the true-life story of my SFO TSA encounter
Tuesday May 31st 2005, 12:16 pm
Filed under: personal

ok, this true story got told a handful of times at the emergent convention, and a few asked me to post it. so here goes. this is word-for-word true (it is so emblazened on my psyche), and still leaves me with a combo-platter-feeling of uncomfortable wigglies and incredulous laughter. (oh, and btw, the “glasses” referred to in this story are not the ones in the photo on my blog — those are my old, less seductive glasses, apparently.)

march 3, 2005. location: San Fransisco International Airport, premiere security check-point, next to United counter. absolutely no one in line; so it’s just me and the very large employee of the US government — one of the high-caliber employees of the transportation safety administration…

TSA guy [as i’m taking off my shoes, unloading my laptop, emptying my pockets]: hey, those are really nice glasses… i LIKE those glasses a lot… tell me about them!

me [awkwardly]: well, thanks. i just got them a week ago.

TSA guy: i mean, i really like them. tell me more about them. what brand are they? where did you get them?

me [still awkwardly, still unpacking my junk]: um, well, they’re prada’s, but i just got them at lenscrafters…

TSA guy [leaning across table to get about 6 inches from my face, only slightly lowering voice]: they’re makin’ my d*** hard! [grin]

me [nervous and highly awkward, leaning backward]: ha! [at this point, i also — perhaps foolishly — playfully smacked him on the arm, implying, “well, aren’t you oddly silly and highly inappropriate”]

TSA guy: so, what would you do if i tried to take those from you? would ya run? i bet you’d run, wouldn’t you? are you fast? do you think i could catch you?

me [trying to remain calm, almost finished with the unpacking and shoving into the x-ray machine]: i’m not very fast, and you’d probably catch me. but, um, i guess that’s when i’d be glad this is a very crowded place with lots of security.

TSA guy [leaning in again, this time about 3 inches from my face, with a reasonably wicked smile]: i am security.

at this point, i pretty-much bolted through the screener. it went off. i had to go back and take off my belt. once “cleared”, i was so wigged-out, i threw my stuff together and almost ran away (i suppose it could be called a “pep-step”). as i was high-steppin’ away, i heard a voice calling to me: sir, sir, you forgot your belt!

13 Comments so far
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I about had coffee come out my nose when I got the ‘they’re makin’ my ….” comment.

So…the truth finally comes out as to why NYWC isn’t going to San Francisco.

Good to know, marko, and thanks for taking one for the team!

Comment by Grant 05.31.05 @ 1:58 pm

did you happen to be wearing your new man kilt at the time??

Comment by bobbie 05.31.05 @ 3:52 pm

no, wasn’t wearing the kilt; but that’s what john musick was referring to with this comment:

“Will you also be wearing your new glasses with your kilt? You might not get out of the airport in one piece;-)”

Comment by marko 05.31.05 @ 4:38 pm


Hope this hasn’t scar(r)ed you for life! ;-)

Comment by Mark 05.31.05 @ 5:09 pm

Man, I just had someone come in my office and ask what I was laughing about. I can only imagine the look on your face. What a great story.

Comment by -Justin- 05.31.05 @ 6:40 pm

Thank God for No-Cal…oh, and Nashville!

Comment by Andy 05.31.05 @ 7:44 pm

I think you should have said as loudly as possible, “This is sexual harassment and I don’t have to take it!” Plus, I didn’t know glasses could be such a come-on…maybe I should get rid of my contacts… Oh wait…I don’t think it’ll help cuz this guy didn’t seem to intersted in girls. Not only that, he’s freaky as all-get-out!

Comment by Amy 05.31.05 @ 8:07 pm


Oh man… talk about oddly uncomfortable. Did you ever get your belt back? :D

Comment by Tree 06.01.05 @ 11:06 am

damn SFO!

Comment by Patmos 06.01.05 @ 12:57 pm

[…] Filed under: church, personal

i’m in the san fran airport (yes, i looked for the TSA guy when i came through security; thought i might be ready to report him if i could spot him — no luck […]

Pingback by ysmarko 07.11.05 @ 2:36 pm

[…] hip retreat this weekend. should be a nice time with my son. but i have to watch out for that TSA employee. we get home sunday late afternoon, then monday i head to sacramento for the first of the three n […]

Pingback by ysmarko 09.23.05 @ 10:25 am


Comment by KC 09.23.05 @ 10:09 pm

I’ll have to tell you some time about taking my parents’ ashes through security. Now THAT was funny.

Comment by Carl Fuglein 10.18.05 @ 4:10 pm

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