August 24, 2011 by

Backscatter BOO


Categories: General, Tags: ,

My terror of the backscatter machine made me demand a pat-down. Though my terror of the pat-down made me a little too over-share.

Me: I don’t want to go in that. I want a pat-down.

TSA Agent 1 (male): Uh. Ok. Wait there. We need a female pat-down! Code 3-4!

I wait a while.

TSA Agent 2 (male): Do we have any female agents on call?

TSA Agent 1: CODE 3-4!

I wait a while. A lady shows up! She tells me what she’s going to do and how she will use the backs of her hands in my crotch area.

Me: Ok. I want to tell you that I’m having my period so I’m wearing a pad in case you feel it and if you want to go somewhere else if I need to take off my clothes to show you, just tell me.

TSA Agent 3 (female!): Uh, that’s ok.

Me: No seriously, I will fully show you my menstrual blood.

TSA Agent 3: I’m good.

Me: Are you sure? Well if you change your mind. I can show you. It’s no problem.

I think she was glad to see me go. And I have to say, if that’s all the pat-down is I am ALWAYS asking for it. Fuck the backscatter x-ray. That shit is huge and scary looking. I didn’t even want to stand NEXT to it.

8 Responses to Backscatter BOO

  1. Kristen

    Hoo! And may I be the first to say: BWAH! From now on, being on one’s period shall always be referred to as a code 3-4, amirite?

  2. michele

    snort. i am down. and as you know, i like to talk about my period all the time. even to strangers about to pat me down. it’s good to have a code for it.

  3. Kristen

    You are very brave. Watching Gene get the pat-down gave me the creeping screamies. I never, ever want to do that. And eventually I will have to, unless someone builds an underwater train to Europe, please oh please.

  4. michele

    really? i thought it was fine. i mean the only thing different from the normal pat-down i’ve gotten at the airport before was that she checked my waistband–ie pulled it out from my body a little and ran a finger inside it. that’s not so bad. i guess it was a little closer to the crotch area than before? but barely. and then she did put her gloves in a machine which apparently tests for chemical residue. i hadn’t seen that before. but it also didn’t bother me. and i was getting patted down in front of a lot of people which was maybe embarrassing? but i didn’t really care. and she did offer to take me somewhere private. heh. and she was cute, so your theory about that was proven correct. but it was way less invasive than a physical at the doctor’s. shrug. and they do definitely do same sex searching so that’s good to know. code 3-4 and all. i wonder what the code is for a male pat-down. plus the backscatter mashine IS scary. i was delighted in oakland that they closed it right before i got to the front of the line and i just got to go thru the metal detector. because i was prepared to demand a pat-down there too and my period hadn’t even started then! i wonder if she told her friends the story about the girl who offered to show her a bloody pad. because if that was my job and some girl told me that i would be joking about it for MONTHS.

  5. michele

    mmm just searched the internet for those terms and read about a woman who got sexually molested because of wearing a pad in the backscatter machine and them thinking she was hiding a bomb. guh. ok. my experience was tame and not at all invasive even a little bit. possibly next time will be awful and i will take all this back about thinking pat-downs are fine. but i still don’t want to go thru the backscatter.

    and also, how do you plan on getting to the atlantic ocean every time you want to go to europe?

  6. michele

    yes underwater train under the atlantic. but you have to get to the atlantic first! unless you plan an underwater train from SF, down thru panama canal and across? that seems ridiculous. one from NY to portugal seems much more likely.

  7. Kristen

    Oh, sorry, get TO the Atlantic. I didn’t read carefully. Well, I can take an overground train. Assuming I have like five days to spare, and who doesn’t?

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