Operating on about 3 hours of sleep combined, my husband of 40 hours sat across from me shoe-less, his shirt up around his pasty nipples while another man rubbed him up and down. While an awkward woman rubbed my butt and patted down my vagina, our eyes met. Without attracting any more attention, I mouthed “I’m sorry.” His eyes smiled right before the man grazed his balls with his elbow. Then he wasn’t smiling anymore.

It was all my fault. Honestly.

Later, he expressed, several screwdrivers to the wind, that this was his first experience with being singled out and searched by airport security.

Mouth full of egg and cheese biscuit and several screwdrivers drunk myself, I slurred, “Well, dude, at least they didn’t take you to that back room.” I took a long drag off my drink, “Because that shit is WHACK.” I paused. “And hey, the let me keep one of my lighters.”

The Daver looked less than pleased.

“I’m sorry,” I said, chastised. “It’s all my fault.”

But was it? Was the issue with having a face (presumably) like a terrorist my fault? Certainly I’d been stopped by customs and security more times than I could possibly count, singled out from a crowd each and every time I flew since I was a small child. My father and brother, who turn equally brown skinned in the sun get it also, but not as bad as I do.

I can’t put a toe into an airport without securing a nice frisking and potential strip-search.

While I can easily claim that I *am* an asshole, the moment I hit the airport, I turn into the mentally challenged sister from Hee-Haw. I’m all “Golly Gee,” this and “Jeepers, Mister,” that with a side of “Gee wilikers” thrown in for good measure. You’ll never see a more ridiculously PC, G-rated version of me.

And still. And yet. And how.

I’ve learned to show up to the airport extra EXTRA early. I’ve learned that flip-flops – even in the dead of winter in Chicago – are the footwear of champions, and I know to wear loose baggy pants for easy up and down access.

But this begs the question. Why me? Was I marked as a potential terrorist when I was a baby? Is this on my ever-fucking Permanent Record?

We’re going to California this weekend (*squee!*) and while I’m certain I should probably just go in a thong and pasties, we’ll see how security handles me this time around. I am a married lady now with a new name and MAYBE I have made it off the DO NOT FLY list.

Then again, maybe not.

So, what gives, yo? Are you subjected to such inhumanities when you travel?


Join me over at Toy With Me for Beaver Talk With Aunt Becky where I give Cosmo a piece of my mind. Or, what’s left of it. It’s sure to…well, I’m interested to see what you think.

Over at SodaHead, I wrote about the dating site that just let 5,000 of their chubby members. Yeah. Seriously. Ouch.

112 thoughts on “Come Fly The Unfriendly Skies (etc)

  1. My husband looked quite questionably terrorist-like in his last driver’s license. We traveled internationally shortly after 9/11 – and were in fear of being singled out. Somehow we skated through without a problem though.

  2. Good Lord! I’m never flying with you. Totally sucks that you’ve been singled out so much. I’ve had my carry-on searched twice, lol, once when it was the only luggage I brought and I was on my way home. I figured if the guy wanted to search through my bag of dirty underwear, he should feel free. Now I want cheese and egg biscuits and screw drivers. *drool* Susan

  3. I barely get checked flying, at a concert, at a game or even at a theme parks. I must just have a I-don’t-want-to-kill-you kind of face.

    On the other hand, I have a knack for saying really inappropriate things, and I’m due to joke about exploding underwear or how you could take down a plane with a nail file. That’s just idiocy though, and you don’t seem to have that disease.

  4. EVERY SINGLE TIME I fly i get set aside for the extra pat down, I especially love the verifying of the underwire on my bra! I don’t know why i get such *love* unless pasty white–can NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS tan, somewhat overweight gals are the new faces of terrorism…our honeymoon was just 6 months post- sept 11th and while my new hubby sailed through every security checkpoint, every single time I got the extra check….. he thought it was hysterical. For me it was most embarrassing when I was traveling on business (back when i was actually doing business LOL) and having to fly with co-workers.

  5. Yeah, I always seem to be singled out, but I also have a habit of changing seats at the check-in counter and so forth, so I always get flagged. I really don’t mind the process too much — and you’re right, although I’d rather make smart-ass commentary, a lot of, “sir”, “m’am”, and “thank you, may I have another?” goes a long way in making yourself seem innocuous.

    Personally, I think they just enjoy feeling my wang. But there goes my ego again.

  6. Have fun on your trip Aunt Becky! And I would sooooooo like to see what would happen if you showed up in nothing but pasties and a thong. I hate those airport people. I lost a brand new bottle of perfume last time bc I didn’t have enough time to check it and they wouldn’t let me bring it on. And I ALWAYS get checked. I have no idea what it is about me but I must look suspicious.

