“Michael Halpern, please report to the TSA station. Michael Halpern to the TSA station,” comes blaring over the JFK airport loud speaker system.
My ears perk up, as I sit at Gate 25 waiting to board the plane to West Palm Beach, Florida to visit my parents. Oh shit, did they really just announce my name over the loud speaker system? And they want me to report to TSA?
Beads of sweat start to form on the top of my forehead. My mind starts to race. They clearly want to give me some kind of rectal exam, checking for drugs, right? Or, at the least, they are going to strip search me. Maybe they are going to put me in a small, windowless, fluorescent room, leave me alone for hours, and then come in and fire questions at me until I break. Or until I’m so worn down and confused I would be willing to admit to anything.
I am definitely going to miss my flight now. Maybe even worse, this could be my last moments as a free man. They are going to ship me off to Guantanamo Bay! They don’t even need evidence to throw you in Guantanamo! They will put a black bag over my head, and my family will never see or hear from me again. I should call my family and tell them I love them one more time, before it is too late!
I tentatively leave my gate, and start to walk over to TSA. Dead man walking! I have no drugs on me. I am not a terrorist. But I have seen the Youtube videos! TSA agents can do whatever they want!
The TSA station appears up ahead. My worries quickly turn into a full on panic as I approach the agents at the desk. “Um, I think I heard my name announced over the loud speaker,” I am barely able to croak out.
The agent menacingly looks me up and down. He begins to reach down towards his hip. His hand appears from below the desk, with a plastic bag. “Sir, I think you dropped your ID at the security checkpoint,” the agent said, as he reaches into the bag and hands my ID back to me.
“Thanks man,” I blurt out, with a huge sigh of relief on my face. “I really appreciate it. Keep up all the good work you guys do!”
By Michael Halpern