Happy New Year! This year I have only one real resolution - to take a shower and get ready every day. I figure that is going to be a pretty good accomplishment, at least for the first few months after the babies arrive.
But if I wasn't already committed to flying to my family reunion this summer, my resolution would probably be never to fly again. Ever. Not because I'm scared of terrorists or anything - no terrorist is going to be able to do his evil deeds without an entire plane full of people beating the crap out of him - but because I'm scared of airport security. Seriously.
Yesterday I read that passengers in Newark airport were delayed for six hours (SIX!) because someone slipped through security without being checked. Planes were grounded, everything was shut down, and TSA panicked their way through trying to find the man who breached security while passengers started filling out change of address forms (home address: Newark Airport) to send to the post office.
The fact that I'm irritated by this is nothing new - I have always been annoyed by post 9-11 airport security - having to put my 3 oz. liquids in a clear plastic bag while waltzing through with an entire box of liquid medications and needles, no questions asked, just doesn't make any sense. They let people through with baby formula, juices, and Gerber graduate food. And yet, when Michael was two months old, I still had to remove his shoes so they could see if I'd sewn bombs into the linings.
Note to self: if you want to commit a terrorist act, disguise your explosives as baby formula or medications.
In the wake of the underwear bomber, some airports are resorting to strip search by x-ray. Frankly, I think this is pretty much pointless, but if they want to take a glance at my personal, um, space, then they deserve what they get. Do stretch marks show up on those things? I hope so. I'd like to give them a good scare.
Now, I'm not annoyed with airport security in general. I'm annoyed that airport security in its current state is completely pointless. Old grannies and frazzled moms are being hassled while young, middle-eastern men are being allowed to pass through without a second glance. If I were a terrorist and someone tried to stop me from going through security, I'd start yelling about racial profiling and lawsuits and watch the screeners panic.
Airport security is about as effective as bag checks at museums - what good does it do to have someone poke a stick and a flashlight in your bag for two seconds? Or to have you walk through "metal detectors" that can't seem to detect the fact that you just walked through with a metal-framed stroller?
Does this really make anyone feel better? Do people not realize that someone could fill up a private plane with bombs and fly it into a building without going through a single security check? There are so many ways of getting around the "safeguards" that I can't even count them (and who better to figure out ways to do that than terrorists who are bent on destroying us?). But, I'm starting to think the goal of terrorism is no longer to kill us all in one fell swoop, it's to annoy us to death by causing new regulations to be put in place requiring airport officials to frisk our toddlers as they go through security. Or to cause days-long delays on our flights by leaving "unattended" bags full of tissue paper scattered around the airport.
Americans will put up with these delays because it makes them feel safer, and the terrorists will be laughing themselves silly as they figure out a way to cause some really big tragedy. We won't notice anything suspicious because we will have poked our eyes out with sticks after being stuck in an airport for 37 hours, and the bag screeners will be too busy confiscating fingernail clippers to notice anything important, like the "Hi, my name is Plane Blower-Upper" sticker attached to that terrorist-looking guy.
So what's my solution for airport security? Big guys, with Uzis.
That would be so much more effective than confiscating my 4 oz. hand lotion.