Laughter may be fatal to airport patdowns

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Patdowngate they’re calling it. With the all the jokes that have greeted airport patdowns and x-ray machines, maybe the objectionable new practices will be washed away in a flood of laughter. If that happens, we may not be safer in airplanes, but at least we will be able to die laughing.

One of the quirks of retirement these days is the use of the internet to exchange jokes by the prime timers (it sounds so much better than seniors or the elderly). Most of them I find quite funny, and, yes, some of them are pretty baudy. Depending on what strikes your funny bone these days, the patdown jokes are either a new high or a new low.

One wit says he has come up the solution to the whole security mess. It would do away with patdowns, x-rays, questioning, profiling—the whole shebang. The TSA should set up a booth through which all fliers must pass. With modern technology it should be easy to trigger any explosive device carried by would-be suicide bomber. The booth would be sound proofed and of course pressure proofed. Phfft!….there goes the bomber. It would hardly create a ripple, and on overbooked flights the loudspeaker would quickly be able to announce that another seat is available. That would be followed by an announcement that a shop vac was needed at Gate 15.

Then there are the fictional (I hope they are) TSA bumper stickers. A few of them set off the raunch meter, so I’ve deleted those. The survivors are funny enough.

All of them supposedly were created by the TSA and would carry its emblem. Among them:

  • Wanna fly, drop your fly
  • We offer grope discounts
  • Only we know if Lady Gaga is really a lady
  • Can’t see London, can’t see France, unless we see your underpants
  • We rub you the wrong way so you can be on your way

The fact remains that the patdowns and x-ray machines look like they’re here to stay. Despite a storm of protests, the TSA does not look like it is about to back down, and the public overwhelmingly supports the idea of stricter security measures. Who knows? Some people might even get to enjoy them. Like the little old lady who showed up at the gate and said she wasn’t there to fly, only for the patdown.

Didn’t somebody say that laughter is the best medicine? I agree. If only doctors could write prescriptions for laughter, we’d all be healthier. The problem is that you never know what the other guy may think is humorous.

I like the joke about the three guys at the funeral home standing before their deceased friend Jake. One of them asks the others what they would like people to say about them when they take Jake’s place. He volunteers that he wants people to say that he was a hard worker. The second guy says he would them to say he was a kindly person. The third friend thinks long and hard and says: “I’d like people to say, ‘Look, he’s still moving.’ ”

Judging from past experience, I don’t tell that joke to folks much older than me.

About Stan Latreille 66 Articles
Stan Latreille is a novelist, blogger, lawyer, former newspaperman, and a retired Circuit Court judge. He is the author of "Perjury" and is working on a new novel, tentatively titled "Absolution."