Thursday, January 12, 2006

A poetic gripe from a not-that-aged subway rider

Another subway bag search
I’d tend to be less pissed
If instead of calling me “ma’am”
They’d learn to call me “miss.”

What, really, is the point of the subway bag search? Seven cops (“Take a step back from the table, ma’am!!!!” Yes, because that sports bra in there is super dangerous!) scan my gym bag for explosives. Why? Because it’s a few cubic inches larger than someone else’s enormous purse? If it only takes a smidge of plastique on the bottom of someone’s shoe to blow up an entire airplane, why discriminate in bag searches by size? Why make me miss the train while someone in a trench coat over an explosive vest doesn’t get pulled out for testing?

I wouldn’t mind being troubled for security’s sake if I felt it would makes me safer, but it never does, because it’s nonsensical. I once went to an office building where to get in, you had to stand in front of a video camera and say your name. So, how does that work, how does that make anything safer? A bomber walks in, gives his name, goes upstairs and hits the trigger – he goes down, and with him, the tape is blown to smithereens and in the meantime, everyone else is dead. Why waste 30 effing seconds of my day to say my name into some machine? Argh!

Not to mention I am forced to follow “rules” that make my life immeasurably more difficult but are only followed when it's convenient for the person exercising the power. Example: you must be on the same airplane as your bags. This has many a time been given as a reason why I can’t get on an earlier flight if I’m connecting somewhere. I call bullshit. Because I know damn well that when they lose my luggage (and they nearly always do) during a connection that I make and my luggage doesn’t, they put it on another plane – one which I’m not on – and a cabbie drops it off at my apartment a day or two or hell even three later, with the wheels busted off. Do they put it on a greyhound? No. Do they ask me to come back on through Minneapolis so I can accompany my bags back to New York? No.

Stop the madness. Please. It's enough to make me move to rural France.

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