After causing such a big fuss and drama with travelers some months ago, I finally had my first body scan experience while in San Francisco, and I must say that it was quite easy and about as un-dramatic as can be.
The process started fairly quickly. I must have been too busy tucking my passport and plane tickets in my bag, taking off my shoes, putting everything on the scanning conveyor belts to realize I was being herded into the full body scan line. The next thing I knew, I was being told to stand with my arms above my head, feet on the footprints and to not move.
Immediately, I got thoughts… naked thoughts. With all the stories of agents making lewd comments about women’s bodies, thoughts raced through my head that maybe someone in the room was having a good old time seeing the scan of my body. My eyes moved from left to right — as much as they could without moving my head — in an attempt to see if I was safe in my pretty much naked state. The viewing area must be private because I couldn’t see anything giving away that naked body viewing was happening. That’s cool.
I didn’t get to think much longer about it as my thoughts were interrupted by an agent instructing me on what to do.
Him: “Ok, just stay there for a second. Ok, now it’s going to tickle a bit. Ready?”
Him (giggling): “All done! Did it tickle?”
Me (walking away now): Still confused…
I’ve got to give the guy props though for trying to make the experience more enjoyable. Airport security and checkpoint people have some of the most monotonous jobs, and people don’t tend to like them back very much.
At first I thought maybe he was just a bit weird or bored because my x-ray didn’t tickle in the slightest, but then later I thought, “Was it supposed to?!” I’ve had plenty of x-rays in my life… oh the chest x-rays… and they didn’t tickle. But, it got me to thinking, and now I ask, do the x-rays tickle some people? And, if they don’t, maybe they should. While the process isn’t completely horrible, it would make it a bit more fun if some tickling was involved.