Connection between that and what happened in Dallas in 1963? Who knows...I'm just sayin'.

But no worries, Brad. I have ZERO intention of ever riding on an airliner ever again. But you just watch! I'm telling you, TSA will initiate state-line checkpoints on the (federal) Interstate highways and I'll have to deal with them bastards again. 18-wheelers are the new threat to NATIONAL SECURITY!!!

I can see it now: I hand my driver's license to the blue shirt Nazi. On his iPad, he checks my name against his database of "suspected terrorists" and says, "Uhhhhh, okay...Mr. Barbanes is it? From Pensacola, Florida? Could I ask you to step out of the car, sir?" And I'll be like, "Here we go..."

Think it's farfetched? Hah. We allowed the government to pass the Patriot Act didn't we?

Anonymous said...

Harumph! Harumph!
Maybe Mongo can deal with TSA!

Couldn't agree more!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was a little sorry I asked, although it is always fun to hear you get on your pedestal :) But I agree that the TSA is ridiculous and needs to be abolished, but I do put up with it. Hope you still come by on your way up! Later,


Mike Morris said...

I know what you're saying Bob. I've been lucky and gone through the metal detectors most of the time. It's getting a little out of hand.

BTW be careful if you practice with your gun in the hotel room. Don't shoot anyone who doesn't deserve it.

Bob said...

The title says it all.

Bob Barbanes: said...

Oh believe me, Mike, if I shoot someone it's because they need it. Threaten *my* life? I don't think so! (The key is in knowing the difference between an actual life-threatening situation and some harmless drunk/mad guy who just needs a good ass-kicking.)

Oh, and it's not "just" a metal detector anymore. At airports with the new devices it's an EITHER/OR proposition. EITHER you agree to let us look through your clothes and see your junk, OR you let us do our "enhanced patdown" so we can feel your junk. Here in Pensacola we don't have the AIT machines yet so EVERYBODY gets groped.

Screw it. Unless I can ride in the pointy end, I aint flying.

Anonymous said...

Did you take the job in dallas?