To scan or grope? An airport dilemma.

Gee, it’s just so hard to decide….. Do I want the full body scan, or the body cavity search?

It was NOT like deciding between two flavors of ice cream. I stood contemplating the two possibilities as the clock was ticking for my flight to Newark, the first leg of my trip to Hamburg.

OK, scan it is. So, I start taking my jacket, socks, and shoes off. I fill up three plastic trays and hoist them onto the conveyor belt. Confidently, I walk through the first metal detector and immediately set it off.

Although it is completely irrational, I wonder if I somehow acquired a concealed weapon between here and the front door. I’m practically groping myself, trying to figure out what the problem is.

“Oh, it’s just my belt! Sorry!!” I apologize to the bored looking attendant, and quickly take that off. Surely, that was enough? No, I have to step to the side for a scaled-back pat-down. I then proceed to the full body scanner. There’s a little diagram to show you how to stand, spread-eagle. I push from my mind the thought of my scan going viral on the internet.

After dressing again, I finally make it to the gate and then we board a paper airplane, or an express jet as it were. I guess the little thing was going to pretend to be a plane today.

I settle in and prepare for two hours of boredom.

Surprisingly, we get the comedic flight attendant. He tells us how lucky we are to get same-day service to Newark today. The seat cushions could be used in the event of a water landing, and we could KEEP them as a souvenir! (I’m wondering how useful they’d be skidding over the tops of trees.) If the oxygen masks drop down, we are to put one on ourselves first and then pick the person we like best to give a mask to, if traveling with others. But first, we should be sure our seats were in the most uncomfortable position possible, before take off. He was so happy to be our “stewardess” today.

Nice. I was pretty sure – body scanner aside – it was going to be a good trip.

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