  7. When I was in my 20s, I got stopped in airports all the time. Black women flying in from the Latin America or some island paradise often got some extra attention from security for fear that we were all carrying drugs. Racial profiling is always inconvenient.

    But recently I was stopped for an extra search and pat down and I didn’t get it. I was told it was random. Flying from Montreal to DC (Reagan National). The guy in the wheelchair in front of me also got the extra search and he told me he gets stopped ALL THE TIME. That has to be a bitch.

    I don’t know if there is any method to their madness, but there doesn’t seem to be. And with all the time they spend feeling you up, what good is it if Nigerian students can still bring explosives on the plane?

  8. I guess I should be thankful that I look so innocent. I’ve never done anything but walk through the metal detector. I’m usually travelling with my son, so maybe that helps.

  9. It is the illusion of security that makes me slap my knee with laughter every day I show up at work. I don’t know a lot about the TSA per se…however, the CATSA organization is one that is a true magical act. Barely able to utter a word of english, form an actual sentance, couldn’t run 5 feet if their life depended on it…illusion of security. It is a minimum wage job, filled by the masses who were unable to gain employment at the local movie dome. Trained to be difficult, rude and above all…superior in their role as a mall/airport cop, they begin and end the day with a smug sense of self importance and notches on the bedpost for how many grannys and pregnant ladies they got to feel up today.

  10. Flying out of Sea-Tac last week with my daughter, I finally landed on the perfect solution to the whole issue: we tucked in behind an elderly woman in a wheelchair in the TSA line. Sure enough, the agents forcibly lifted her out of her chair, strip searched her, dumped her bags out, frisked her (ancient) traveling companion and hurried my daughter and I through without so much as a word or a glance.

    I’m not saying that I was flying with my backcountry pack that I use for frequent hiking trips. I’m not saying that when I arrived at my destination I realized that I left my lighter, some matches, some ammo and (horror) nail clippers in the pack. I would NEVER say any such thing.

    I’m just sayin’ that poor woman in the wheelchair…

    That’s all.

  11. Girl I was on the no-fly list for four years, unfortunate tale, really, though not my fault. Which meant I could still fly, I just had to strip down to my underoos each and every time.
    Since I travel the most for business, my Bosses have seen more of me than my husbands combined. Good Times.

  12. I never get a 2nd look at the airport, its awesome! I guess being the whitest man alive has some perks (tons of perks).

    As long as I trim my beard to attempt to not look like a hobo I never have a problem. In college I was more of a rich white hippy, so my big flowing beard, tie dye shirts, and pj pants caused me to get searched a little bit.

    I’m 28 now, and I still have the same California Driver’s License that I got when I was 16, not a single fact on there is the same as it used to be, and the picture looks nothing like me. I just get laughed at by security, and I’m on my way.

  13. I never get the pat-down, but my bags always require extra inspection. Once, it was for a barrette. Once, I just got the random explosives swiping. Last time, I had lotion that exceeded the 3.4 oz maximum (by, um, 0.6 oz – so it was 4 oz, for you math geniuses), and they were going to make me throw it away. But I whined, and they let it pass.

    I am half tempted to say that we should discard airport security altogether, and encourage passengers to pack their guns and ammo in their carry-on luggage. Or, just tranquilize everyone once they enter the airport, tag them for their flight, and scoot ’em around on conveyor belts (i.e. people movers).

  14. I’ve been screened special-like more times than I care to count. They have a rule that if you change your itinerary a certain number of hours before you’re scheduled to fly, you get pulled aside to make nice with your friendly neighborhood TSA agent. Since I traveled about 50% for my first career job doing work that was pretty unpredictable in terms of estimating hours, and thus making concrete travel plans, I got screened just about twice a month. And even on personal trips, I seem to hit the “random” screening jackpot maybe 1 in 4 times. Maybe it’s my crazy maiden last name. We’ll see when I fly with the new name for the first time.

    1. That depends. My bosses are platinum flyers and I change their flights last minute all the time. (depending on how delayed their flights are). If you are platinum you are in a whole different line! They get there 1/2 hour before the flight is leaving? No problemo. And since American matched Continental status last year, and now Delta just did it this year thats 3 airlines down where they will kick someone out of first class for these guys.

      Note: I would NEVER want to travel so much to get such ass kissing, so I guess its kind of a draw.

    1. It’s too bad you don’t live in Canada. Rather than having to take your shoes off or your genitals mishandled by an airport security official who gets paid less than a 7-11 clerk, you will now enjoy the benefit of full body scanners. With these scanners, officials can now see you naked through your clothes, and there is a very good chance that repeated scans will make you sterile. Bienvenue!

