These are all true stories, every single panel. I did overhear a TSA agent laughing about a dildo in a carryon bag on the X-ray conveyor belt. My husband did get detained because the TSA determined that gluten free flour tested positive for explosives. A TSA agent did take my unopened packages of hummus and yogurt, insisting they were liquids, because, if you turned them upside down, they would fall out. My father does say what he says in panel 4, female Israeli soldiers with Uzis do interrogate you if you walk through the door of El Al, and I really did accidentally carry a switchblade through security, and a TSA agent really did find it, decide it couldn’t possibly be mine, and ask me what I wanted him to do.
Airport security in this country feels broken, perhaps because we’ve given the TSA so much power, and so many of those agent don’t seem especially intelligent, generating a system where ignorant bullies have carte blanche to take out their insecurities on people who just want to go see their families. It would be nice if we weren’t all treated like terrorists, considering that the TSA apparently couldn’t catch a terrorist if they ran naked through security with a stick of dynamite in their mouth. Everything about airline travel is pretty messed up, but security is just a joke. I can’t count the number of times people have told me they didn’t even realize they had knives in their bag until they got home. The TSA misses all the dangerous stuff, and then ruins people’s day over 3 bags of gluten free flour. Plus, they talk to you like you’re the idiot.
It’s frustrating, and all we can do about, as far as I can tell, is bitch on the Internet. I actually wrote the “hummus is liquid” story on one of my old blogs, and I get a lot of mileage out of the switchblade story at parties. We’ve given up real freedom for imaginary security.