They Wanded My Bare Feet

July 25, 2005

I got four S's on my plane ticket Sunday evening ("SSSS"), which signals the TSA to perform an extra-strict security search. Why they singled me out, I’m not sure. It’s happened before, and I don't mind. I support efforts to make air travel as safe as possible. I do worry that common sense doesn't seem to play a role with airport screeners, and something happened this time that was particularly astonishing.

The screener wanded my bare feet.

I was wearing rubber sandals and no socks. The TSA employee politely asked me to sit down and remove my shoes, which I did. Then he apologized for what he was about to do. He asked me to raise each foot one at a time, and as I did, he waved the wand over the top and bottom of my ankles and feet.

He also thoroughly checked my pockets, while another guy went through my bag.

Again, I appreciate the scrutiny. Really. But I’m confused. Is there concern terrorists are hiding weapons in their feet? Can they not tell my limbs are real?

My, how times have changed...

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