  15. I don’t get singled out too much (but it did happen twice on one flight to Puerta Vallarta). Usually as long as I follow the rules of flip flops, sports bra (no underwires) and no belts, I can make it through the metal detector ok.

  16. I always fly with small children, usually without my husband. I tell the boys things like “the governement wants your shoes & your teddy” when we line up for TSA. This starts them wailing and clinging or they get into it and start unpacking all their juice boxes & baggies of crackers right there on the floor still yards away from the scanners, while I start unloading 50lbs of carry on luggage out of the double stroller at the same time insisting they don’t step more than 2 inches away from me, terrifying them of the metal detector making them scream more. I do it all while wearing a look of wearied patience that is about snap with violence any time now

    I have had new lines opened up just for me.

  17. I have been extremely lucky. I used to travel quite a bit and I never really got accosted, even the time I lost my ID in Las Vegas and had to fly home without any identification (and metal knitting needles in my carry-on). I did have my boobs caressed by a TSA agent once but that was because I was dumb and forgot to take out a metal barrette (so that set off the main metal detector) and I was wearing an underwire bra (which set off the little wand, requiring further inspection).

    I used to bring my old college backpack as a carry on and they really hated that bag…they’d pull it aside and “test” it every time. After about the 4th time, I asked what they were testing for, and they said radioactivity? No idea what the issue was but I stopped carrying it when I traveled.

  18. Apparently, I could not look any more like a hippy. I have only been singled out in the states once, and that was because I wore my baggy hoodie through the metal detectors. Ireland, however, is another story.
    They walked the drug dog through my bags. Twice. Seriously, they grilled me and forced the dog to walk though again. He was all like, yo bitches I know how to do my job but they pulled his leash and he followed.
    At least they didn’t grab my balls. That’s my doctor’s job.

  19. CP was on the check twice list for awhile. Yes, because our Irish name sounds SO terrorist!

    When I flew solo from Germany to Philly four years ago, in a boot cast mind you cause I had just had foot surgery you know? They made me take it off and run it through the xray. Totally cool, whatever. But then don’t ask me to stand on said JUST OUT OF SURGERY foot without the boot so you can pat me down. Seriously I don’t think there’s three pounds of whatever in my foot babe, it’s just that swollen from you know, surgery??

    Morons the lot of them.

  20. The only time my luggage was searched was 1979 . . . boy am I old.

    Last time I came back from Orlando a guy was getting in an argument with the security woman about why he couldn’t bring a SKIL-SAW on the plane in his carry on. Yes, I shit you not, an electric saw. Really, you go to Orlando, the land of theme parks and come back with a saw in your luggage – deserves to be checked to his skivvies.

    I never get checked anymore, I usually only have carry on luggage (yep, did a 10 day Disney World vacation with one carry-on!). I get questioned about why I bring so much food with me – allergies.

    My favourite customs guy was the one that didn’t ask how long we had been away, just wanted to know what our best theme park ride was. I must have an honest face!

    Aunt Becky I have no advice for you to not get searched . . . sorry

  21. ew. i’ve only been searched for security once, and it was because i set off the metal detector in scotland.

    apparently hiding a mini-bottle of whiskey wasn’t a good idea. I, of course, being the genius that I am, decided to hide it in my bra. MISTAKE. despite being glass and having cork for a stopper, it still set off the metal detector.

    after getting intimately aquainted with my lady officer friend, she decided i wasn’t a threat. she didn’t ask what was in my cleavage…and i didn’t tell her. (all i had to endure was a good frisk) god knows what she thought.

    pookie got it worse – he kept about six or seven bottles in his carry-on (we had all brought carry ons because we were just jumping a plane to ireland and didn’t want to pay the fees – all of our other luggage was in lockers in ireland). they found the bottles, and just shook their heads. they told him to please leave some alcohol in the country, because they liked it too.

    best. security. ever.

  22. I fly twice a year with my son. I never get even a second glance at the airport. My son on the other hand get stopped every. single. time. I don’t get it. It started when he was THREE years old, and on our last trip he was 7 years old and it is still happening (and we fly out again in 2 weeks – yay). We are both so light skinned we are almost clear, we both have medium brown hair, and the only difference is that I have blue eyes and he has brown eyes. Both of us are meek quiet little mice in the airport, and we have one backpack each that we carry through security (no laptops, we separate out our liquids correctly, ect). Every time we get through initial security we get pulled aside and the TSA agent tells me that they need to do a search on my son and his luggage “as a precaution”. They take out every item from his backpack, and do the Q-tip test on his shoes and hands (thankfully no groping, at least not yet). The worst part was when he was really small and didn’t understand why a stranger was touching his toys and he kept trying to tell them to leave his things alone and not take his stuff, and the agent was literally screaming (at a 3-year old) to stay behind the line or he would go to jail. Now that he is older the search doesn’t phase him as much, and if anything he thinks that it is required for kids to be searched at the airport…..which is just so sad.

