February 2012
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TSA and My Mom

My mom and two of her sisters went to visit their other sister in Florida this weekend. They all flew down together but one sister came back on a different flight than my mom and the other sister.

My 72-year-old mother went through the x-ray machine at the airport in Jacksonville. They found “artifacts” and said she had to go for a wanding and pat-down.

Mom wasn’t very happy about it. It was early, she hadn’t had much sleep, and the lines certainly weren’t short. Here was TSA giving my mom a hard time. They showed her the picture with the artifacts. Two were her armpits. She was wearing the same clothes she wore on the trip down to Florida and there weren’t any artifacts at O’Hare when she went through the machine there.

After the wanding and the pat-down they insisted on seeing her hands too, and wiped them down for explosive residue.

Mom was upset enough that she got the supervisor over. She was then disgusted that the supervisor praised the TSA employee, “Good job Mary!”

As noted above, my mom is 72 years old. She is not a terrorist nor does she look like a terrorist.

She feels somewhat terrorized by the TSA though. She doesn’t have a choice but to submit their “tender ministrations” if she wants to get from Chicago to Florida in a few hours versus a few days. Especially when she’s travelling with her sisters, one of whom was already taking a few days off from work. Driving to Florida wasn’t really an option for them.

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