I've been flying a lot lately--three trips in six weeks--and now that all my travel has been completed I'm glad I won't need to go near another airport for a while. I'm getting used to the whole post 9-11 paranoia thing, but I sure am nostalgic for the good old days when going to the airport was part of the fun of travel. Now it's more like a test to see if you've got the cojones to actually take a trip.
I remember when "security" meant some grumpy guy in a uniform asking if you were carrying any liquor or cigarettes in your suitcase. Not usually a problem for me--drink it and smoke it before you leave is my motto. But I always felt like I looked guilty even if I wasn't.
Apparently, I never did nail the innocent look, because on all three trips I took in the last six weeks I got "selected" for extra screening on at least one leg of the trip. The first time, it was 5 a.m. and I was in that damn DNA zapping machine before I knew what was happening--I'm so NOT a morning person. The second time, I was more than a little irritated but didn't want to piss off The Man and risk missing my flight. By the third trip I'd already made up my mind that I was done with being irradiated and I would just get to the airport in plenty of time for my free TSA massage if it came to it. Which of course it did.
Honestly, it's no big deal. It took a little courage on my part to tell them I was requesting the pat-down but I'd already decided I wasn't going to take my chances in the Orgasmatron machine anymore. I know they say it's perfectly safe, less radiation than an x-ray, yada yada yada, but who gets that many x-rays in less than two months unless they're sick?
It was all very professional. You have the option of going into a private area, but I decided not to. You stand on a cushy mat, with your feet apart, while they play the Where's Waldo game all over your body. The most "invasive" part was the karate chop move to my hooha, but if you've ever been to a gynecologist you've had way more than that done to your private parts while naked and on your back. I just wanted to get to my gate so I could knit. As long as they never, ever screw with my knitting I'll keep flying.