I was recently violated by a man.
It’s worth explaining the man was a nameless, bald, chubby Transportation Security Administration worker at Laguardia Airport in New York. He clearly found me irresistible.
As my wife and I were getting ready to leave the hotel that morning, we heard a news story that Diana Ross had been “violated” by a TSA agent the day before.
According to a post the singer made to Twitter on Sunday, May 5, “It’s not what was done, but how. I am feeling violated - I still feel her hands between my legs, front and back (saying to me it’s her job). WOW!! really mixed emotions. I always like to see the good things, but not feeling good right now.”
The wife and I were attempting to return from the Big Apple when I was violated. I thought I had done everything correctly. I had removed my belt and shoes.
I entered the 3-D body scanner tube thingy dressed in nothing but a T-shirt, jeans, socks and my BVDs.
“Step out here sir,” said the TSA agent. “Got anything in your pockets?”
“No,” I said. “You’re welcome to check.”
And check he did with great force.
“I’m going to have to run my hand inside your waistband,” he said. “Are you OK with that?”
I thought for a second, “Would I allow any other man wearing rubber gloves to run his hand around inside my waistband?” Then I asked myself, “What’s the correct answer here?”
I looked behind me and noticed there was already a line of aggravated people wondering what exactly I had hidden in my jeans.
“Sure,” I told the TSA agent. “Do whatever you have to do.”
Unable to find any evidence of explosives in my waistband, the TSA agent then informed me he’d need to pat down my crotch and buttocks.
“Knock yourself out,” I told him, and he gladly obliged. Took his time, too.
It was during this time I went to my happy place — a lush green hillside next to a babbling brook. A unicorn approached, carrying fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and seven-year bourbon on its back.
Then I snapped back to reality.
The wife had already retrieved her items from one of the bins she sent through the conveyor belt scanner. She was also doing her best not to laugh out loud at my predicament.
My hands were also swabbed for traces of explosive residue, which — to the surprise of no one — came back negative.
“Is there any reason why these would be problem areas?” the TSA agent asked me as he pointed to a computer monitor showing an outline of my body. A section of my right side and buttocks were illuminated on the screen.
“Nothing I can think of,” I said.
In reality, I wanted to pull out charts, graphs and family photos detailing a long line of genetic flaws germane to this particular situation. I, unfortunately, had been singled out because I have no buttocks. Zero. Nil. None. It’s a trait I come by honestly, as I come from a long line of posterior-less people.
Sadly, no matter what kind of pants I’m wearing, there is a significant amount of sag. I suppose, if I were a mad plane bomber, I could probably hide any number of explosive devices in the rear of my jeans.
I believe it’s why I was targeted, as opposed to my ruggedly handsome face and irresistible charm. Still, I would have preferred to have been assaulted by a pretty lady, but my luck tends to run that way.
Even worse, the same thing happened the last time I attempted to fly out of a major city. A few years ago, my wife and I were departing the LAX airport in Los Angeles when a TSA agent felt me up for a few minutes. They even swabbed my hands for residue.
It was demeaning and demoralizing, but the trauma of the event had mostly subsided. My wife laughed at me then, too.
The Laguardia assault brought up long-repressed feelings of shame and embarrassment.
Upon returning home, I tweeted about my own encounter:
“I never thought I would find myself sympathizing with @DianaRoss, but I was royally felt up by TSA security this afternoon at @LGAairport. I should have charged for the feel-up. #violated #stopinthenameoflove.”
I was trying to make light of the whole thing, but LaGuardia Airport actually sent me a message: “Hello Adam. Is there anything we can do to help?”
No, LaGuardia Airport, there’s nothing you can to help ease my suffering and shame, but I honestly do appreciate you asking. After all, it wasn’t you who assaulted me, but instead the bald, chubby TSA agent.
The wife and I will probably fly again next year, and odds are good I will once again be targeted by a bald, chubby agent intrigued by a man with saggy jeans. I may need counseling. #metoo.
— Editor and victim Adam Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.