Sunday, March 30, 2008

In Case You Were Wondering

Pretension Alert Level Red

...or for that matter, combining too many things from
Stuff White People Like

Friday, March 28, 2008

Incompetent Smoke and Mirrors Game at Louis Armstrong Intl Airport

We here at the Bloggy Blog have had a Canadian drivers license for quite some time. Acquiring it punched our cred card long ago, and we haven't replaced it since Bloggy Blog does not own an automobile. And yes, we are aware that the last two sentences are a Pretension Alert Level Code Orange, the "I actually do not own a television" alert level.

The security checkpoint at MSY Concourse D has in the past usually been staffed by a nice woman that checked IDs and boarding passes. This time however, this position was filled by two men fresh out of the TSA academy, which we imagine is located in an empty wing of an old shopping mall. Thats right, TSA outbid that miniature golf place that used to be in there, and yes Mr. Displaced Sears Mall Cop, TSA is accepting applications. How soon can you start?

While a simple Google search clearly shows that a Canadian drivers license is a completely appropriate form of identification for domestic US flights, the TSA ID checkers were perplexed, much like a worker ant encountering a twig placed across its scent trail. "You don't have a Passport?" one said, the present mindfuck staining an otherwise quiet shift. "Please wait over here while I get my supervisor". We anticipated this supervisor to be a grizzled veteran of the hairiest of all TSA campaigns: That Time no liquids could be brought on, That Time Cheney was toggling the Terror Alert Level like a child with a KitchenAid mixer, and even That Time you could bring liquids on if they were in little bottles placed in a sliding-zippered Ziplock bag. Too many good young agents were lost in that clusterfuck, but those that survived were all the stronger.

Surely this supervisor would be aware of the very basic regulations that he has been trained to administrate. After all, he upheld them well enough to be promoted to the position where you get to tell the Rooks when to carry the empty X-ray bins back to the front! However, in an interrogative gambit that would make Det. Frank Pembleton proud, he casually threw the question back at us like Socrates: "Don't you [Canadian scum] need a passport to fly?" To which our humble Plato replied, "No, this is a domestic flight".

The instructor's thesis adequately challenged, a consultation of third level of TSA management was required. Rest assured, this 3rd level guy represented the highest in bad-assery that any TSA agent could aspire to. Back at the academy, yeah, the mall off the service road between exits 32 and 33, dude ate nothin but Dippin' Dots for lunch. Every day. Now he stands at an unused check-in counter with clear sight lines of the whole operation: The checked baggage screening machine, the ID checking line, and the passenger security checkpoint where all the magic happens. We think we saw him putting on shades David Caruso style after cluing in the first 'supervisor' that Canadian driver licenses were sufficient. The first supervisor continued this 3rd grade slumber party telephone game back to the original ID checker, who informed us that we could indeed continue on the flight.

Oh well. At least they didn't make us take out the stainless steel sounding rod we always fly with.