AIRPORT SECURITY: KNEADED OR NOT?
We chose to be frisked rather than expose our bodies to radiation in a virtual strip search by a “Rapid Scan 1000 device.” After years of diagnostic x-rays, sun exposure, microwaves, flights in airplanes at 38,000 feet, we figured our bodies had accumulated enough radiation to light up Cleveland.
I didn’t wear underwear today. Picked a bad day to go commando, I thought. Embarrassed, in the presence of a stranger wearing blue surgical gloves, I surrendered my rolls of body fat to be kneaded like bread dough.
The inspector danced around my sweating arm pits, sweeping the air with her hand wand. Is she the fairy godmother? Will I disappear when her wand moves up and down my body like the scanner on my copier?
While undergoing the physical exam I mused, my body hasn’t had this much action since the night of my senior prom.
The security officer checked my body for any suspicious lumps or thickenings. “Let me know,” I said, “if you see any changes in wart or moles, signs of diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.”
After she explored my mouth for weapons of mass destruction, I asked her, “Do I have cavities or gum disease?”
Hands that felt the size of King Kong’s patted my head. Narrowed eyelids scrutinized my face. What if, I pondered, she makes me read an eye chart and discovers I have cataracts?
“Jim,” I shouted to my husband. “Tell the agent to palpate your enlarged prostate.”
“Jan,” he shouted to me, “Ask the agent when you should schedule your colonoscopy.”
“Empty your pockets,” ordered airport authorities. I relinquished a paper clip and a crushed soda cracker.
A foil-wrapped peanut butter and jelly sandwich was whisked out of my husband’s hand and tossed into a trash can.
“Move on, move on,” blared the officials as we put on our shoes and collected our belongings.
The next time we travel by air we’ll choose to be irradiated. We’ll follow a passenger security advisor into the screening area and step inside the radiation booth. In full view of an audience of strangers, we’ll spread our legs and extend our arms like bald eagles in flight. We’ll allow our entire bodies to absorb the invisible x-rays. I’m wondering, though, will this qualify for my annual mammogram?