Aug 8, 2007

Random Check

On my way back from San Fransisco to Canada, I was selected for a thorough security check. After my purse, belt, shoes and laptop had been x-rayed, a young-ish looking man came over and told me to enter a Star Trek Enterprise type cubicle, while he went to check the files on my laptop. I walked into this machine, placed my feet on the indicated spot and waited, not knowing what was about to happen. Then, POOF. Some fifteen valves burst gusts of air at my body, covering every inch. I froze for a split second, before my entire body began throbbing from the heavy pounding of my heart. What the fuck just happened?!

I stepped forward and exited the machine. I looked over at the guy, who was now closing my laptop, and decided to play dumb. He looked easy enough.

"Oh my god! Wow. What just happened in there?" I said with an exaggerated but friendly-enough expression of shock.

"Oh that? That's just to detect if you've been around any explosives recently."

"Really?" I said all wide-eyed. I gave him a smile that he liked. "So, this happens randomly right, the check?"

"Oh no miss. This wasn't random. It was indicated on your boarding pass," he said, smiling nervously.

My sweet smile shifted into a tight-lipped smirk. Now I always thought these checks were anything but random, but to actually hear this guy validate that assumption was another thing. Almost comical, in a disturbing way. I began to collect my things.

"So what were you doing here? Visiting your boyfriend?"

"Stop flirting with the passengers!" joked another airport security guy from across the way.

I grabbed my bags. Put my shoes back on. Fastened my belt buckle. And walked away, irritated but relieved: at least I wasn't strip searched.


Blogger Ktrion said...

For a while they were trying out the those poofer machines as standard, part of the "put your stuff in the bin" process. I can't remember which airport that was. DC? John Wayne?

But of course there are all these warnings for pacemaker wearers and such.

If you are in any kind of a hurry when you check in (are running, rushing, afraid of missing your flight, just barely make the cutoff) they mark you for extra security.

2:25 PM  
Blogger pomegranate queen said...

wow! they were standard for a while huh? in my case i'm pretty sure it was the "born in Iran" indicator on my passport that got me the special ticket. i was most definitely not in any kind of rush, i was 2 hours ahead of schedule that day!

3:54 PM  
Blogger Journey_Wmn said...

They checked your laptop files! That's just overstepping, I can't stand our airport security. A couple of my friends got "randomly" searched, they said the airport people made it seem like they got chosen for a special prize. They were sure disappointed when they realized it just meant they got searched and frisked.

11:17 AM  
Blogger pomegranate queen said...

ya it was bananas. ya, chosen for a special prize indeed! apparently this has been happening to a lot of people lately. maybe they're making it a part of the regular checks now. so random or not, we're all gonna go through the Enterprise machine. makes you not wanna travel. ugh.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Ktrion said...

After I left my previous comment, I worried about minimizing your experience...that whole..."this happens to everyone! it's not because you're..."

Anyway, my apologies.

It is so frustrating and maddening and discouraging.

Plus, the government fear-o-meter: time to up the harrasment factor.

Meanwhile the first-class passengers get waived through.

8:02 AM  
Blogger pomegranate queen said...

ktrion! no, i didn't take it that way at all! the whole airport experience is so frustrating on so many levels nowadays.

12:31 AM  

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