Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A confession: How I slipped through the NSA metal detectors. . .with some heavy metal!

When I was returning home to Seattle from Oakland last week, something happened to me that hasn't happened in eight years. I stepped through the metal detector and it didn't go off! I've been flying around the country a lot in the last few months, and I was a little shocked. I looked at the woman running the machine and she said "OK, you can go." And I almost told her. But I didn't.

You may or may not recall that I have an artificial hip. It is made of stainless steel. And every time I've walked through metal detectors over the last eight years, they have sounded the alarm. But this time, there was silence. I was stunned. And it was so nice not to be stared at by my fellow fliers, gone over with the wand, and then frisked, that I just walked away without saying a word. Now, this hip replacement has more mass of metal in it than any handgun. Therefore, I could have been packing a Glock (far less mass than a prosthetic hip), or any number of grenades. But fortunately, I left them at home this time.

Hey NSA, you might want to check out security at the Oakland airport. For all I know, someone in your organization fiddled with the machine in preparation for a fellow member of their sleeper cell to slip through and do something heinous.

1 comment:

claudette said...

Many of those components are made of titanium and not enough steel to set of a detector. It depends on how sensitive detectors are set.

People ask me all the time for a letter so they won't be stopped at the airport. In the old days, this held some weight. No more. They just have to wand you and perhaps see your incision.