To choose the scan or the hand – that is the question facing the flying public. Media coverage and the “National Opt-Out Day” protest has placed focus on the new Transportation Security Administration policies that require select passengers either submit to a full-body Advanced Imaging Technology nudie pic scan or be willing to undergo a thorough “pat down.”
As I pack my bags for a month of frequent fun travel – before I resume my regular life of frequent work travel – I plan on opting out of the scan and going for the pat down. Partially, I’m choosing this alternative because I crave human attention and I’m crossing my fingers I’ll get lucky with an oh-so-sexy epauletted agent, but I also try to avoid any additional radiation in my life – unless it’s delivered by super hero-power-granting gamma space rays or via the bite of an irradiated arachnid.
But whichever side of the scan-or-grope debate you find yourself on, it’s a good bet that if you fly, the most touching story you get over the holidays may come courtesy of the TSA.
And there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a soundtrack to accompany you throughout every step of the process. Because you can listen to your iPod up until you hit the security belt, I’ve compiled a “search-and-scan” playlist to walk you through the new policies and help you suffer The Slings and Arrows (TSA) of security.
Between increased holiday traffic, “Opt-Out” protesters and confused commuters, plan on spending a lot of time “Hangin’ Around” (Counting Crows) at the airport because “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” (Bob Dylan).
Texting and photography during security lines is permitted, so pass the time sending sarcastic “Come Fly With Me” (Frank Sinatra) and “Wish You Were Here” (Pink Floyd) messages to friends and family.
Properly unload all toiletries and place “Baggage” (Mary J. Blige) on the scanner belt. If you observe a religion which specifies you have headwear, do not assume “You Can Leave Your Hat On” (Joe Cocker).
Walk through metal detectors without setting off “Hell’s Bells” (AC/DC), and avoid “Suspicious Minds” (Elvis Presley) by maintaining a “Poker Face” (Lady Gaga) – or friendly “Leave Me Alone” (New Order) expression – that doesn’t say, “I’m Your Man” (Leonard Cohen).
If you do set off the alarms, you will likely receive the “I Summon You” (Spoon) look from a TSA agent that is supposed to convey you are “Strangers When We Meet” (David Bowie) but that “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” (Randy Newman) - but which actually suggests, “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” (Ida Maria).
Do not be surprised if the “Let’s Get It On” (Marvin Gaye) expression of “Satisfaction” (The Rolling Stones) makes you think, “Wish I Could Fly Like Superman” (The Kinks).
At this point, the “Smooth Operator” (Sade) will ask you to submit to “The Man With The X-Ray Eyes” (Bauhaus) or you may tell them to “Lay Your Hands On Me” (Bon Jovi) to determine “Where It’s At” (Beck).
If you opt for the AIT scanner, agents should refrain from “I’m Looking Through You” (The Beatles) comments as they see through your “Underwear” (The Magnetic Fields). Assuming the agent scanning you isn’t too “Lonely” (Akon), you won’t end up in their personal TSA “Centerfold” (J. Geils Band).
After the scan, if they tell you, “I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For” (U2), expect agents to get even “Closer” (Nine Inch Nails).
However, if you opt of the scanning process and choose to “Take It Off” (The Donnas), you can no longer ask them to “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” (Georgia Satellites). Instead, prepare to bring “SexyBack” (Justin Timberlake) when you ask your friendly federal agent to “Touch Me” (Samantha Fox). The government-sanctioned session of “Bump N’ Grind” (R. Kelly) may involve hands up your “Legs” (ZZ Top) and fingers probing “Such Great Heights” (The Postal Service), both “High and Dry” (Radiohead).
This is all being done in the interests of security; though you may feel a lack of “Respect” (Aretha Franklin), please remember that “The Safety Dance” (Men Without Hats) is only being done because the government “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love” (Barry White).
Please avoid a natural desire to “Kick, Push” (Lupe Fiasco) any agent – even if they are touching you in areas that normally suggest, “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” (Sophie B. Hawkins).
Of course, if you would rather boycott “Airplanes” (B.o.B.) due to new security measures and forgo the need for a TSA playlist, borrow a quote from Cee-Lo’s song, say – ahem – “Forget You” and opt for “Cars” (Gary Numan).