As I went through the TSA checkpoint at 5 AM last Tuesday, bound for LaGuardia airport, I was pleased to learn that I had been "selected" for an extra-special pat-down of the lower half of my body.
Flying is such a miserable way to get from where I am to where I want to be that I accepted the pawing as if it was simply an extra slice of cheese on the shit sandwich that was my pre-flight meal.
Standing there in my navy pinstripe suit, starched white shirt, and silk tie, shoeless, bagless, and defenseless, I spread my legs as directed and allowed the uniformed man with the pale-blue Playtex living gloves pat the inside of my thighs and reconnoiter down to my ankles in a game of security cat-and-mouse.
I had left my laptop at home for this day trip, hoping to avoid the hassle of needing yet another gray plastic bin to transport it through the tunnel of looky-see along with my overcoat, suit jacket, leather portfolio, and pointy-toed designer loafers. Perhaps that's what triggered me for special treatment: I had taken great strides to demonstrate I had nothing to hide, so that's suspicious, right?
It couldn't have been my years spent wearing combat boots, defending this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Or my lengthy record of voting in every election while actively participating in democracy.
Purchasing a round-trip ticket more than a month before my travel date, using a corporate credit card through a corporate travel agency, replicating an itinerary I've followed more than a dozen times - yeah, I'm the risky one.
Maybe it's an extension of the TSA's security theater. Let's take the guy who embodies truth, justice, and the American way, and feel him up a little in full view of the public. That will show anyone plotting to circumvent screening enroute to committing an act of unspeakable horror that it won't happen on the TSA's watch. No sir.
So America, you're welcome. It's not the same as getting shot at while wearing your country's uniform, but if getting dressed up and patted down by the TSA is the best way for me to serve my country these days, I'm happy to do it.
Next trip, I'm not wearing underwear.