It’s always helpful to have a good plane story to tell when you’re seeing a bunch of people you don’t know all that well. It’s the sort of stuff that everyone can relate to. Being held for three hours by Canadian customs was actually a godsend, in a sense, because I was attending a wedding where I knew virtually nobody and being able to tell the story of my experience provided a social lubricant far less uncomfortable than having to defend my country in the face of Canadian self-superiority (they weren’t that bad, though of course American craziness came up… a lot).
This time around I was able to tell people with whom I don’t have a lot to talk about that I got the Freedom Grope at the Deseret airport we flew out of. It was not nearly as long and interesting as the Canadian airport story, but it was more topical.
So yeah, I failed the full-body scan somehow or another. The TSA agent asked if I was sure I emptied my pockets. I had. So there was nothing to do but for him to feel me up. It was really rather anti-climactic. Authority positions in Deseret are unfailingly filled by Mormons and they’re not likely to get their jollies with such things. So it was about as cursory as you can imagine. In fact, had I any sort of small device taped up there, there’s no way he would have found it. Incidentally, the crotch area was the only area he felt as well as the thighs. It was as though there was a checklist with only that area on it.
I am tempted to say that maybe that’s where the bodyscan led me awry, but it seems unlikely. He was asking about my pockets. I have no pockets on my thighs or around my crotch. Despite wearing a baggyish shirt, my armpits went untouched. Ditto for my butt, which would be another place to hide something if I were so inclined.
On the whole, the intrusion was less obnoxious than when I am (relatively certain) I was on some nasty list that involved a more intrusive search (sometimes in a separate room) on several consecutive flights from 2004-06 (or so).