Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The TSA Tunes in Tokyo

Every year for Christmas, my in-laws take us on a trip (<- major perk). We used to go skiing in Aspen, which didn't suck and I don't ski. But, somebody has to partake in apres ski merrymaking with furry celebutantes and their sugar daddies. I stepped up and did my duty. The Aspen vacays were great. The highlight? Listening to my cherubs' tales of tackling Snowmass Mountain's black diamond runs Partying at the Caribou Club with Ivana Trump.

Ivana had some great moves, but, I longed for more. . .more sunshine and less snow. So, when my papa-in-law suggested a Griswold Christmas in Costa Rica, I said "hello, sunshine" and started packing.

Next month will be our third Christmas in Costa Rica. I've never been to Mexico but I've been to the Caribbean (and Oklahoma). Anyway, we Christmas in Jaco (yes, I just used "Christmas" as a verb) on the Pacific Coast. It's not touristy, it's not fancy. It's authentic and the people are genuine...there are hugs goodbye at the end of our stay. point of this post was not to brag about how great my life is and pimp tourism for Costa Rica, but it seems that's all I've done so far. Sorry.

Last year we flew home on December 27th, just two days after a terrorist tried to blow up his junk (and Motown) on an international flight. As a result of the new style of attack - igniting explosive underoos while hiding beneath a diseased airline blanket - new security measures were immediately implemented.

We still didn't know many details of what had happened on Northwest Flight 253. Airport officials told all passengers traveling to the United States, when checking in, "no liquids or powders, period". I panicked a bit as I searched in my purse and carry-on bag for all things powder and liquid and shoved them in my already bursting suitcase.

At the gate we were told that we would *all* be "patted down" and I think every single person who worked in the San Jose International Airport asked to see our passports.

They lined us up to board in one large group. As we walked down the tunnel our carry-on bags were searched again by hand and we were each felt up frisked by a same-sex agent. There was a large Indian family on the same flight. One of the Indian men said "we should get t-shirts that say, do no worry we are Indian". Everyone laughed, even the scary gate lady that checked my boobies for firmness (and explosives) cracked a smile. It wasn't pleasant, especially seeing children...including my own, in an airport shake down.

Once we passed inspection and were allowed to board the plane, I checked to make sure that the tadpoles weren't going to need any additional therapy. My son, who was 10 years old, grinned and said "he touched my pepe, Steve" (Multiplicity) additional therapy averted! Success!

Since our trip, the TSA has implemented the use of body scanners. There aren't enough scanners to go around so "aggressive pat downs" by trained screeners are being utilized at airports coast-to-coast to make sure that you or your neighbor don't have a Yemeni toner cartridge attached to your nutsack.

Travelers are less than thrilled with this new and improved (?) security measure. Personally, I'd rather be safe than y'know dead. Cheer up, you're not being humiliated alone. There's still inflight booze...for now. Most of them are professionals, but if a TSA screener "aggressively" pats you down and Let's Get It On starts playing in your head, file a complaint. I mean, nobody likes being groped by a stranger, except maybe -> this guy <- click the link, do it and don't forget to scroll down. You're welcome!

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