A woman submits to a full-body scan in November 2010 at Pittsburgh International… (Getty Images file photo )
I'm going to put this in the most tactful way I can: I told you so, TSA. I freakin' told you so.
About two years ago, when I was flying from New England to Chicago, I was exposed to my first "strip search" body scanner at the airport. These expensive peep-show machines were the first of what were to eventually become the new standard in airport security.
I surmised that those voyeuristic TSA workers, who probably jumped for joy when they initially learned that they would get to watch free passenger porn at work, would sooner or later get sick of seeing all our unkempt, bloated and hirsute naked bodies.
They assumed their days would be spent ogling nude Victoria's Secret models jet-setting to their next tropical beach shoot—but what they got was a continuous conveyor belt of naked Ron Jeremy and Carrot Top doppelgangers carting their buffet-filled bellies and cheap souvenirs back home.
After a while, watching the same horrifying picture can weigh down on you. Even good porn can turn ugly sometimes—especially if you are forced to watch it all day, every day. So, the TSA did what any normal red-blooded American would do when he or she doesn't want to do something anymore, which is to say "just kidding!" and back away slowly while hoping no one noticed the big mess they made.
Of course, the TSA won't admit this. It claims the real reason the machines are being removed is due to consumer privacy concerns. Seriously? I'm pretty sure there was outrage and controversy over privacy concerns several years ago when these scanners were initially introduced.
Apparently it took the organization this long to realize that our private parts, well, weren't all that private using an X-ray technology called backscatter.
Don't worry though, TSA. I'm going to do you a favor and keep your dirty little secret. Even though you have no qualms about making me wait in ridiculously long lines every time I go to an airport (no offense, but those stripper scanners didn't even save me an iota of time!), or cruelly forcing me to take off my flip-flops (what kind of terrorist weapon is concealed in pair of flip-flops?), or heartlessly making me throw out my brand-new $45 face lotion, just because it's 0.3 ounces over the limit, I think you've been through enough. You've seen me naked at times when I wouldn't even be able to recognize myself. Then multiply that by millions of people. I know it's not a pretty picture.
Sometimes I felt so bad, I felt compelled to slip a dollar into your G-string for everything you've been through.
So let's make a deal. You won't ever have to see me or Ron Jeremy naked again. All I want is ... one of those body scanner machines on the cheap. I figure if I get one, my boyfriend will never want to go to the strip club again.
Jen Kim is a RedEye special contributor.
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