Tuesday, November 27, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 66



Trailer trash, troglodytes, trials and turkey: Thanksgiving

Randy Woock

No imaginary level of safety is worth the trials and tribulations of air travel these days. The news can parade out all the human sheep to bleat about
how the extra security measures are worth their weight in lost human dignity, but to me it all had the feel of the beatings we got as kids: painful,
unnecessary and, of course, "for our own good."

I was on my way to spend the holiday with the vast collection of trailer trash I refer to, when I'm feeling charitable, as my relatives. On the advice of those
who've traveled since Sept. 11, I arrived at the airport three hours early.

The first thing I noticed at the airport, and also the scariest thing I noticed at the airport, was all the National Guardsmen walking around with
semi-automatic weaponry. Not to sound like too much of a snob, but I can bloody well assure you that anyone whose IQ and shoe size are equivalent is
the last person I'd trust to run crowd control with an assault rifle.

Recall what happened to your high school classmates after graduation. Some went to college, others got minimum-wage jobs; the more brutal and
insipid became cops; those too half-witted to be cops joined the military. And those who couldn't even scrap together the brain cells to blow up people
halfway around the world stayed at home and signed up with the National Guard.

And there they were, wandering around the airport with fully loaded firearms. A great big pat on the back to whatever genius thought heavily armed
troglodytes would make us all feel safer.

The next great affront to common sense and human dignity came at the security checkpoint. With the new and improved security measures, I got to wait
in line for one-and-a-half hours while damn near everybody set off the metal detectors and got a brisk pat-down.

This especially included any females wearing under-wire bras and, as I was later told by a flight attendant, has reportedly led to many complaints about
women being groped by security workers. 

After getting my own pat-down during which I made sure to moan pleasurably I was allowed to go wait in line at my terminal. There I was
"randomly selected" to be searched even further behind a portable wall o' privacy. This way, no one except the security worker, myself and the National
Guardsman watching ever-so-intently could see my possessions as they were removed from my backpack a piece at a time and unfolded in case a
detonator was going to miraculously fall out of my old T-shirts.

Getting on the plane required two forms of photo ID, as if I were writing bad checks instead of boarding an aircraft. We could not use the bathrooms at
the front of the plane, and the pilot assured us he possessed a stun gun in case someone got past the deadbolts on the cockpit door.

If only they'd let the passengers borrow the stun guns, I wished in vain, since we hadn't been in the air for 30 seconds before the old woman sitting next
to me turned and asked if I knew Jesus ...

Next year it's Amtrak for me.

Woock, a senior psychology major, 
can be reached at nrrandy@hotmail.com.

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