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Too Much Grope

The last time I flew anywhere was ~~January~~ May 2010, which predated all of the "don't touch my junk" craziness, toward which I've maintained an extremely passive sense of outrage.

Somehow I assumed that only some small fraction of travelers were getting X-rayed, but I arrived at Sea-Tac this afternoon and discovered that every security line was being routed through an imposing-looking "RAPISCAN" machine.

I stuck my computer and luggage and shoes on the belt and then cheerfully informed the TSA lady that I didn't want to be X-rayed.

She gave me her best "are you fucking kidding me?" look, shunted me off to the side, and then told her compatriot "we've got an opt-out." She said "opt-out" in the same tone that a teenager might say "mom, you're embarrassing me."

So I stood there and stood there and stood there, all the while my computer and luggage and shoes were sitting unattended on the far side of security, until finally the TSA lady from the next line over noticed me and asked if I was "an opt-out," after which she fetched a male groper.

The groping itself wasn't too bad. The TSA guy who did the groping was polite enough, I guess. The idea of getting groped bothered me, but apart from that it wasn't particularly upsetting. I don't, however, look forward to explaining to little Joelene why the TSA agent gets an exception to the "no one should ever touch you like that" rule.

Anyway, other than the first TSA lady's look they didn't give me much trouble for opting out. If any part of it was distressing, it was this: the whole time (\~10 minutes) I was hanging around the security stations, not one other person opted out.

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