As a frequent traveler, I have TSA PreCheck so I can breeze through security without taking off my shoes, leaving my computer in my bag and wearing my jacket.
Until today, I did not know they “randomly select” TSA PreCheck customers to go through regular security. As a result of my ignorance, this morning I found myself standing in a line with a bunch of well-meaning people carrying their possessions in trash bags, wearing their sports ball shirts and wrangling their kids while demonstrating a general lack of awareness of the basic procedures for going through security or breathing through their noses.
Meanwhile, I stare with the dead eyes of a predator at the TSA PreCheck line which is completely empty.
I went through through the five-stages of grief, consulted the iChing, hyper-ventilated and contemplated (only briefly) the consequences of trying to leap a four-foot Plexiglass security barrier.
I have been poisoned by entitlement.
A guy in front of me seemed to think he was being arrested because they told him to raise his hands in the scanner. I remove my shoes, as compliant as a sheep or a lemming. I raise my hands. I am disrobed. Beltless. Jacketless. My belongings in plastic bins festooned with advertisements.
Mysterious rays probe my very being.
My cuff links, a gift from my son and his wife, are examined with suspicion. Cleared, I gather my belongings and reassemble myself on a low bench. I am a free man once again.