  23. I the ever innocent who me kinda gal does not have any issue with security and flying. My hubs on the other hand always gets the buisness and let me tell you when flying with a 1yo and a 3yo with a car seat and a stroller, having your hubs ask you to pack up the laptop etc while he is still getting the buisness and you are arguing with said children and all the crap that comes with them is just as frustrating as being the one getting the buisness. Hopefully your married self has an easier time flying good luck!

  24. Golly, my hubby thought it was hilarious that I had to get fluffed in the air machine. Who knows how funny he’d think it was if I had to be strip searched.

    BTW – the Feb. after 9/11 I inadvertantly flew to AZ with a box cutter in my shirt pocket. Yes, I’m a girl. I thought a comfy overshirt was a good idea, apparently not. They never noticed!

  25. The only experiences I can remember involved my son. One trip his carry-on was singled out as it went through the scanner as needing a more thorough search — a bag that contained diapers, books, and stuffed animals. Um, WTF? The guy doing the search looked a little sheepish. I still wonder what they thought they saw.

    Then on another trip a hotel we stayed at gave our son a gift box of some cookies when we checked out. We packed the box into his carry-on so that he could enjoy the cookies during the flight. Once again, his carry-on gets searched. Security looked at us parents as if we were insane. Why there could be all sorts of dangerous materials in that box — how did we know there were cookies in there?!? Fortunately, they did not confiscate the box, but we did have to open it in front of them.

    Hope this next trip is less exciting for you and the Daver!

  26. I get it a lot too. Like, every time I come within 5 miles of an airport. Apparently, I look foreign – a guy came up to me in a park once and started talking to me in Portugeuse, and I replied ‘What?’. He goes ‘You mean you’re not Portugeuse?!’.

    Do I look fucking Portugeuse?!

    Apparently so!

    Having said that, I did find that after I got back from my last vacation, I had a pocket knife in my carry-on bag. No one said a thing that one time I did happen to be (unintentionally) smuggling contraband.

  27. What you need is a very short, very blonde hair do. Then you will just look like you are flying home to Cali. One of my husbands co-workers has the same name as someone on the no-fly list, so SHE also can’t fly. It’s unbelievable.

  28. I’ve never been singled out, thankfully. Even after a “WHOO!” cheer of making it through the metal detectors. Those things scare the shit out of my for some strange reason.

    Here’s to making it through to Cali safely!

  29. I get this every fuckin time. The worst was when I was 8 months pregnant with a toddler. My husband had to do everything in his power to keep me calm because I wanted to go off. I am pasty white, like translucent, but I still get the pat down so I don’t think it is skin color induced rape. I carry NO change, take off my belt, all of my jewelry and still that damn beeper goes off and I’m taken to the side. This happens every trip from San Francisco airport especially. I don’t get it and have learned to live with it but it causes some severe anxiety at the security line which may get me in even more trouble when they start doing behavioral profiling. I think I am going to learn to enjoy it as it is the most aggressive feel up I can get in a week depending on my husband’s work schedule.

  30. We were leaving St. Louis where we’d lived for 5 years, for our new/old lives back in Portland from whence we’d come. My oldest son was 7, my youngest 3. The youngest already showing signs of hyperactivity. We’d had a month’s notice that we were moving and everything was whack while I was doing my part to get us ready. The children’s behavior reflected it.

    We had the good fortune of my husband’s employment providing us with packers and movers, but the van was going to be several days behind us, so we had to pack for those several days to take on the flight. We showed up in the baggage line with the maximum we were allowed to check, the maximum we were allowed to carry on, a stroller, and restless irritable children. We worked our way to the head of the line, put our stuff on the conveyer belt to be told that we’d been ‘elected’ to have a ‘special check’and had to take our stuff off the belt and schlep it inside to be hand x-rayed.

    Gary looked at one of the big luggage movers airport personnel use. “Can we have that?” “No.”

    We had to remove our stuff, carry it inside, get into yet another line. And we weren’t done yet. We had to be patted down. At least the kids didn’t have to be. They took Gary and Connor to one are, Scott and me to another. As I stood with arms out Scott began to wail, and then I started to cry too.

