The wife and I flew to Nashville TN two weekends ago for an awards banquet with her company. As the wife has allergies, we have to take her drops with us. We have a very small collapsible cooler that we put her drops in and then place the cooler in our backpack. The drops are in a 2 ounce bottle so we didn't think we would have any problems.
We go thru Midland airport without any issues and we have a great time in Nashville. When we are going through the Nashville airport, things get a little hairy.
I had the backpack so i unloaded it and took my boots off and everything else to pass through security. Everything goes thru the scanner ok and they do a wipe test on the cooler and find traces of nitrates or explosives. Apparently, this gets every one's attention including the TSA supervisors.
They surround me and start asking if that is my bag. I said yes and then one of the TSA people escort me to the glass cubicle they have for semi-private searches. About this time the wife is about to panic because she thinks they are taking me to Gitmo or something.
This young TSA agent tells me that he needs to pat me down. Not a normal pat down but an aggressive pat down to ensure i am not trying to blow up a plane. He informs me that we can go to a private and secure location or we can do it right there. I look at my wife and from her eyes i can tell that if i'm taken to a private spot she would probably have a panic attack.
I look him in the eyes and say "Bubba, i spent 4 years in the Navy. If you want to grope me, you're gonna have to do it where everyone can see, hell, i will buck down right here if that will make you happy"
He cracked a smile and said " I understand, i did 6 years in the Corps"
I replied, " So, you get your jollys groping old sailors do you?"
He says "No, but i do like pissing ya'll off"
He explains the procedure to me and ask if i consent to being searched. I asked if i had a choice and he said absolutely, if you don't want to fly. Naturally i consented and the groping began.
As he was checking my groin area i said "Hey jarhead, my wife is watching so don't look like your enjoying it" He responded with something about squids being queer or something along those lines.
As all this was going on, other TSA agents were standing around my wife and asking her questions about where i had been and such. The whole time she is watching to make sure they don't slap the cuffs on me.
As my searcher was coming up my other leg and checking my left nut, i said " You get it up, you get it off"
He shook his head, finished his search and took the latex gloves he was wearing to have a wipe test done on them the see if i had explosives on my clothing.
When they put the wipe in the testing device, what do you know, the device wasn't working. Some TSA agent got on the radio and was requesting another tester when the jarhead that groped me said to the agent "Just let them go, do you really think they are terrorist?" and my wife overheard him.
He came in, apologized to me and we talked about duty stations as i was getting dressed.
It wasn't a big deal to me, hell, i could really care less. The problem is that there are people like my wife who would freak out if that happened to them. I really think there is a better way to screen passengers.