"You may be subjected to additional search methods."
That is the sign you see when you get to the security checkpoint at Logan international Airport.
Well, it's actually one of many, but I'm not concerned with the one about your carry-on size, or what you should be doing with your small bag of packed liquids. I'm only concerned with the "may be subjected to additional search methods" sign.
With me it seems there's no may about it. If you've been reading this blog as I've made past trips then know that experience has shown me that I should carry around my own sign that I could flash at Security: "I will be subjected to additional search methods!"
We've all been warned again and again that they pull people out of the line for "random" searches, and told that it has nothing to do with Racial Profiling. Well, I must just look every "random", since I have been wanded, frisked, bio-metrically scanned, and once even tested for explosives residue.
I swear, if I lived out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but farms and cornfields, then I would have definitely been abducted by aliens by now, just so they could probe me in a nightmarish fashion before leaving me standing confused and alone, and feeling a little jellied in places, on a road in the middle of nowhere more than 100 miles from the place they picked me up.
That actually is a fear of mine. Not that I'll be abducted and probed by aliens, but by humans. The only thing left for the personnel of various airports to do to me is to pull me into a small room that smells of terror and violation, where the largest man I've ever seen snaps on a blue latex glove and tells me to try not to tense up.
It hasn't happened yet.
It's only a matter of time
So it was with all this in mind that I approached the Security Checkpoint at Logan on my way to the plane that was to take me to Colorado this morning.
What are they going to do to me today? I wondered. Is today going to be the big day?
The roped-off maze that the line is supposed to weave through was only half-full when it came into view. I started to step in and work my way to the back of the line, but I was stopped by a voice.
"Please step this way!"
My heart stopped and my head filled with visions of my tear streaked face in a small dark room, but all that happened was the security officer snapped one of the ropes from its stanchion and allowed me into a kind of short-cut corridor, right to the back of the line.
At security I went right through. Stuff through the x-ray machine, me through nothing but the metal detector. I put my shoes back on and I was on my way!
After a short wait I went right on the plane, one of the earlier groups to board. I found my seat in the rear of the plane, an aisle seat next to two empty seats, the center and window. I waited as the plane continued to fill, and passengers took many of the seats around me. I kept waiting for someone to show up and make me move so they could get into my row. I waited until the plane door closed and we were taxiing along the runway before I believed it. I was the only one in the entire plane to have all three seats in my row to myself. No neighbors. Room to spread out.
Now, I had the easiest, most hassle-free flight I've ever had, but I just couldn't bring myself to enjoy it.
Why, you ask? Why did I have this blissful experience with JetBlue and the employees of Logan International Airport, and I couldn't just sit back and enjoy it?
Because I know. They're setting me up. Lulling me into a false sense of security. They're going to get me all happy and satisfied, as comfortable with traveling with them as I am sitting on the couch in my own home. They're going to get me to the point that I actually look forward to traveling with them, that as I'm driving to the airport I'm anticipating a wonderful, stress-free trip with wonderful people looking to my every whim. And then ...
The room. The man. The glove. The terror.
I know it's coming. Oh yes. I know. I'm spending the return trip with my back to the wall.