Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence? -Sathya Sai Baba

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

security checkpoint

From: Scot
Date: August 5, 2005 10:35:39 PM EDT
To: ray

I'm writing you from the Charlotte, NC airport, where I just had a delightful dinner of a Quesedilla and tequila in an effort to forget the search of my person I underwent at the security checkpoint in Newark. When they searched my guitar case, they apparently found traces of a chemical that fooled their machines into thinking I had some sort of contact recently with TNT(!). They asked me all kinds of questions about my habits - do I use drugs, where do I live, what prescriptions do I take. Needless to say I kept cool, but it was still a mighty pain in the ass to say the least. They made me take out my inhaler, show them how it worked, not with an idea towards actual information, but with the express idea that I might show in some trembling in my hand, some fumbling in my speech, that I had something to hide.

They looked at me like I was a criminal.

Not an unfamiliar feeling, but still, not one I've been used to of late. Couple this with my recent viewing of a documentary on the Weathermen, and this past weekend's yogic experiments, and you have the ground ripe for a bumper crop of paranoia. Fortunately, my heritage as the ruling class of the planet earth (white, male, young, tongue firmly planted in cheek) stood me in good stead, and I was able to play it off as nothing but an inconvenience, and necessary for the "good of the realm", as opposed to what it was - a violation of my person as a free man.

Not to make too much of it, though. They re x-rayed the guitar case and let me go - after making sure they had all my info, and asking why I still had an AZ driver's license even though I live in NYC (I did what anyone should do in such a situation - I lied and said I'd just moved, lying being the only appropriate response to power in certain situations). Imagine had I been slightly darker of skin, or not wearing the cross my mother gave me!

Now I'm fine, slightly buzzed and waiting for my flight to go see my lady. All is well. Hope you are too.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog entry.

    This police state mentality really works real bad for, um, say Muslim Americans.

    This is a huge issue.

    They target 10 million so the 10 true villains will get by. Too unfocused.