Airport security silliness

So today (Thursday 21 July 2005) I flew from Seattle to Dallas for a customer meeting. Since it's a short one-day affair, I packed my small carry-on size suitcase. In it was a pair of shoes, one pants, one shorts, two shirts, a toiletry bag, and my collection of wall warts (AC adpaters). Seems normal, so far.

As the suitcase passes through the x-ray machine, the TSA droid's brows begin to furrow. "Oh crap," thought I. They run the bag a second time. More furrowing.

"Is this your bag?" they ask. There seemed to be a bit of trepidation combined with glee in their attitude -- or maybe I was just imagining it.

"Yeah, can you tell me what's wrong?"

"There's something that we can't figure out what it is. We'll need to do a secondary screening."

So then they carry it to one of those infernal explosive detection machines. You know, where another doughnut-gorged TSA droid sticks a little chamois pad on the end of a wand and lovingly caresses your bag's zippers, then inserts the chamois pad into the detection machine. There was nothing, of course. As far as I can tell from my research, none of these machines in any airport in the United States has ever actually found an explosive. What an absolute waste of time, money, and resources.

Then -- get this -- Mr. Doughnut hands me my bag! So let me get this straight. The supposedly highly-trained x-ray operator can't figure out something inside my bag, and so they inspect the exterior zipper? What are these people smoking, and why don't they share? Sheesh! Security theater, indeed.