Admitting that security agents are insufficiently trained and that detection devices obviously don’t work anyway, the Transportation Security Administration is advising airline passengers to just go ahead and pat themselves down before boarding flights.
A recent investigation by the Department of Homeland Security found security failures 95 percent of the time when agents attempted to pass airport checkpoints while carrying prohibited items, yet a parallel study shows that passengers are actually quite good at screening themselves.
“If you think about it, most people are gifted with extraordinary tactile senses,” said Homeland Security deputy Doug Kellerman. “The average person can feel an errant hair tickling the nose, or a gnat landing on the neck.”
“Assuming you have a functional nervous system, you can figure out just as well as any veteran TSA agent if there’s a knife concealed in your boot, or if you’ve got a plastic explosive and detonating device taped to the small of your back,” he said.
Some critics of the agency’s new recommendations argue that certain passengers suffer from decreased mobility and a limited range of motion, so they won’t be able to pat themselves down. However, Kellerman and other officials responsible for ensuring safe air travel say not to worry.
“Selflessness is an enduring trait in the community of air travelers,” he said. “If you can’t check your own bra for a prohibited aerosol dispenser of toxic chemicals, you’ll find dozens of other passengers willing to lend you a hand.”