    Nice goodbye kiss from the town we’d lived happily in for 5 years, and birthed my second child.

  31. I haven’t flown in forever, but back in the day I never got stopped. Last time we did Jesse got stopped because we were in a hurry and he forgot to get his belt off. Not a big deal though. I even brought a hooka back through as a carry on from Vegas and I just got a question from the stoner boys working the belt. “heeey! who’s that for?!” Yup.

  32. You and my SIL have the same problem. Every time she flies she gets searched. The last time they flew cross country they even made her change the diaper on the baby. Maybe this is why all their vacations are camping now.

  33. Pre 9/11, I was assaulted by “security” because I have a tattoo across my damn forehead that pleads for people with small amounts of power to harass me.
    I can only assume you and I have the same tattoo artist.
    I’ve figured out that perhaps they single out the weak, so if you act like a bitch then they will overlook you, and yell at your kids instead.
    Yeah, that shit doesn’t fly with me either. The last security dude that yelled at my kid almost found my flip-flop up his ass…
    Nothing intimidates those assholes like you throwing your shoes into the bins before they can blink, accompanied by a cold hard stare that begs “Fuck with me dude. I dare you.”
    So weird. I’m pretty sure that airport security is the only place where you get nowhere by being nice.

  34. I don’t get it all the time, just the extra carry-on checking. The time I remember that sucked was when I was flying with my son, who was all of 18 months or so. Maybe they did pat me down, because I seem to remember him crying while an attendant held him. He was NOT pleased. I also got pretty pissed when they made me dump an apple juice that I had bought him at the cart NEXT TO SECURITY. Seriously? No juice for you little toddler. I was like, “Why do you sell me something I can’t have?!?!?!?!” Retarded. And I think it’s all just for show, really. Are they actually catching anyone? Certainly not the potential bomber last week…

  35. I got pregnant shortly after 9/11 and wasn’t allowed to fly until I gave birth. I gave birth alright, but haven’t been back on a plane since. Who needs that stress? Hawaii can come to me, thank you.

  36. I wish I had money. I wish I had enough money to persuade you to wear the mentioned pasties and thong because that would be classy and it would make me laugh my butt off not only watching you on the news (please tell me you’d call the paparazzi to let them know where you’ll be) but also being able to say “I KNOW HER!!” Please wear pasties and a thong……Please, please….please!!

    When I went to a concert at about 19 years old, some lady was frisking me and she grabbed my butt really tight and said “That’s the free stuff and why I do this job”. I was kinda drunk so it didn’t matter that I was molested by someone old enough to be my mother.

    Also, every time I fly (3 or 4 times EVER), I get stopped and they open my carry on luggage and wipe it down with something that is round and cottonish…..Every single time. Back when I did fly…..I was like 95 pounds TOPS, and 5foot tall……and never, ever been into any type of trouble with the law……whatever, always gave me something to talk about…..oh yeah, and most of those flights took place WAY before 9/11

  37. thats messed up. for real.
    my dad got strip searched once because he booked a 1 way ticket last minute from chicago to las vegas. at least we assume thats why he got flagged.
    but apparently, if you are flying cross country and book last minute, just request a wheelchair at the airport. then they bump you up to business class & are totally accommodating when you get there.
    thats what my parents did just a few months ago when they had to come home from seattle via plane instead of the Goldwing because dad fucked up his back.
    but anyway, seriously, thats messed the hell up.
    let us know how it goes…..

  38. On our honeymoon, on the way to our cruise someone (airline or cruiseline) lost my bag, (interesting week, with no clothes, or shoes) so on the way home we had boarded our plane, stowed our carry on in the compartment over our seats. Some asshat, comes in with a huge suitcase, 2 seconds before the plane was supposed to take off, and was trying to find somewhere for his giant bag. The flight attendant started to move our bag, and my husband flipped out. After losing our luggage, he was not going to let anything of ours out of his site. The flight attendant, tried to get us kicked off of the plane. I had to go apologize to the flight attendant and the pilot, so we didn’t get kicked off the plane. This was all pre 9/11, if it would have happened after we might have gone to jail.

  39. I also get checked. Every time. I am blue eyed and have pasty white skin, average height if a little tall and have a Texas accent. My hair has been natural brown as well as pale blonde and still I am stopped. I dunno….

  40. well, you know I have a naturally brown skin so, obviously!! The worst was when we were stuck in India coz they had to for a background check…my husband is in biological research so they probably suspected he was working on a new bio terrorism attack species!!

  41. I’ve never been stopped and search- and just my luck- I’m flying out to San Francisco tonight- now I probably WILL be searched! And just to add my name is totally middle eastern and I’m 100% Iraqi- I’m surprised I’ve never been stopped lol.

