The Authorized Grope

Writers’ Trigger:

I don’t know the source of this definition, but I have had it pinned to my bulletin board for a number of years. It reads as follows: SKEPTICISM IS A WEAPON. It Deflects Spin, Propaganda, and Anyone with a Hidden Agenda. SKEPTICISM IS A QUALITY. Shared by Truth Seekers, Free Thinkers, and Realists. SKEPTICISM MAKES THE WORLD ACCOUNTABLE. SKEPTICISM IS A VIRTUE.

I like the way the definitions move from negative to positive. If as you look at your blank morning pages this morning, you are feeling uninspired, pattern your entry after the skepticism sample.

  • Choose to define abstract nouns: Love, death, or patriotism would be good.
  • Patriotism, a two-edged sword, would be especially good.

*********************

TSA-Body-Scan

I am amused at all the fuss over the Transport Authority’s full-body scan. Flying out of Heathrow, London, I have been scanned numerous times over the last three or four years, and I have never thought twice.

Well, actually, I have thought twice, but not about the scan itself. For the first few years when scanning was optional, I was selected for scanning every single time that I flew. My guess was that I was chosen for scanning because as a generic grandmother, I would be less likely to complain than a businessman. I was a useful foil: a good example of white bread, and thus, security could not be accused of profiling.  

To my mind, any measure to make flying more secure is a good measure. Do I mind that the radiation I will receive from the scan is less than the radiation I will experience during flight time? No. Do I mind that some person looking at a monitor in another room sees my body but not my face? No. Do I mind that the screening is far less invasive than a pat-down? No.

So what’s the fuss?! When the terrorist takes the chemicals out of his tidy-whities and bits of plane are about to confetti through the air, I bet all those who oppose the full-body scan will have second thoughts. Unfortunately, by that time, it will be too late.

If you can’t accept the scan, consider the difference between authorized and unauthorized groping. I was taking the night train between Moscow and St. Petersburg. My command (a dubious word choice) of Russian was poor. I was alone. No other passengers shared my compartment. The porter came with tea and bedding. I took the tea and in my fractured Russian told her that I would not need the bedding.

I was to leave the train at Valdai. I would have liked to remind the porter that if I were asleep, she should wake me at my destination. But, the words weren’t there; I was left to hope that she would remember.

Later that night, I stepped into the corridor. We were slowing for a station where I hoped that I could read the name of the town and estimate the time left. But before I could lean toward the window to read the sign, three soldiers came down the corridor. I stepped back into the doorway to allow them to pass.

And pass they did, but without breaking step (and to me that is the most amazing part) one of them (or was it two – I was in shock) grabbed my crotch. Backing up, I slammed the door and did not open it until the porter (she remembered! ) came to fetch me.

The authorized grope is not pleasant, but it pales in comparison to an unauthorized grope. The full-body scan should be your first choice. The authorized groupe is your second. I’d go with the scan.

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s