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Today’s quiz, presented by the TSA. Today’s TSA: Working harder, to ensure your… <sorry, I couldn’t finish that with a straight face.>
The following is a list of locations. Please pick which one is incorrect.
1) Terminal C, Newark Airport, Newark, NJ
2) Terminal A, Reno Airport, Reno, NV
3) Terminal E, Houston International Airport, Houston, Texas
4) Terminal A, Newark Airport, Newark, NJ
5) Terminal 1, JFK Airport, Queens, NY
6) Terminal 1, Stansted Airport, United Kingdom
Which one is incorrect?
If you’re smart, you’re asking, “what the hell kind of a quiz is that? It’s impossible to answer! There’s not enough information! They’re all airport terminals, the only difference is where they’re located!”
Correct, if you’re a normal human being functioning above the intelligence level of the cap on my bottle of Diet Pepsi.
If you’re the TSA, however, the answer is obviously #4 – Terminal A, Newark Airport, Newark, NJ.
Because in Terminal A at Newark Airport, my small bottle of cologne and smaller bottle of hair gel is not permitted to fly, despite it never being questioned AT ANY OF THE OTHER AIRPORTS IN THE PAST THREE WEEKS.
I have no problem with the TSA – if they feel the need to confiscate my hair gel to make the United States feel safer, (and yes, it’s definitely only a feeling,) then go for it. Anal probe? Sure, why the hell not. It’s for “safety!” Take my laptop out while leaving my parachute to go through X-ray without so much as a “what’s that?” Sure! Go crazy!
What I do have a problem with, a BIG problem with, however, is inconsistency. If you confiscate at one, confiscate at ALL. If you don’t confiscate at one, don’t confiscate at ANY.
Three ounces is the rule? Fine. Some scientist told you that 3.4 ounces of C-4 stuffed into a bottle of DK Men would do a lot more damage than 3.0 ounces of C-4 stuffed in the same bottle? Fine. Limit us to 3.0 ounces of C-4, or DK Men, or hand creme, or freaking Astroglide for Chrissakes, as you’ve supposedly done. But MAKE IT A FREAKIN’ STANDARD. Don’t make me take the damn bottle out of my bag at Terminal A, and not even raise an eyebrow at Terminal C. Don’t make a friend of mine pull his emergency reserve parachute because you don’t have a clue as to what you’re looking at, when the guy at IAH doesn’t even bat an eye, even after I show him my skydiving license.
Consistency. Let the TSA get that even remotely close to right, and I might start believing that they could have a portion of a clue when it comes to actually protecting us. Until then, I imagine Doris the TSA official going home tonight and saying, “Hey, Johnnie! Here’s a bottle of DK Men. It’s about $60, and we just got it for free.”