Friday, May 7, 2010

The Ultimate Invasion of Privacy

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Spirit Airlines, a discount air carrier that advertises rates as low as $49 has recently announced a fee for carry-on bags that are too big to fit underneath the passenger's seat. The fee for putting a carry-on in the overhead bin: forty-five dollars! I guess it's good to know that a human being is worth more than an overstuffed suitcase - even if it is just by four dollars!

The rest of the airlines won't be far behind. First they slapped a fee on checked baggage. That, of course, caused all of the yahoos to start dragging their bags on board the plane and cramming them into the limited overhead storage. So now the game will be what? Maybe packing in plastic Wal-Mart bags and seeing how many can be crammed under the seats?

And don't even get me started on the peanuts' situation!

But now a new outrage is about to be foisted on the American flying public: full-body scanners!

There was a story on the internets today about an employee at Miami International Airport - a TSA screener - who brutally assaulted a co-worker with a police baton. Those two screeners and several others had been learning how to use the new full-body scanners, machines that are so thorough they can see breast implants. When one guy (the assaulter) walked through the scanner to show the others how it worked, co-workers noticed that his male genitalia didn't measure up to their lofty standards. The poor fellow went through a couple of days of junior-high-type verbal abuse before finally taking his revenge out on one particularly obnoxious co-worker.

So not only will the airline employees now be able to look through our luggage, they will even be able to look through the clothes on our backs! Privacy be damned! Maybe instead of just exposing ourselves to some slobbering (or snickering), prurient screeners, we should all just suck it up and fly naked!

Of course the airlines would then probably start charging an "entertainment" fee!


Mike Box said...

May I suggest Amtrak and Greyhound?

Pa Rock's Ramble said...

I've made several long trips on Amtrak - it is a very relaxing way to travel. I just wish that they had more routes. Greyhound, however, is not for the feint-of-heart. If one were writing a novel about the seamier side of America, a long Greyhound ride might be a good place to start collecting background material.

That said, both are preferable to flying the "friendly" skies!

Mike Box said...

As a kid (7th grade) I made a solo trip from K.C. to a farm near the small Ozark County town of Gainesville, Mo. There was a drunk passed out in the back of the bus blocking the lavatory door.

By the time I was booking it to Springfield on the bus the drunks seemed to continue holding their turf.

The last few trips on the bus have been, by comparison, much nicer. The busses are larger and more comfortable. The drunks were apparently replaced by tweakers who sat fidgeting in their seats.

When I get adventurous I may try a trip on the Mexican bus line located on Southwest Blvd. in K.C. Mo. it is called Autobuses Los Paisanos.

Pa Rock's Ramble said...

My last Greyhound experience was in 1997 when I rode one of the creatures from Columbia, Missouri, to Anderson, Missouri - a trip that took an entire night. We had a layover of a couple hours at the terminal in Kansas City where kids and parents screamed in several languages. I came away feeling that urban bus terminals should employ, at a minimum, three social workers, and at least one should be assigned to every long-haul bus route.

There is a Mexican bus line that leaves Phoenix daily and goes down into Mexico at least as far as Hermosillo. I hear that it is very nice, and that is supposedly a safe way to make it through the border town of Nogales. I may try that adventure sometime.