While waiting in line yesterday at Logan Airport, I figured out why we have to take our shoes off at airport security. Out of concern for our comfort, airlines want to ensure that everyone has clean feet. It’s the only reason that makes sense. No one really believes that scanning shoes makes airline travel much safer. The security justification is just a blind to avoid offending the potentially smelly. Or maybe someone in charge at TSA has a foot fetish?
Feet aren’t the only thing we have to expose at security. When I took my computer out of my knapsack so they could go through the scanner separately, I forgot to remove the ziplock baggie that was holding my potentially dangerous travel-sized tube of toothpaste. Luckily, the tube made it through the scan undetected, so I didn’t get pulled aside for a thorough search. I have been pulled aside before. One time I won third place in my age group at a “Beat the Sherriff” race in Florida. The guard at the scanner must have thought the badge-shaped medal was a 5-pointed ninja star. Another time, I had packed an umbrella. I only wish that umbrella actually had been sturdy enough to act as a weapon.
Airport security is only good enough to catch the stupid bombers. Fortunately, that’s almost all of them. It takes a very misguided person to fail to understand that any cause worth dying for is worth living for. Even the stupidest person understands that if he destroys the plane he’s riding on, he isn’t going to live to enjoy the better world he’s created. The only thing that makes it a better world is that there’s one less murderous idiot around to plague the rest of us. That’s no consolation for the people on the plane, anyone underneath the pieces when they hit the ground, or their friends and families.
Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of fools in the world. All it takes is one lucky idiot to make for a very bad day. Maybe a few foolish procedures aren’t too high a price to pay. Let’s just hope that our idiots are luckier than theirs.