Having Fun With TSA

With airport screeners performing those awful pat-downs and the prospect of long lines looming ahead of you, the last thing you’d expect from airport security is entertainment. But if you fly out of Kalispell, Mont., that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Tired of seeing passengers ignore the TSA-produced informational video, the airport’s security director, Cindy Martin, decided to jazz things up a bit. So now, instead of seeing the typical video featuring smiling but dull TSA agents and thrilling footage of bags going through an X-ray scanner, Kalispell passengers are treated to a show, courtesy of a local band, the Singing Sons of Beeches.

The band had long written and performed satirical and comedic songs chock full of wordplay. But Martin wanted them to write with a purpose this time: She gave the group a list of items that ran a full page and asked members to include each in the song and video.

And that’s how they ended up with a lyrics like: “No guns or knives or pepper spray, no sharp pointy scissors on the flight today," and "Laptop, camera, out of the case, it'll help a lot and speed the pace. Put all this stuff in a separate bin, we'll give a quick look and you can put 'em back in."

Accompanying the song is a series of humorous skits – the group tries to take various guns, knives, even an axe through airport security, much to the chagrin of a screener, who wags his finger in disapproval. You can see the video here.

Though Kalispell is a tiny city, I can’t help but hope that other airports take notice of what it’s doing. I could sure use something cheerful while slogging through that line with bags in tow, and given how much furor is directed at the TSA since it began these “enhanced screenings,” it could only help the agency’s public image.

What about you? Would you enjoy such a humorous video, or would it merely be another irritation in an already-chaotic room full of people and machines?

Posted by Laura Williams on Jul 29, 2011

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