Monday, August 28, 2006

Checking for Idiots

According to me, the “half-check” is the most efficient way of wasting time and manpower. I’m referring to the security check at offices at other such places where the guard asks you to open your bag, then throws a cursory glance at the contents and waves you on. It happens to me all the time. I’m yet to understand what this achieves.

Okay, I agree it stops me from trying to sneak in the following items in my bag:

1. A sub-machine gun.
2. An elephant.
3. The Indian Cricket Team.
4. The Empire State Building.

Cursory as those glances may be, I feel certain that they would be able to detect any of the above, or other things of similar size. But I also feel equally certain that no one who intends to cause trouble or steal information is likely to do it using the above items. For example, I can easily sneak in a memory stick or a small pistol. If a “check” isn’t going to check for the more likely causes of trouble, then what’s the point of the check at all?

I remember an incident, which occurred at Mood Indigo at IIT, Powai, last year. At the rock show on the last night, there was a long line at the entrance, since people were being stopped and frisked at the gate. Among other things, they were looking for people carrying weed into the arena. (Yes, doesn’t make sense, but that’s how it was.) Just as we reach the point of the checking, the guy with me says, “Dude, they’re going to stop and frisk you for sure! You look totally stoned!”

As luck would have it, the guys at the desk probably heard this. Sure enough, they stopped me for a thorough frisking, molestation, cupping, call it what you may. Then after that, two guys stepped up to test my breath. Now, I’m fine with a breath test when proper methods are employed. And I don’t file “put your mouth to mine and sniff” under “proper methods”. Ultimately, I think I got more kissing and fondling action from those two guys that night, than I’d gotten from girls in the entire year before that. I wasn’t happy.

My point? In all the mishmash, the waist pouch around my waist wasn’t even noticed, let alone opened. And if I was carrying weed into the damned place, that’s WHERE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN! I find it hard to believe that there was an agenda to the exercise other than providing a little fun for a couple of happy and gay gate volunteers.

All this nonsense is like a American Visa application form that has a question saying:

23. Are you a terrorist? Yes No
(Don’t lie. We hate terrorists, but we REALLY hate lying terrorists!)

We are not amused.

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