  42. That must be so annoying. I never get checked for anything. Once a young policewoman pulled me over for an alcohol check, and I got very excited. Then her boss gave her an exasperated look which said “we’re not checking people like that” and they waved me through. I was a little insulted. Apparently I look like I would never ever do anything illegal.

  43. Yikes! I’ve never been stopped but had to go through a “blower” once. Everyone in the line was cracking “blow me” and “blow this” jokes. It was amusing, especially from the Grandma ahead of me.

    My mom gets singled out every single time she flies. No idea why. Her last name is Irish?

  44. I must have the opposite mojo than what you are carrying! One time I was flying out of LAX right after work so I still had the steak knife in my bag that I had used to cut my WW pizza at lunchtime earlier in the day. I put it through the conveyor belt, they found the knife, confiscated it and just let me bounce the heck up on out of there without another word!

  45. Honestly the only thing I ever get asked is whether I am mixed race or not. That comes mostly from the offenders I work with. However, I will say everytime I have flown in the last 5 years I have been pat-searched and frisked.

    I too am a fan of flip-flops and easy on pants! 🙂

  46. Thank God, I don’t usually have to go through that at the airport, though there was that one time the airline caused me to miss my connection flight in Germany and had to go through EVER security check point from Germany back to Tucson.

    Good luck with your trip and enjoy your time without the kiddos!

  47. We flew to PA a few months after 9/11. We carried on a box of glass mason jars filled with cookie ingredients, lots of white powder. Not a single person asked us about them. We never get looked at, we must just be boring looking. My sons preschool teacher kept her maiden name (Sweet) because her husband had a name that would impede her flying.

  48. I don’t get checked often when I fly, but my brother does a lot. He is large, and the only one in the family who inherited our grandmother’s dark kinky hair and tan skin. We used to pad our airport time too. Not fun.

    One time all my bags were searched because I had a box of baking soda in my carryon. What can I say – I get airsick, and it’s cheaper than Alka Seltzer!

  49. God love my sister in law, but she gets searched every time. It might have something to do with the fact that she practically shouts to every single person working TSA that she’s “An American” “With Rights” and she’s “An American who does not appreciate being treated like this!” We just grin and walk past her as she is seated in the “special” chair for “special extra scrutiny.” Heh. I mean come on! I want to say to her, take off your shoes and put your stuff in the bins to be x-rayed! What’s the big deal?!

  50. My husband is the most squeaky clean looking man on the planet. Like Opie Cunningham and it doesn’t matter if he’s dressed casually in jeans or in a suit, he gets jacked up. Every. Single. Time. And not just waved over, but they go through all of his carry-ons, he has to strip off every piece of metal, they look at his shoes and closely inspect his ID and boarding pass. I feel bad for him but it’s kind of funny, too. It’s like they go out of their way to prove they don’t profile.

  51. I am afraid to admit that I have NEVER been singled out while trying to fly TO somewhere (scared now that I’ve just POed the karma gods). BUT, I was pulled aside while trying to come back INTO the country and asked a billion and a half questions once. Yeesh.

  52. I am so pathetically pasty that I get more sympathy than complimentary feel-ups at the airport. In my current state of celibacy, I am almost tempted to go to an airport just to hang out, and act all ‘terroristy.’
    Have fun in CA.

  53. Yep, my name happens to match someone else’s on the No-Fly list. It wreaks havoc on airport travel. I remember the first time it happened – I was schlepping my 4 month-old baby by myself through the airport, seriously over-packed. (can you say first-time-mom?)

    I had the baby-bucket carseat, two diaper bags, a rolling carry-on, and my son strapped to my chest in a Maya Wrap because some internet person convinced me I could nurse *discreetly* using one and it let me have my hands as free as a first-time mom could actually be. I was told that he should nurse as the plane was taking off and again when it was landing, so I hadn’t fed him prior to standing in the security line. Do you know how fast my in-flight neighbors asked to change seats? I’ve always been rather well-endowed, and my 4 month old son was a lusty-throated chunker with rolls on his rolls. He didn’t miss a meal! And he enthusiastically enjoyed nursing, as loudly as possible, and with as much showing off what a wonderful food source I was as a 4 month old could manage. I’m not sure what the gentlemen squeezed on either side of me thought, but I know they didn’t want to be as familiar with my I-cup baby-milk nirvana blouse bunnies as they were forced to become. They did, once the plane was in the air, change seats, giving me an entire row to myself and my ‘lap baby’.

