I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to submit to the full body scanners at the airport.
I’m convinced all that radiation is bad for my health no matter what reassurances we have been given.
So I waited my turn in line, barefooted, beltless and breathless. I moved closer to the dreaded machine.
When it was my turn, I said, “No!” with conviction.
“Yes, I mean no,” I said.
“It’s the law,” the agent said glaring at me.
“It’s not the law for my health,” I said.
“Very well. That means a pat down,” he said.
“Fine,” I said.
The agent stretched out both arms barring me from moving away and held me there. He called out, “Female agent. Pat down here.”
The other passengers in line were getting free entertainment even before boarding.
I didn’t care.
A female agent appeared. She put on a pair of latex gloves with a fanfare and gave a little snap at the end. It was clear I had interrupted her coffee time.
“This way,” she said and motioned for me to follow her.
“Do you want to do this in a private room or here?” she asked.
“Here,” I said and smiled. I wanted witnesses.
“Very well. First, I have to tell you what I’ll be doing,” she said.
“Skip that. Just do it,” I said. I smiled again.
“I can’t. It’s the law.” Then she slanted her head upwards to show me a camera that was recording everything.
Witnesses! I loved it. I smiled even more.
She asked me to stand with legs apart and arms outstretched.
I smiled at my audience in front and above me.
The agent ran her hands all over me, from head to toe, in a professional manner.
“You’re free to go,” she said when she finished and removed her gloves with another snap.
After reading so many horror stories in the media about pat-downs, I was prepared for the worst. Instead I was shocked at how decent an experience it was.