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Minority Reporting: Airport Security

by Lucas Molandes

I don’t like flying for several reasons. The lines. The turbulence. The foreigners. You know what I’m saying? No? Well, I know people who do. I spent last Thursday evening at the airport being showered with attention by our cautious friends at security. It started with the random body scan, which I don’t really have an opinion on. I’m sure most people who fly have had their body ogled by technology’s evil eye, so whatever. It happens to the best of us. No harm, no…

As soon as I stepped out of the scanner, some blue-gloved dude who looked like he was a day away from being sent to rehab pulled me aside, told me to spread out and began giving me a random pat-down. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty sexy. While grabbing at lonely parts of my body, he asked me smutty questions like: “What’s that in your pocket? Are you wearing a chain?” (Am I wearing a chain? What do I look like, a Grecian yachtsman?) Satisfied I was clean, he told me I could go. He didn’t even give me his number. Hey guys, if you’re going to give me a body-scan/pat-down combo, the least you can do is offer up some sort of happy-ending deal, okay?

The airplane arrived, and we got called in by our zones. As I made my way along the jet bridge, I got stopped once again. This time they randomly checked my I.D. At that point, I began to think maybe I should play the lottery. I mean, being “randomly” body-scanned, patted down, and I.D. checked all in one trip … what are the odds? What are the swarthy, olive-skinned odds? After the flight, I told my friend that I wasn’t really certain what caused all of those random checks, “I’m half Mexican.” He told me, “well, you kind of look Middle Eastern.”

Middle Eastern or Mexican? Either way, call the cops!

Oh, in that case, I suppose I don’t feel so bad. I mean, I can totally understand aggressively patting down half-Mexicans who are mistaken for Middle Easterners That’s not racist. That’s necessary. It’s a dangerous world, people. You can’t be too careful. The part that offended me most is that I get enough of this ethnic assignment when I audition for roles in commercials or movies. I can portray several ethnicities because, unlike Jesus, I’m hard to pin down. And even though I am Latino, in the eyes of TSA I’m not “Latino enough.” To them, I’m better suited to play something a little more Middle Eastern or possibly Asian (cultures I know nothing about, because I’m an American, mind you).

Hell, one time while flying I sat next to an older Indian woman who was laying face down on the seat tray, and the flight attendant said to me, “can you tell your mother she needs to put her tray up while we take off.” My mother? How dare you flight attendant. She could have been my wife for all you know. The point I’m making is that you can’t assume anything based on appearance alone. And that’s the most important lesson I learned from watching that White Chicks documentary.

Lucas Molandes is a stand-up comedian that has made appearances at the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” and CNN”s “Not Just Another Cable News Show.”

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