    I’m a fairly white average looking type, so it must be my name that has me flagged.

    Coming home from that trip was even more exciting, as my sister gave me her breast pump. Yeah, toss one of those babies in your carry-on, and I can guarantee a little extra attention!

    Actually, in April of 2009 I flew without being singled out for the first time – not sure why, because I’ve flown with the family several times now.

    Please, please post pictures if you show up in a thong and pasties! I’m mostly interested in public reaction.

    You could always wear scrubs – and not much else.

  54. I can never, ever go through an airport without listening to George Carlin’s airline safety lecture routing on my iPod. It was true in the 90s (and much earlier) and it’s still true today…flying sucks.

  55. Dude. I’m writing a letter to Southwest Airlines with nearly the same memo line as the title of this post. Go figure. I flew with my Iranian friend this December, and we were betting money that we’d both get patted down. Thankfully, we were able to parade right on through. Me, with my liquids bag NOT removed from my carry on. So grateful we are enforcing THAT policy.

  56. i usually get wanded after i walk through the machine. i really LOVE raising my arms up so everyone can get a good look at my sweaty pit stains. the last time i flew i got selected for a random search. of course, i was anxious about getting through security cause we didn’t have much time to make our connection, so i was extra sweaty. that job must suck. feeling up sweaty strangers all day.

    and don’t worry, aunt bex; maybe by next weekend they’ll have the new scanners out. you know, the x-ray scanners that can see through your clothes? the x-ray scanners that can see through your clothes, even your underwears? you’ll have to tell the Daver not to wear his Tom Jones unders with Pickle Holder.

  57. WTF! I have never been singled out before. I guess I look nonthreatening with my red hair and nerdy glasses and pale skin. Yeah, that’s right. European descent. Don’t be a hater. 😉

  58. i do have to say, i’m ALWAYS checked at the door. i know it’s because of my rack. my rack that requires wires to hold the fuckers up.

    sadly, i think i get way more a thrill than they do!

  59. Pingback: Milfs R Us – Updated Every 30 Minutes » Blog Archive » Come Fly The Unfriendly Skies (etc) at Mommy Wants Vodka
  60. OMG what is with all these small white ladies getting pulled over for frisking? This makes me suspicious that the dudes in charge just want to frisk up hot ladies.

    Meanwhile I’m vaguely middle eastern looking (Cause i’m a jew, supposedly we are from the middle east- I have olive colored skin that gets pretty dark in the summer and very dark brown hair and eyes), and I’ve flown maybe 40 times in the last 5 years, both with and (mostly) without my Sicilian (and so also has darkish skin for a white dude) husband, and have never been pulled aside. I had no idea they pulled so many people aside, but i guess it’s pretty common?

    Maybe cause when I’m flying I put on my new yorker slightly irritated “Don’t fuck with me” look. I thought it was cause I was a white(ish) lady flying along in businessy clothes, but apparently white ladies get pulled aside all the time!

  61. I also attribute the fact that I’ve never been mugged while living in a neighborhood where everyone gets mugged to my new yorker look. 🙂 (You know the opening credits to the fresh prince of bellair where they are in that west philly basketball court which he has to escape because the neighborhood is so full of crime? That basketball court is one block from my house.) 🙂

  62. I have never really been searched (although we flew for our honeymoon less than a month after 9/11 and they pushed so hard on my wonderbra clasp with their wand I thought the girls were going to break loose and smack someone) BUT

    The priest at our old church is dark-skinned. And named Ayoob. He once got searched during his vacation…while one or his parishioners who worked airport security was working the other “booth”! Don’t you think she could have maybe bailed him out?!?! Too funny!

  63. I went to Cancun….and talk about a Banana Republic! You literally get off the plane and stand on a line in this crowded little airport, and I do mean little, while pissed off looking militant types walk around with guns bigger than they are, and you wait in front of this contraption that little looks like a stop light. It’s all luck of the draw….if you get to the light and it’s green….yay….go on through and head toward your first margarita. If it’s red…..the little room. Frighteningly arbitrary. I literally sweated gallons until I got to the “stop light”….but alas, it turned green and me and my illicit booty entered the country.

  64. My dad always gets “randomly checked”. He thinks it’s his moustache, lol. He has an Irish/Scottish background, but with dark hair and olive skin that tans easily, I guess he has a certain ‘look’. The first time I ever flew it was just with him, and he got pulled aside and I didn’t know what to do and the security guys were like, “KEEP MOVING, MISS”. I was 17, but it was my first time in the busy hellish place that is airport security and I was scared to keep walking lest I GET LOST or something. Uggh.

