Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A man with a metal replacement hip walks into an airport in British Columbia. Having done some traveling he knows he is going to set off the metal detector and therefore is not startled or annoyed when the bells and whistles sound. He causally explains his hip, and gives himself up for the subsequent body search. He understands fully he will have to be patted down, frisked. It happens all the time when he flies.
Only one problem; there are no male pat down agents available. This isn’t Vancouver, it’s a small airport with only two male agents, one of whom is on vacation, the other is off duty. Security protocol indicates frisking must be done on a same-sex basis.
Houston, we have a problem.
The man, on his way to a family wedding in Ontario, says to the women that he understands the problem, and is open to being frisked by one of them. No fool him, nudge nudge wink wink. He and his wife have a flight to take and neither really has any qualms about him being patted down by a woman. After all, it’s a frisking, not a strip search.
Perhaps the man has a woman doctor who, in the course of an annual checkup, does more than merely frisk him. He seems to understand the concept of professionalism. But the agents stick to the rule book and refuse to frisk him, causing him a nine-hour delay.
Really? Freddie Laker introduced no frills flights, now we have a no frisk flight.
This is hardly an intimate undertaking, yet the book says same-sex only. Under ideal conditions I agree with the rule, but staffing problems should render the rule bendable. Nope. No bending of rules.
Some say the answer is to build better prostheses that won’t trigger the sensors. Nonsense! I think this incident illustrates that the time has come for someone to invent a frisking machine; The Frisk-O-Matic.
Perhaps the people at Dyson could use their expertise to create a device that would replace human hands, yet be sensitive to the kind of unusual lumps and bumps a human is checking for. Along the lines of a metal detector, but more ‘hands on’ if you will. The operator would direct the sensor from a distance, thereby eliminating the need for a same-sex rule. No actual contact would be made.