Several months ago at the Portland International Airport, in the midst of a routine patdown, a second uniformed TSA employee approached and told me I had tested positive for explosives. Me? Explosives? I knew it wasn’t my shoes because I tend not to ever wear them anymore, except when traveling. Could it be my underwear? I thought back to the last time I’d had a particularly explosive bowel movement. Maybe they found explosive residue in my boxers?
I figured the TSA Gestapo would just re-test me and it would be all over, but instead he began his interrogation. “Where has your wheelchair been in the last week?”
“Uh, no place. I’ve been sitting in it and I never go anywhere. This is the first time I’ve been out of the house in months. When I sleep, it sits obediently beside my waterbed.”
“No one else has used your wheelchair?”
“I suppose my wife could have used it when I was asleep, but since she runs marathons that would be highly unlikely.”
He turned and stepped up to his special Homeland Security Play Structure and grabbed his magical detection wand, then loaded it with an explosive residue wipe and passed it over my clothing. Then he inserted it into his special Secret Agent Explosives Detection Monitor and waited. A green light came on.
“You passed. I guess it was just a false reading.”