Dear Taking Sense Away,
Like many of your correspondents, I too travel this great land of ours by air on a weekly basis, trying to eke out a living in these austere times in the commercial sector. While I have had the great pleasure of meeting many TSA screeners over the years, I think I met the dumbest of them all recently as I was passing through LAX.
I had opted out of being irradiated for the 8th time that week, and after a stint chilling with the quietest screener I had met in a while (she was assigned to guarding the glass partition door next to the magnetometer and occasionally whispering, “Male opt out” (note the lack of exclamation!)) a buoyant, young gentleman bounded up to escort me to the footprint mat for my run though the enhanced pat down mill. I was asked to spread my feet apart wider than the shadows of human feet woven into the mat as the officer waved his freakishly large hands about and explained how he was only going to touch my genitals and my buttocks with the back of his hand.
At this point I made it fairly obvious that I had been through this before by answering all of his questions before he had finished asking them, and assuming the position before being instructed to do so. It was at this point that he looked me square in the eye, stretched the blue glove tighter on his giant paw and said, “Don’t worry, I am the Kobe Bryant of the TSA.”
I am not the biggest sports fan, nor am I a big entertainment “news” follower so it took me a second to double check in my own mind the association between Kobe Bryant and his reported, (alleged ?) misconduct with people of the opposite gender. Bewildered by his statements but 99% sure Kobe had done some jail time, I snickered and mentioned that he might want to pick another icon to refer to in the future. The “officer” was completely clueless as to why I made that statement and clearly didn’t believe me when I referenced Kobe’s previously reported transgressions. I wonder how many other passengers he had used that line on and received sideways glances as he used the back of his hand to probe their nether regions and tightly clenched buttocks!