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November 11, 2010


I'm traveling by air today -- I know, I'm an idiot -- and when I got to the Miami International Airport and Permanent Construction Zone I found that we have new security procedures, requiring that all passengers remove all of their dignity and place it in little gray bins. As I approached the screening point, a TSA person told me to go into the line for the scanning machine, which takes an image of your body and sends it to a TSA person in another room. Or possibly it goes to teenaged hackers in Bangladesh; there is no way to tell.

The people ahead of me were allowed to go after being scanned, but I was not. I was pulled aside and told to stand in a small roped-off area. After I had stood there for several minutes, I asked a passing TSA person what was happening. He said, quote, "You have a blurred groin."

"I have a what?" I said.

"A blurred groin," he said. And then he walked away.

I tried to sneak a peek at my groin, but this is not easy to do inconspicuously when you are confined to a small roped-off area with many people around. Several minutes more passed, and then a man came and took my boarding pass, and another man told me he was going to take me to a private room for a special procedure.

"Your groin was blurred," he explained.

We went into a little room, where he put on blue gloves and explained that he was going to touch me in various private places. He was very specific not only about the places, but also about when he would be using the front of his hand, and when he would be using the back of his hand. (I honestly don't think it's any less creepy either way, but I did not say this, for fear of being viewed as an international terrorist.)

While he was explaining this, the other man came back with my boarding pass, and informed me that I was Dave Barry. His exact words were: "You're Dave Barry!" I agreed that I was. At that point the first man began groping me with the fronts and backs of his hands, and while this was happening the second man was telling me that he was a big fan of my writing. "Maybe he'll write about you!" he said to the groping man, who did not find this as hilarious as he did.

Anyway, they finally let me go, after establishing that there was nothing fishy (so to speak) going on with my groin. So we can all feel a little safer today.



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You made it, Dave! Three full digits!

And don't call him surly, bonmot, but four digits is going to be quite the stretch. That's a "24" level of commentment.

Hope someone's got lasagna!

next time you fly, have your groin checked before you have another scan. If still blurrd, I recommend a viagra one hour before scanning. This will make your groin invisible but they may think you have a glock in your shorts. What do you think?

The war on terror is over. The perverts won.

Have 2 issues with this #1 exposure to radiation. had tumor in my lung and received monthly cat scans. Tumor was removed and docs don't feel it's safe to scan me any longer. Issue #2 have 4 pins in my right hip, is some over zealous under trained TSA going to single me out because of this every time I fly? Until I read this article I didn't feel there was anything wrong with it.

I'm shocked that Dave's blurry groin was not following up immediately by TSA neck-licking, as is required under new protocol. We're talking air safety people, so bend over and smile. http://bit.ly/aOd93i

While The Blurred Groin would be a great name for a rock group, this problem is considerably more serious. I have the reasons at my blog: http://meteorologicalmusings.blogspot.com/2010/11/more-on-nude-machines-and-grope.html

This is a completely unnecessary intrusion into our rights as Americans and we should be protesting to our elected representatives. I have.

Yeah, I agree with the previous comments about X-rays. Not good. X-ray radiation hits our DNA hard and it causes random mutations.

We get mutations all the time as a result of stuff like UV exposure and eating nitrites in our preserved foods. The machinery in our cells is pretty good at repairing damaged DNA, but it's not perfect. When we collect enough random mutations, it eventually leads to cancer.

This is especially bad for those poor schmucks working by those X-ray machines all the time.

Are you sure they didn't say "furred groin"? So many people shave nowadays. Does the government consider it a crime to have pubic hair??

Thank you for reading all the way down here in Comments. We know you have many choices for wasting your time, and we thank you for scrolling.

Dave, I just heard your interview on National Public Radio about your blurred groin. I think it's time for a little civil disobedience. American travelers everywhere should all insert a 6-inch square piece of aluminum foil in their pants or underwear before going to the airport. Then we could all have a blurred groin. The entire TSA security system would slow to a crawl--until TSA realized that only TRUE AMERICANS would be brave enough to challenge their government's security measures by stuffing tin foil down their pants. No Al Qaeda terrorist would have the guts to do such a thing!! Very quickly TSA would start waving anyone with tin foil in their pants through a special express lane for TRUE AMERICANS.

Dave, you can be the Gandhi of our generation. Like Martin Luther King, you can show the power of passive resistance--and stop the fondling of innocent Americans at our airports. (You might even get a Nobel Peace Prize, if you're lucky. I'll nominate you!)

If Jon Stewart can convince 200,000 people to gather on the National Mall, you can convince 5 million people to put tin foil in their underwear! Since most of our political leaders are bad jokes, millions of us are ready and willing to follow our comedians. Now is the time! This is reason you were born!

I, too, heard the interview and have a better suggestion than the aluminum foil to make. All of us male travellers should wear condoms having terse messages printed on them. I'm thinking of something like, "Contains Dynamite!" or "Insert in TSA agent."

Good to know your groping had a happy ending. So to speak.

Did you at least offer to return the favor?

Dude, next time -- travel with a cucumber in your pants, like in that scene from This Is Spinal Tap:

YouTube clip here

So after this experience are you pre qualified for the mile high club? Or do you just get bonus points if you are already a member?

You should have moaned and groaned loudly as if they were giving you pleasure as he was doing it. Then asked for his name and phone number then a cigarette afterwards!
Then announced very loudly to the crowd that was the best pat-down job you have ever received and everyone should ask for that particular screener by name!

You're Dave Barry.

I'd like to see them doing Mamograms and prostate exams too. Not every time. The 'random' thing would be enough I'm sure. Kill two birds with one flight!

Aw, hell. If you're posting the column here, it's not going in print, is it? Damn.

Stop Gate Rape!

No, after reading that aloud, it's not quite a column yet. It needs the "sharp groin" joke, a little trimming, and a punchline; I don't think there's room for a pivot, but that's not unusual for your 'issue' columns.

Hope this one makes print, and I've told @MiamiHerald that, too. :-)

Tweaking! Aaaah, tweaking; I meant to say tweaking, not trimming!! Please...

put down those gloves.

No, bon, it can't.

And don't call me Shirley.

(I would have gotten it, even if you'd spelled it right...)

How do I blur my groin? I haven't had a date in over a month.

Blurred Groin is the name of my Gogo Bordello cover band.

Hey, can I request a pat-down (feel-up) by a cute female TSA agent instead of that burly guy?

Is safer a new euphemism?

That's what SHE said!

I feel safer knowing your groin has been checked for dangerous items.

This is so NOT FUNNY. You should have punched him out. Might have been on the Nightly News rather than some lame Prince Charles lede...

The obvious solution is for an automatic groin-groping robot to be developed, so that another person isn't doing it.

Or monkeys, trained monkeys.

Submitting to a strip-search, digital or not, or intimate groping is beneath the dignity of a free man, and it needs to STOP.

Dave, this post would be funnier if you stood up for your rights and ended with something a bit less milquetoast than "So we can all feel a little safer today." C'mon! This is horrific! Make it horrifically funny!

I guess, I'm lucky. I've been informed that I have a blurred lower back which requires further groping. Anyone else have blurry anatomy?

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