  65. Well I don’t draw attention at airports…but I apparently, I cause it for others…for example, Husband I are were just getting to the gate, having already gone through security. All of a sudden, his name is being broadcast over the loudspeakers to “please return to screening NOW” So I stand waiting and waiting, and begin to worry we’ll miss our flight, when he appears looking a bit annoyed. Apparently *someone-who-shall-remain-nameless* stuffed the side pockets of his checked bag with cans of Slimfast…and didn’t tell him. Apparently, security thought they were liquid bombs or something (keep in mind, this was BEFORE liquids werent allowed)
    He was quite embarrassed, I guess the security was like, “dude, why do you drink that stuff?”

  66. Airport security is _really_ fun when you have a dozen metal piercings. Only the four in my ears are visible, let’s say. (BTW I’m 47 and I was stone cold sober when I got them, thanks, and willingly, so don’t start with the “you kids get off my lawn” bit. That’s my line. 😀 I’ve found that one way to get the security people off my back fast is to offer really loudly in a very friendly voice to start stripping down outta my 3X sized jeans right there in front of God, everyone, and their kids so they can search me right here in the middle of the check point.. and say it with a big evil grin. When I start reaching for the buttons on my shirt, they will usually try to shut me up and push me on through the line quickly at that point. I figure it’s only fair to extract my revenge on them any way I can because I hate the airport security bullshit THAT much. I hate it so much that I’d rather take Greyhound for any trip under a thousand miles from home. Been on Greyhound lately? That’s a scary thing. :p

      1. 😀 Why thank you, and hell yes. I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and had already decide that we’re each other’s evil twin. Or something. Personally I think the world needs more kick ass awesomeness it. Or maybe just more ass kicking.

  67. I traveled a LOT as a teenager, and despite my mother’s numerous lectures on why those screw-studded, laced-up-to-the-knee boots WEREN’T the wisest choice of footwear, I never learned. To this day, I happily go to the airport with piercings, metal belt buckles, rivets, etc. Maybe a perverse little part of me enjoys snickering at the people trying to find the microscopic bit of metal on my person that is STILL beeping after nearly ten minutes and two bins of crap.

    Mom was always paranoid about getting me to the checkpoint with bazillions of hours to spare, so you know, I had to find my entertainment where I could. *evil cackle*

  68. Oh dude! They do the powder residue check on my carry on every.single.time. I keep thinking I should vacuum it once and see if that helps since it looks really, really bad.

    Or there was the time I flew to and from Hawaii and the airport “randomly” selected me for a search and then the airline also “randomly” selected me for a search. Because I had all that time since I had passed through security to plant the bomb I was carrying. *Rolls eyes*

    And yes, flops are a must.

    Wanna have too much fun? Try traveling with the amount of photography equipment and electronics that I take as carry on.

  69. Try having a ton of titanium in your leg after an unfortunate (spelunking, really I was spelunking) accident. Coming back from Vegas, I got the extra special treatment. Seriously, I have a scar from my ankle to above my knee. It is full of titanium because I broke my leg really bad and they had to put it back together with titanium screws and a plate. Those crazy airport people apparently think I have a bomb or something in my leg, cause I’m gonna cut it open on the plane (NOT!! I hate blood and I’m a total baby about pain). Just let me pass, airport people! I’m not a threat to security! Good times. I hate flying.

  70. Well the only flight I have ever taken was a medic flight to the hospital. They aren’t even that gentle they cut off all your clothes and poke you full of holes.

  71. What does it say about me, or my life, that the idea of getting strip searched actually sounds good? (But not by some skanky broad…at least she wouldn’t be my first choice:))

  72. I haven’t flown since ’97 so can’t say if I would elicit a special search these days, but I set off security scanners everywhere for no discernable reason. I got wanded every time I flew, even when I learned to leave off all the chunky metalworked accessories.

    FWIW, our city’s courthouse and Kroger must use the same caliber detectors. I was late reporting for jury duty last time because it took 20 minutes of wanding, removing items and frisking (nothing like what you endure at the airport, tho’) before the deputy decided I wasn’t a threat. I also set off Kroger’s security device upon entrance and exit every single time. WTF?

  73. ROFL- I get all “golly gee” and “jeepers” when I’m wandering around airport security, too- and then I had one memorable visit to the US (I’m in Australia) where I ran over the customs guy’s foot with my trolley because I got so nervous.

    Aw yeah.

    But at the same time, I NEVER get stopped for anything. I don’t know why that is, but if I have a travelling buddy, they always get hit up for the random explosives swabbing, and I’m blushing and blabbering and… home free. Maybe it’s because they can see I’d be terrible at lying.

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