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Faiz Siddiqui Headshot

Don't Grope Me, Bro

Posted: Updated:

There is no denying it; I am a national security threat. With the stunts I've pulled, I probably shouldn't be allowed within 50 miles of an airport terminal. Take, for example, my recent trip to the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG). I was preparing to board a plane to Kansas City, MO to attend the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association convention.

For starters, I forgot that liquids were not allowed past the TSA checkpoint. As a result, I almost snuck my raspberry mocha into the terminal. Even though the latte was no longer at its tongue-scalding serving temperature, I surely could have thrown my lukewarm beverage onto an innocent bystander in an attempt to drown him and take over the airport.

I had to dispose of my mocha.

But once I had survived the TSA checkpoint, the real danger ensued. Instead of riding the moving sidewalks through the terminal, I walked on the ground that was moving under me, probably reaching speeds upwards of 10 miles per hour. At speeds like this, I surely could have rammed my 120 pound body (all muscle) into innocent bystanders in an attempt to take over the airport. I didn't seize the opportunity.

But the most dangerous act was still to come.

I stood at the end of the moving sidewalks facing a difficult decision. Everybody in my group seemed to be riding the escalator on the left, leaving it congested. I decided to be the rebel. Halfway up the ride, I realized why my escalator was so empty. This was the international escalator. My mind raced as I considered the potential consequences. This escalator could have been leading to a different terminal, or even a different country. As I struggled to conceive how my snap-decision escalator ride could land me in Guatemala, I quickly searched for my passport, hoping that I could at least gain admittance into the magical stairs' destination. The escalator ride came to an end. I was standing on the same ground as my peers and fellow journalists. The international escalator led me to the same exact point in the same exact terminal as the domestic one would have. "How anticlimactic," I thought. Still, I had broken protocol.

Perhaps my risqué activity in airports should deem me worthy to be pulled aside for "random" security checks. Perhaps that is why a TSA agent groped me during a "random" pat-down. Perhaps that is why I was forced to stand on a platform with my hands held to my head so another TSA agent could inspect a computer-generated version of my unclothed body. Or maybe it was my raspberry mocha -- a risky alternative to the simple mocha latte -- that warranted a full body search. Or maybe it was the sweatshirt that I was wearing. Hoodies were in clear violation of a practiced policy which states that a hooded sweatshirt cannot be worn through the security scanner. Even though I placed mine into one of the gray bins on the conveyor belt as advised, maybe the suspicion was drawn from the fact that I was wearing the clothing article of choice of millions of teenaged Americans. Maybe it was just the hoodie.

Regardless of the reason, I received a "random" pat-down at CVG courtesy of the TSA. Clearly devoid of potential weapons as a result of the screening and the confiscation of my deodorant, I walked past the checkpoint. Little did airport security know there was a Starbucks inside of the terminal too. In an unprecedented threat to national security, I pulled my most dangerous stunt of all -- I bought myself another raspberry mocha.