When the use of back-scatter x-ray machines became more widespread, I knew there would be privacy problems. Some minimum-wage security guy was going to see the outline of someone's body through their clothes and have a Beavis & Butthead reaction to that physical form.
That's exactly what happened six month ago at Miami International Airport. During a training session, TSA worker Rolando Negrin played the part of a passenger, while his colleague Hugo Osorno watched the monitor. When Rolando passed through the full-body scanner, Hugo noticed that Rolando was a little deficient in the manhood area.
Men can joke about a great many things, but there isn't a single human male on the planet who likes to have others make fun of his small penis. It's an Unspoken Guy Rule: no tiny-dick jokes to his face.
Nevertheless, Hugo mocked Rolando about it, and continued to make fun of his small genitalia for several months until Rolando couldn't take it anymore. The breaking point came last week, when Rolando caught up with Hugo in the parking lot, made him apologize and, in a perfect manhood metaphor, beat his harasser with a nightstick.
[It's at this point that my attorney would like me to go back and type the word "allegedly" about nine times, so let's add that these claims haven't been proven yet.]
While the TSA and the manufacturers the images aren't saved by the system, that doesn't keep them from being retained in the minds of the security personnel. So, if one TSA worker is acting like this regarding a fellow TSA employee, what makes you think they won't be gawking and guffawing when you, your wife, or your child passes through the full-body scanner with body parts below (or, certainly, above) average? How long before we hear about some celebrity captured in a similar situation?
By the way, Rolando was arrested and charged with aggravated assault for his attack on Hugo. I just hope that when they got him to jail, they didn't strip-search him.
Labels: columns, war/terrorism