To Protect and Serve
So just a few minutes ago a frail woman in her seventies approached the airport security checkpoint with her dog – well perhaps dog is too strong a word – it was more like a 5 pound animated bundle of tail wagging fur with floppy ears. The woman proceeded to do all things she was supposed to do – remove her shoes, place her belongings on the conveyor belt and pad her barefooted self over to the screening station.
All the while her tail-wagging little bundle of joy obediently stayed by her side patiently waiting its turn to go through the metal detector. When it was his owner’s turn in line, she whispered a command to the dog and it proudly marched through the metal detector to wait for her on the other side.
Standing on the other side of the screening line was one of our brave TSA agents. As tinker bell the dog pranced through the metal detector, the TSA agent looked down, let out a shriek and started screaming for assistance.
Tinker bell; sensing the TSA agent was in danger, and wanting to be of assistance, decided to walk over to her and offer some comfort and emotional support. As tinker bell cautiously approached the distraught TSA agent in a submissive posture – head down, lowering its towering 5″ frame closer to the floor so as not to appear imposing, tail between its legs – tinker bell’s proximity further escalated the screams and cries of the TSA agent who was now hugging herself in fear and whimpering for someone to come and save her.
Fortunately, at this point, a brave colleague strode up to tinker bell, bent low to the ground to pick her up, and courageously cuddled the cute little monster in his arms all the while having to withstand the onslaught of doggy kisses and vigorous tail wagging.
While waiting for the scene to return to normal I used my smartphone to visit the TSA website where the TSA described its history and vision in the following words:
On the morning of September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The attacks resulted in the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, designed to prevent similar attacks in the future. Driven by a desire to help our nation, tens of thousands of people joined TSA and committed themselves to strengthening our transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce.
Provide the most effective transportation security in the most efficient way as a high performing counterterrorism organization.
To be fair, prior attacks have involved weapons such as guns and knives and the occasional shoe bomb. As of the time of publication of this article the author has not been able to reach any TSA officials for comment. Sources close to the TSA did agree to speak off the record saying, “It’s a scary job – I am just glad the officer wasn’t hurt.” At this time, I don’t have any verifiable proof that this agent was ever formerly trained in defending against canine attack but thanks to teamwork and perseverance the crisis was averted – TSA to the rescue once again!
For further adventures in flying see Reboot, Reset, Restart