Authority figgers (& mahmmy blahggers?)

bgy747This is probably going to end up being one of those random, blathering rants that y’all will be wondering something like “what was the point?” if you make it to the end. Apparently, a young mom with a baby was detained by those rollicking folks at the TSA because her baby’s metal pacifier clip or whatever set off the alarms. She freaked out and wrote a long scathing rant on her blog about being separated from her baby. Which turned out to be a lie (?) and the TSA posted videos showing the whole thing on their blog. Yes they have one. I admit that I haven’t watched all of those videos in total (I get bored with internet videos where nothing much happens for a long time) but apparently they show that the baby was not taken away from the mom. I have to admit I was uncomfortable by the length of time she and the baby were left in that cube, Hmmm.

Sigh. As long as there are borders and airplanes and things, there will be people (and machines too, nowadays) who have to “screen” other people. I grew up in a border town. I don’t remember ever having a whole lot of trouble with customs officials myself when I was a kid. Actually, until I was 10, we could *walk* to Canada by parking a motorized vee-hickle in a parking lot and walking onto a ferry. The only means by which you could get to Canada in those days. Yes, it took cars too. We didn’t ever have any trouble going with our parents. My dad was a very well respected business man on the Michigan side and my grandfather began his life as a Canadian citizen, not that it made any difference. But the important thing was that we were always taught to wait until the customs agent motioned us forward and then answer the questions directly, politely, and humbly. Right or wrong, whether we were innocent tourists or not, these folks were empowered to either allow us into their country (or back into ours) or not. Simple, right?

Not. Of course you get whatever customs agent you get. Eventually they built a big bridge there and we grew up and started crossing it and dealing with customs agents ourselves. Sometimes they are rational and sometimes not. The Engineer used to ride over to Canada and play gigs with a fellow brass player who drove a Pontiac Firebird (fancy chick-type magnet of the 60s/70s). According to The Engineer, Canadian customs folks would detain them and tear Pete’s car apart, throwing all of their expensive trumpets and trombones on the ground. I don’t know if The Engineer was exaggerating or not. Me, I once encountered Santa Claus at Canadian customs. I was on a date to see a play production with a very nice guy and the customs guy ho-ho-ho’d us along to the play. Grandroobly later helped me get un-entangled from that guy by lying to him on the phone. “She’s not here.” Click. Hee. Thanks, dad…

Fast forward. I don’t know. The TSA folks are doing their jobs. They can be random and some of them are more friendly and/or compassionate than others. It is a tough job and I wouldn’t want to do it. Yikes! Those folks have to be hard-nosed enough to deal with the infinitesimally small number of people who are actual threats to flights and still be nice to all of the regular folks, moms with babies, baggy old mooms like me and the 84-year-old I sat with from SFO to Minneapolis. Whatever. It’s hard.

When I do fly, I try to make sure everything is in order by the time I get to the TSA. This last time, it almost wasn’t. The boarding pass that we printed out at Day-twa Metro had a name on it that didn’t match my driver’s license (don’t ask, you don’t want to know). Freak out? Yes. We schlumped over to a ticket counter where the grumpy old bag clerk was *not* amused and complained that it would be *hard* to fix and then *fixed* it in something like two minutes. Yeah, right. THE NAME ON MY DRIVERS LICENSE IS MY OFFICIAL NAME AND I DO NOT HAVE BOMB MAKING MATERIALS!!!!!

The TSA? Well, for me, it was okay going out from Day-twa Metro (DTW) except that I was flustered about the boarding pass name issue and was therefore scrambling to get things into the bins, et al. I got through okay. Mouse had her hands swabbed for something. The TSA person wouldn’t tell her what for. I was thinking Swine Flu, even though she was 100% healthy, no fever or anything. SFO? It always seems friendlier there than at DTW. I was more calm when we checked in to fly home. In a strange way I was comforted when a guy wearing a TSA badge cut in front of me on the conveyor belt. Don’t get me wrong. He wasn’t rude. I was flumping around getting my stuff in order and he took advantage of the empty space in front of me to shove his stuff (shoes and all) through. Everybody has to go through it and he certainly knew what to do. They double-checked the GG’s shoes. He had purposefully stepped in horse-shit the day before. What can I say? At least he didn’t try to fly with his broker-knife this time. Or shaving cream. Sigh.

I was prepared to be grumpy at the mommy-blahgger but the more I think about how long she was left in that stupid cubicle, I think the TSA screwed up in that situation. I’d’ve probably been freaking out too, baby or no baby in tow!

3 Responses to “Authority figgers (& mahmmy blahggers?)”

  1. Sam Says:

    I kinda think the TSA is uneven at the base level of carrying out inspections, etc., and sometimes that’s okay, but a few things I’ve seen really bother me.

  2. kayak woman Says:

    hahahah! That solves a small mystery. This time, we were walking around the san fran mission district and the GG needed to buy shaving cream. We found a drug store type place and it was a good thing that Lizard Breath went inside with him because everything was in Spanish. Not sure if that shaving cream made it back to Michigan or lives on at Marty’s place.

  3. Margaret Says:

    I’m not too bothered by most of the stuff, but I do prefer friendly TSA people. Some of the SeaTac ones are really nice, others grumpy. When she got back from Africa, Ashley made me watch a comedy video (but with many elements of truth in it) called Everything is amazing, but we’re not happy–or something like that. I think the mommy blogger needs to watch that to get some perspective on the rest of the world and how minute her situation actually was.