More Airport Ethics: The TSA, the Bedonkadonk and the Slobs


I’m not sure what to make of this scene, which I witnessed at Washington’s Reagan National airport as I waited to be scanned prior to my flight to Miami. I have some thoughts, though.

The young, zaftig, fascinatingly-shaped African American woman in front of me was wearing one of tightest, most revealing, shape-hugging, leaving-nothing-to-the-imagination knit dresses I or anyone has ever seen, especially in an airport. The garb was obviously chosen to highlight, as in broadcast world-wide, her most prominent and unusual asset: an awe-inspiring derriere, which appeared to be fit, toned, and suitable for showing a drive-in movie. She was attracting side-glances and open-mouths from all around her, male, female, and probably the machinery too, and obviously reveled in the attention.

When she stepped into the imager and was told to raise her hands over her head, she giggled and did a spontaneous bump and grind move, threatening the integrity of the structure. That did it. The young African-American male TSA agent was launched into smiles, winks, and a stream of comments on the women’s super-structure, along the lines of, “Damn, girl! Don’t go distracting me like that! How am I supposed to do my job? And man, I am distracted! Why, some big old terrorist could walk right by me while I’m taking you in, and then where would we be?” Laughs all around from the other agents, giggles and more gyrations from the woman, more banter from her admirer.


  • How professional. I feel so safe.
  • Is the screening process serious and necessary, or not? We are told that jokes about bombs will get us arrested and interrogated, but a T.S.A. agent’s testosterone overflow provoked by a screenee’s bodacious bedonkadonk justifies turning a security procedure into a mini-“Pootie Tang” sequel. If screening is serious enough to spend billions of dollars and inconvenience millions of air travelers, then it is serious enough to require 1) passengers to avoid making gratuitous scenes and 2) T.S.A. agents to avoid acting like Greg Kelly.
  • This wasn’t a mere flirtation. Many fliers are uncomfortable with the idea that their bodies are being scrutinized, electronically and otherwise, and this display of “Whoa, mamma! Look at the back on you!” nonsense from the scrutinizers is stressful and irresponsible.
  • This battle is lost, so it will be filed, I’m sure, with my other “get off my lawn!” protests, but autonomy in personal dress in public places still should be tempered by modesty, common sense, taste and most of all, respect for fellow passengers. The plane to Miami had to have the most slovenly, willfully outrageously dressed group of fliers I have ever seen: the fact that I am not blind now may lead me to believe in miracles. Why should I have to be pressed into a seat between some hairy, 270 pound man in a tank top and a 13-year-old girl dressed like a hooker? Forced close quarters with no escape should demand consideration; the U.S. has accepted a chaotic and rude standards where there is none, and the attitude is “My comforts matters, and I don’t give a damn about you or anyone else.”
  • Such developments are microcosms of our culture, and soon coalesce to have larger, serious, negative effects with larger significance.

As I have to periodically, I recently dealt with a commenter who sneered at the fact that I “judge” conduct here. This is why conduct has to be judged, because if anti-social, selfish and uncivil conduct is not identified, explained and condemned, human society and life itself becomes nastier, uglier, less productive and less enjoyable. The conduct of these inconsiderate slobs, like the behavior of exhibitionists like the gyrating screenee, should not have been shrugged off or ignored when it first became obvious. We all shirk our mutual duties to society by not doing all we can to keep standards from slipping into the gutter.

28 thoughts on “More Airport Ethics: The TSA, the Bedonkadonk and the Slobs

  1. Forced close quarters with no escape should demand consideration; the U.S. has accepted a chaotic and rude standards where there is none, and the attitude is “My comforts matters, and I don’t give a damn about you or anyone else.”
    Not just US.
    I was traveling alone, Paris to Dublin, when a French guy sat next to me and commenced to read a porn magazine. Not Playboy, porn.
    I asked to be moved and ended up in one of the bulkhead seats which I liked anyway and selected on flights in the future.

    • I’ll see you your French guy and raise you a Middle Eastern dude on a Miami to NY flight who sat next to me, took off his shoes and socks and proceeded to clip his toe nails.

      • A close second would be the Milwaukee to NY flight where the couple in front of me acted like a couple of chimpanzees – the husband combed through his wife’s hair looking for grey strands and when finding them would pluck them out and drop them into the center aisle.

  2. I’ve seen women at the supermarket in PJs. Just awful. But where do we draw the line? Of course this behavior and dress was ridiculous, but I also remember my dad losing his mind when I got my ears pierced — in HIGH SCHOOL. Should Jack be the decider of what’s in good taste? Should I? I want to smack parents when I see an infant with pierced ears, but in some cultures that’s the norm. I have some Mexican in-laws, and they are baffled that my girls’ ears haven’t been pierced yet. I roll my eyes whenever I see sequins in the workplace — or tattoos. But that’s becoming normal now too.

    As for Finlay’s contest above, I win this prize. I once had a guy masturbate under a blanket on a flight next to me. Nice.

    • You sure do “win.” Yechhh.

      Two different questions: 1) Do we have to draw lines? YES. 2) Who draws them? Everyone who cares enough to make an issue of it.

      In some cultures female genital mutilation is also the norm. There are unethical cultures and unethical cultural practices and values. the Mafia has a culture. The objective is to fight for ethical cultures, and a balance between autonomy and respect. Yup, it’s difficult. Most things worth doing are.

          • I will raise my kids right — and will (and have) discussed inappropriate clothing with colleagues and employees. But it ends there. I’m not going to go lecture the adult who is grocery shopping in her pajamas. If she doesn’t know any better on her own, she’s a lost cause. And I imagine the same is true for the “lady” at the airport.

    • Remember when you had to dress appropriately for EVERY situation in life because it communicated respect for yourself and respect for others and respect for the institutions / customs in which you were engaging?

        • No one will respect anything or anyone as long as culture teaches them they are special and more important than other people. Quite frankly, there’s 8 billion more out there… you aren’t special, nor are you important, even “important” people aren’t all that important – and special people are special because they work hard at it, it isn’t an inherent quality.

          A perspective not taught in today’s narcissist materialist culture.

  3. I have a cousin whose wife periodically sends out pictures taken in Wal-Mart. Until she started doing that, I didn’t know people went out in public dressed like that. We are doomed.

  4. In the weekend I flew on an internal flight for the first time in about five years. After reading about all the security theatre that the TSA put you through in the U.S. it was good to see that we had none of that nonsense here. Although most people were in casual dress, no one was underdressed, although that may have been because it’s winter here.
    On the flight back the young man sitting next to me who had been visiting back home was good to talk to, so overall it was an enjoyable experience.

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