One side effect of the war on terror is that we all get screened down to our shoes and sock. When I lived in Minnesota, this meant taking off our heavy boots and parkas not once, but twice, since those on commuter flights were rescreened when they hit Minneapolis/StPaul airport.

In the past, I was an expert on packing everything into my carryon bag. I even bought a light weight laptop so I could carry it, along with two changes of clothing, medicine, and toiletries. Alas, now I hear they can’t even carry hair gel on board.

However, I have never really run into problems with airport screeners. They are polite and apologize when I am checked out. The main problem is Lolo, (Tagalog for Grandpa), my husband.

Lolo can’t hear a thing without two powerful hearing aides, and in the noise of the airport, he turns them off. And guess who always gets the “random” number for security checks?

Of course, it doesn’t help that he always carefully removes his shoes, his belt buckle, his jacket, and his change, but always forgets he carries his favorite rosary in his back pocket…which of course has a large cross on it that sets off the alarm.

“Sorry, sir we have to search you”….(Lolo keeps moving)…

“LOLO STOP”, I yell in his ear, making everyone within 50 feet look around for what’s wrong…


Lolo stops and helpfully allows the man to check him out, and sure enough, there is a beep.

“But I emptied my pocket”, he insists…

“It’s his rosary. He keeps it in his right back pocket” I explain to the now amused security guards, to the annoyance of ten late passengers behind him.

Sure enough, the rosary comes out, and he passes the test.

Another triumph for political correctness. And if this article about the “flying immans” is correct, we will soon have anti profiling laws and there will be quotas to prove that profiling doesn’t occur.
So 80 year old Philippino World War II veterans will have to be screened, while healthy aggressive men who talk loudly about loving Osama and taking unassigned seats next to the exit seats will be able to pass security without a problem.

Hint to US Air: If they try to sue you, take it to a jury. The comments about the article are all in your favor.———————————-

Nancy Reyes is a retired physician who lives in the rural Philippines with her husband Lolo and large extended family. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket

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