Next Time We’ll Keep Her Crutches

Stephen Guy Hardin

 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has once again placed itself in the line of fire in America’s seemingly never ending War on Terror. The latest notch on the TSA’s gun handle is 7 year old Annie Frank.

Ms. Frank’s troubles began as she was waiting with her family to board a flight departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. The Frank family was headed on a much anticipated family vacation to Florida to see Mickey Mouse and his terrorist cohorts at the Magic Kingdom.

Due to a medical condition Annie must walk with the aid of metal leg braces and aluminum crutches. TSA regulations require anyone who has a wheelchair, walker or crutches be classified as a ‘Mid Level’ terror suspect. Anyone who is under the age of 10 and over the age of 80 is automatically bumped to the highest level of the TSA terror alert chart. This highest level of alert is also reserved for any recognizable celebrities such as Ryan Seacrest, Woody Harrelson or Howard Stern.

But, I digress.

Since Annie was unable or as the TSA stated, “unwilling”, to walk through the metal scanners without her metal crutches, TSA agents jumped into emergency full body search mode. Annie, who according to media reports, is also developmentally disabled, became frightened by the prospect of a gang of overweight men, reeking of cheap booze, stale Marlboro’s and Old Spice running their calloused hands all over her 48 pound body.

Despite pleas from her family that the storm troopers…. I mean agents, take time to introduce themselves, as a means to allay her anxiety; the agents began to manhandle her in the aggressive style that is the maxim of government law enforcement training the world over.

At the best of times air travel is difficult for the Frank family due to Annie’s disabilities, but the frightening abrasiveness of this inspection proved especially traumatic for her.

“They made our lives extremely difficult,” her father, Dr. Otto Frank, a Long Island gynecologist, told reporters. “Our daughter is not a threat to national security.”

The beleaguered family was allowed to pass after a quick $20 changed hands. But after only a few moments a wave of agents stormed after the family and demanded a full body inspection of Annie. Apparently the Franks were not aware that the going rate for a TSA agent’s professional integrity had risen to $30.

Dr. Frank continued in his comments to the press, “They’re harassing people. This is a totally misguided policy. Yes, I understand that TSA is in charge of national security and there are all these threats from Hollywood celebrities. But for my seven year old physically handicapped daughter to be singled out is insane.”

Insane, indeed.

In response to the incident the TSA issued a statement defending their decision to pat-down the little girl.

“TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that our officers followed proper screening procedures in conducting a modified pat-down on the child,” the agency spokesperson said from underneath his official TSA ski mask. “In retrospect Ms. Frank was provided every courtesy we have been trained to offer. She was lucky. Next time we’ll keep her crutches.”

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