Thanksgiving Travel Clause: Have Body Double, Will Fly


Are the feathers going to fly starting this weekend!  And Black Friday might take on a whole new meaning next weekend.  I’m not referring to the annual mass murder of turkeys and to the supposedly biggest shopping day of the year.  I’m editorializing about the inevitable brouhaha among stressed-out air travelers who now are being subjected to the equivalent of body work — but without the happy ending.

Unless Superman is performing the full-body scans (and unless I’ve got more of a chance than Lois Lane at getting laid by the superhero), I’m squinting at the Transportation Security Administration’s idea of X-ray vision.  Hey, if an actor with a body that’s hard on the eyes anyway can demand that a no-nudity clause be inserted in his or her contract, then I want a body double, too.  If I can’t make like Melanie Griffith’s “Holly Body” between now and November, more firmly grounded than a teenager who’s run up a $500 cell phone bill faster than the time it takes to reach the maids-a-milking in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Bad enough I get zapped whenever I’m subjected to a mammogram — or what I prefer to call a smash-o-gram.  (“On the count of three, ma’am, freeze.”  What else are we women supposed to do while we’re rockin’ those short gowns, tits pressed against a cold, hard glass?)   I glow in the dark just fine, thank you.  This Thanksgiving, I would like my well-dressed dead turkey without a side of radiation, please.

Seriously, though, I don’t get it.  The Food and Drug Administration says MSG is bad for me, but being patted and prodded like a Butterball on Thanksgiving Eve is fine.   I suppose all the folks worried about overeating at the holiday table next week have a new reason to say “Hell no!” to that third heaping plate of turkey, stuffing and everything-that-can-fit-on-the-table.  What’s that new reason, you may be asking?  The FDA-approved, full-body scanners at U.S. airports will be doing a visual version of TMI — en masse.

Kind of makes you feel sorry for all those full-breasted birds getting fisted post mortem, doesn’t it?   Don’t get me wrong.  I love turkey and the tryptophan-induced stupor that follows the orgiastic consumption of it exacerbated by repeated refusals to say no to the host’s question:  “More wine?”

Gluttony and sottedness aside, the new airport procedures of the Transportation Security Administration might be perceived by many air travelers as mass molestation.  Here’s the rub:  There’s a serious purpose for the harsh, pre-emptive measures, and that is to deter terrorism.  But I just can’t avoid the humiliating aspect of the TSA’s new airport regulations.  No one wants anyone besides his or her gastroenterologist gawking at his or her post-Thanksgiving bloated intestines.

Wait, I take back the last statement.  If you’ve ever endured a colonoscopy at the hands of a wiseass gastroenterologist — and his sidekick, the anesthesiologist — you’re familiar with the inappropriate jokes they deliver while you’re still dry heaving from the gallon of Golytely cocktail you chugged down the previous night.  There you are, starving, weak and nauseated (from the Golytely) and ready to have your bowels pumped with air.  Two human beings with medical degrees snap on the gloves beneath wicked smiles as the sidekick forces you to do a countdown to the most humiliatingly invasive procedure right up (or should I say down) there with examinations by gynecologists and urologists.  Your last thought before an unconsciousness that carries a nominal rate of death is:  Geez, these docs are really a gas.

One time, after recovering from the procedure, the gastroenterologist said to me, “Chantale, if you only knew the things we did to you while you were under–”  Needless to say, I took three First Response home pregnancy tests two weeks later (“the kiiiid was not his son”) and never returned to his sterile torture chamber.  To this day I refuse to view Rosemary’s Baby when it appears on cable television, and don’t get me started on any TLC-channel program involving multiples.  (Not multiple sex partners — that’s cool — but freakish births by humans envious of dog and cat litters.)   The pending lawsuit gives me the last laugh at those white-coated assholes.

And what’s with the name of that colonoscopy-prep medicine, “Golytely,” anyway?  (They should rename it “Re-empty,” or banish the concoction  altogether.)  The only time that name sounds pleasant is when it’s spelled “Golightly” and paired with the name “Holly,” as in the breezy Audrey Hepburn-George Peppard romantic comedy Breakfast at Tiffany’s — or the Truman Capote novella from which the film was adapted.  And lest you assume that my reference to Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a non sequitur, need I underscore the first word in the title of the film’s memorable song, “Moon River”?

Despite the pain in the ass of intense body searches at the nation’s airports, after all the fracas subsides we’ll all just hum the same tune and mindlessly take it up the bunghole like a beheaded turkey crammed down its lifeless gullet with bread and chestnuts or other yummy things.  Let’s face it:   We need all the security measures possible so that we can fly safely to and from our destinations — and not only during major holidays.

I just hope the people in human resources, or whoever is in charge of background checks, takes special care not to hire convicted sex offenders as airport security personnel, or else some of those pat-downs of air travelers could take on a sinister context.   Hey, if there are bad seeds among department store security guards who are so unscrupulous as to screen fitting-room footage of unwitting “strippers” at company Christmas parties, anything’s possible.

As for the FDA-approved full-body scanners, everybody and his Uncle Charlie and Aunt Bertha could become more paranoid about them than they would hands lingering beneath tented flies on Fruit of the Looms and pebbled tips of Maidenforms.  Imagine that brand of madness — all those air travelers doing their versions of Robert DeNiro’s psychopath in Taxi Driver.  Here’s a sneak preview:

 You feelin’ me there?

You feelin’ me there?

Are you feelin’ me there?

Are you feelin’ me there?

Then who the hell else you feelin’?

You feelin’ me there?

Well, I’m the only one here.

Who the fuck do you think you’re feelin’?

If this post has made your skin crawl, you’d do best to shut your eyes when rubbing softened butter beneath that dead turkey’s goosepimpled flesh.  If you’re one of those creepy types who’s at the head of the line for the security jobs so you can have a better chance at peeping on other people’s private parts, well … cluck you.

Copyright © 2010 By Chantale Reve


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