Airport stories may seem like old news to you but this is my story so listen up.
A friend’s flight was stopping over in Phoenix the other night, 45 minutes or so on the ground and then on to the coast. Being close to the airport, it was a great opportunity to see a predominantly “internet friend” in the flesh. Now I dislike airports, always have, not sure anybody ever says “Oh Boy! Trip to the airport!” It’s just one of those things you endure like dentists and somebody’s new girlfriend who dissaproves of all his buddies “habits.”
The new security at Sky Harbor Airport begins at the entrance, where you are stopped half-heartedly by three people who couldn’t be more bored, and will occaisonally jazz things up by stopping the random Joe for a more thourough search. Guess they thought my name was Joe. The Man in the group shone a flashlight inside my vehicle and ordered me to pop the trunk. Stepping to the back of the car, he shone the light again, never looking in any of the boxes or tool buckets, and never coming near the secret compartment big enough to hold two one gallon gas cans. He then opened up the other doors loudly and with much brute force, the flashlight beam bouncing off another 1001 places which could have hidden anything from a cigarette pack sized bundle of Kaboom electronics to a thousand sticks of dynamite. Not that I actually had any contraband, there wasn’t an illegal thing in my vehicle, but that’s not the point. There *could* have been, and unless this guy had a magick flashlight beam that turns red when it illuminates terrorist booty he might as well have stayed in his lawn chair and waved me through. What the hell was the point?
Inside an ad hoc security checkpoint was set up before you get to the terminal gates, ticketed passengers only may enter. This seemed to make some sense and might actually set up a barrier of defense to stop some bastard out to sabotage a flight.
All the time announcements would blast “Do Not Leave your Luggage unattended, it will be confiscated, you will be fined”. Airport security and employees walked around with grim faces, serious faces. They were on the watch, they were watching YOU, Mr or Mrs Terrorist. I made a mental note to not make any jokes about drunken airline pilots after the America West incident where a fool cracked wise and was detained and charged by America West and the cops were still trying to think of what to charge.
So I sat and waited for my friend to arrive and watched as people were entering the gates with their tickets. Just show your ticket, that’s all. Go through the usual metal detector which would have been the third level of security check and by the looks of how they were doing they pretty much figured the first and second team would have caught anything. It was utterly, sadly, useless.
It’s all for show. The emphasis isn’t on keeping you safe, its about making you feel safe.
Now I’m not saying let’s not have security measures. Hell yes, let’s find out who is getting on the flight with what, but let’s do it! Let’s goddamn do it! Don’t just shine a flashlight on me and let me enter with a wave of a piece of paper, search me you lazy bastards! If you are going to waste my time then I want to have a torn apart van and sore rectum for a week. Screw civil liberties, this is war isn’t it?
Americans understand, they are for the War in Afghanistan, Iraq, hell, anywhere the government says they want to “save” a country, the Americans are eager as can be.
Patriotism, USA, USA, We’re Number One, Honk if you want WAR! Hell yes, if we want war then we are willing to protect our Uncle Sam stained soil and bend over for whatever it takes to keep the red, white, and blue waving proudly over this land!
Search every last mofo that passes through the airport, and I mean that guy in wheelchair who got a waiver to go through the gate! Are you kidding me? You mean if I’m in a wheelchair, even with a bomb strapped underneath and wired for laser beam blasts I can just roll on through if I have a waiver? Do you really think a terrorist is not wise to the ways of the airports? Homeland Security. It is an utter waste of time for the already law-abiding citizen. The nutjob with a mission would have this figured out quicker than me and I don’t even jaywalk, much less plot to do harm.