TSA Jack: Smart Bagged

“Hi J …!”


¡Madre de Dios, hombre! Can’t you be in a good mood for once? Especially given the news today?”

“I’ll give you the news, Miguel mi amigo. What part of no jokes on duty don’t you get?”

¿Que? When the entire government’s a joke?”

“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, pal. Not when they’re set to put more of us at the checkpoints. They’re going to need us, and they know it. Just be glad you ain’t a girl or a Muslim or some smartass graduate student.”

“Or a smart bag?

“Getting the message, are you?”

“That it ain’t smart to be smart no more? ¡Si! Leastways not that highmucketymuck kinda smart we got from the Obama crowd. Glad to be rid of it, ¡pah! What’s smart is fixing it so’s we can handle all the fresh swag that’s going to be coming our way, and make it look like we’re just doing our jobs! Which, since I figured it was your doing, is how come I thought you might actually be able to relax for a change.”

“I’m just part of the team, Miguel, and that team says, the second you let up, you’re going to get smacked in the balls. So I don’t. You like swag, you won’t either.”

“So what’s the deal? Is this stuff about the smart bags really all about security?”

“For the airlines? Just as much as keeping the stinking hordes in coach out of the lavatories in first class is all about security. Which it ain’t! It’s all about power and keeping the cattle in their place. Like it’s always been. You want to fly, fine. You want to fly with stuff and with something resembling comfort? Pay up! Like you should have reckoned on in the first place! Don’t like that? Gee, too bad! Guess you’ll just have to do what we tell you, or stay home. Don’t see them staying home, now do you?”

¡Caramba! Not with the lines we got now!

“Precisely. Vox populi, vox Dei.”


“Secret code for ‘follow the money’. But there is a real security issue to worry about.”

“Yeah? For who?”

“For us, meathead! We get to track the baggage once it gets in our hands, and no one else! And for sure not the passengers! Which is exactly what the cattle can do with smart bags. Keep these bags in circulation, and maybe I take Miguel off the security line and plop him in baggage handling and cut him off from the swag! Because every hand on, and in, the bag once it leaves the scanners is monitored, and followed up by an angry cow with a lawyer. And neither we nor, for that matter, the airlines want to get tangled up in that. So we hype the lithium-battery scare for all it’s worth, and keep our operations secure!

“How long you think we can keep this up?”

“About as long as we can keep anything up. You have been stocking up on bottled water and canned food, haven’t you?”


“Good. See to it that the others on your shift do too. Swag only lasts so long.”

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1 Response to TSA Jack: Smart Bagged

  1. Quilly says:

    Swag only lasts so long — for both the victim and the thief.

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