Monday, August 2, 2010

I Heart TSA - A Recurring Shenanigan

At some point this past February as I was getting ready for my trip to SXSW, I got a bit annoyed with the 'standard' rite of passage that we all must go through: Airport Security.

Like many of you, I'm sure, I carry lots of stuff in my pockets. In addition to the customary cellphone, keys, and wallet stuff, I also have to remove my studded belt and wallet chain. It's all a big pain in the rear end to take them out of my pants, put them in the little tray (or 'hide' them somewhere in my carry-on), and waste valuable tens of seconds putting all this stuff back into place on my person.

I realized that all this stuff is either attached to or stowed within my pants. Taking a look at this situation I figured I could cut out the middleman by just sending my pants, still-attached contents and all, through the scanner.

Now, this settled my need for a pragmatic solution. But being a quietly weird guy with no pants at the security line lacks a certain... pizzazz... that I want to exhibit when I'm doing something so socially challenging.

Inspiration hit when I saw a woman wearing sweatpants that said "Juicy" on the butt: I can write something on my ass! That will give me the extra "oomph" I'm looking for!

What did I want to say with my ass while going through security? I thought I could up the shenanigan ante by bringing my persecutors in on the joke, and from this my slogan was born: "I [heart] TSA"!

Since I have all the crafting ability of a Gumby, I threw the idea out to my circle of ne'er-do-wells, and Brody (the brilliant creator of the Desaturated Santa costume) offered to pick up my crafting slack. I went out, bought a brand new pair of boxer-briefs, and handed them over. Within just a couple of days Brody returned the undies all shenanigan-ized!

My new travvelin' undies!

It is now several months later, and I've managed to wear my shenani-pants on every flight I've taken. I gotta tell you, the TSA agents at Oakland airport are some stone cold professionals! No matter how I shake my ass around (in a very subtle way, of course), they never react. In Austin, I got an understated and under-the-breath compliment from the metal-detector lady, and in Seattle I got one truncated guffaw, but in OAK I've gotten nary a smirk!

Not to worry - the steadfastness of the Oakland TSA only has me more resolved to eke some kind of reaction out of them. (Hopefully not of the handcuff and interrogation type.)

You can be sure this is a prank I'll be doing for a long time!