Pat-Down, Smack-down, TSA . . .

. . .  and Happy New Year greetings from JFK from where soon I shall be leaving on a jet plane for London.  Somewhere in a time zone over the Atlantic the New Year will begin, and yes, I am aware of the fact that certain parts of the world blew their fireworks almost 24 hours ago, but, for those of us on the edge of time, our clocks are still ticking.

Security has been cleared and now we are enjoying the Friday night ambience of drinks in the bar.  The TSA people are out there, back at the security gates where they bark at hapless passengers to do this and to do that, turn this way, face that way, feet here, hands there, look straight ahead, “PAT – DOWN on FEMALE REQUESTED” ,  as though there has been a spill on aisle one . . . As always, it is the barking authority that grates.  Some reports have it that the long finger-nails are just as grating . . .

I have access to google, Wikipedia etc but I can never remember exactly what the initials TSA stand for.  I know that in these initials are the combination transport, security and authority but it never really feels all that secure. No offence TSA people, but I sometimes feel as though I could be being put through the third degree at any branch of Staples, or the Post Office. But terrorists, as far as I know, don’t blow up these places and I see that in the UK press, David Cameron, British PM, has stated that Britain is on New Year terror alert.  This, I note, is in small print, fifth down a list headed by

Flu levels almost double among under-five

200,000 Australians affected by floods

Lady Antonia Fraser leads New Year Honours

among others which leads me to think that it can’t be that bad.  Can it?

Of course not!  I know I am safe because I know the TSA is out there at the security gates and there is not a person in this world they like, let alone crazy terrorists.  However, I would like to know educational qualifications required in becoming a TSA officer. I have yet to see advertisements in the subway for an exciting career in airport security being offered but I know which colleges I could apply to if I were to entertain the prospect of becoming a forensic investigator (everyone loves a good Law & Order episode, not to mention CSI).

Alas, time is running away.  There is a New Year out there. I need to dash and embrace the waiting time warp continuum.

Happy New Year!