Puff the Magic Anti-terrorism Portal
Passengers enter ETPs stationed at security checkpoints prior to proceeding through metal detectors. Several “puffs” of air are released in an effort to shake loose trace explosive particles on the passenger. The TSA has spent nearly $30 million on puffing technology. Of that amount, approximately $6.2 million was spent on maintaining the 94 units deployed.
Some TSA officials claim that the portals have failed to satisfy the requirements for operational suitability because of frequent maintenance issues. They also determined that more reliable and effective screening technologies exist, citing successes with enhanced pat down policies, mandatory juvenile cavity searches, and the full nude video screening booths known as Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). The costs to maintain these AIT systems have also approached unsustainable levels. John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration, warned that AITs may be going the way of ETPs after the Obama administration rejected a proposal to allow passengers in line to view AIT scans of other travelers for 25 cents a minute.
“It’s an old idea,” Pistole said. “You can visit any bookshop on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and pay a similar amount for a similar experience, but no one’s complaining about that. Without discovering ancillary revenue streams, the TSA simply can’t keep these necessary safety protocols in place. I suppose it’s a whole lot cheaper to die. I mean, that’s the message I’m hearing.”
Candidate Greene Says Best of Both Worlds Possible
“There’s no reason why we can’t have puffers as part of our enhanced screening processes while still getting millions of Americans back to work,” F. Chester Greene announced at a fundraising mixer near the Fangoso Lagoons waterfront pavilion.
Greene’s proposal marries the core concept of puffing with the TSA’s already proven pat down procedures.
“These ETPs are expensive,” Greene said. “And not just in terms of dollars and cents. Certainly, your hard earned tax dollars are paying for these ridiculous abominations. But your tax dollars are also footing the unemployment bills for all the workers these units have displaced. Well, I’m going to fix all that.”
Greene wants the TSA to remove all 94 ETPs currently in operation and replace them with a “gauntlet” of specially trained TSA agents who will blow on passengers as they traverse the cadre of human puffers.
“If you got 18 guys and gals with a lot of lung capacity blowing at you, trace particles are sure to come loose. And if they don’t, and if enough suspicion exists, these same TSA folks can grab onto profiled travelers and shake them up something fierce...just go all British nanny on them. If no explosives are found, then the passengers board their plans without further ado. But if materials are detected, there’s no delay in response -- the agents already have their hands all over the suspects. Either way, it serves as a great deterrent to anyone else watching in line.”
Apology for Typo in Puffer Want Ads
Anticipating the passage of his proposal, and to prove the merit of his idea, Greene placed a series of want ads to begin sourcing potential puffers. He said that when decision makers at the federal level witnessed the interest in the positions, the “Greene Screen” plan would be rubber stamped through Congress.
Unfortunately, an embarrassing typo caused the ad to call for “professional fluffers” instead of “professional puffers.” As a result, recruiters at San Narciso’s William Tell Staffing Agency found a procession of jobless and struggling pornographic actors lined up outside their offices. Greene issued a public apology, and the error has been corrected.
“Still,” Greene mused, “it looked to me like a lot of those adult film types had exactly the right qualifications for the job. I wouldn’t discount them as solid candidates just yet.”
(c) 2011. See disclaimers.