Puffin' my way to JavaOne

My journey to the San Francisco Bay Area for JavaOne began with a trip through the puffer. For the uninitiated, the puffer is the new machine invented to protect us from terrorism. This was my second trip through the puffer. Not everyone gets to walk through the puffer. You are chosen to walk through the puffer.

"Sir, walk this way and put your bags on the table. The agent by the puffer will help you." I was told.

In the puffer line, you are handed grey tubs by an agent. I felt like Paris Hilton...pre-sentencing, of course. I was chastised because I reached for the tubs myself. It was obvious that the agent was not thrilled with me. Then I took out my gels and liquids in four separate one pint bags. I was told that I was only allowed one quart.

"But four pints is a quart!" I cried.

The agent wasn't pleased by that either so I had to move all my items into one of the smaller bags. Now, to be honest, they were separated by function. I didn't know there was a one quart bag rule we had to follow. So I did as I was told and combined my items...with an edge.

Then I walked into the puffer. There are footprints on the floor. You stand on them and plastic French doors close creepily behind you and in front of you. A light hand flashes red cautioning you to stop, stop stop. That ubiquitous lady's voice comes through speakers. (She must make a good living as a spokesmodel.)

"Please wait for the puff of air."

And you wait. And wait. Finally a few blasts of air are shot from all around. This made me jump even though I knew it was coming. The light hand stays red for an awfully long time. When it finally turns green and the French doors open, I was fearful from the nightmare scenarios that I had been imagining. From what I understand, the puffer checks for the presence of explosive materials on your person by dispersing the remnants into the air and examining them. This fellow puffer lady told me she had to wait so long for the green light that she thought they had detected something on her. I told her it was just her Chanel No 5.

After you go through the puffer, you must THEN go through security. So you now must remove your shoes and do the whole rigamarole as you follow your suitcase, backpack, computer, one pint bag of gels and liquids, and the like through x-ray. X-ray had the usual snafus: water bottle trashed, USB mouse needing manual examination, belt being removed, pants falling down, etc., etc., etc.

So do I feel much safer now that I know the 70 year old lady behind me wearing Chanel No 5 was not a terrorist? Hmmm. There was no one else being puffed. Why some and not others? It was admittedly a late Saturday afternoon and there were not a lot of people in the airport but, I think the agents were just doing a little power grab. And the two of us had something they could hold on to...
Comments:

I went through Dallas/Ft. Worth on Sunday, March 22nd to Chicago. I was asked to go through the puffer machine. I had no clue what it was and it was very upsetting to me. I am 53 years old, caucasion and was on vacation with my husband. As far as I know, I did not look or act like a terrorist or different or anything. Then later, boarding the flight to Chicago, when the attendant viewed my boarding pass, she quick wrote down my name and seat number on a piece of paper and handed it to another lady who had hurried over to collect it. She gave me a very hard look. What do you make of this?

Posted by Lisa on March 23, 2009 at 11:59 PM PDT #

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.
About

docteger

Search

Categories
Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today