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The Face of Terrorism

We have discoverd the face of terrorism and it is us. Me. I mean my blond, blue-eyed six year old. The dangerous one. She has many weapons in her arsenal and you just never know when she may decide tip the balance of power in her favor during a flight and hijack us all to Disneyland.

As a family we travel to Las Vegas on a yearly basis. We go there for the loose slots, comped drinks, wild dance parties sun. Hubby's parents live there and they bring us down to visit each summer. We call it our Club Himka, complete with enormous outdoor pool, exceptinoal culinary experiences and chocolates left on our pillows. My in-laws are wonderful people.

Since driving to Las Vegas in a car with four children would make good fodder for the next Chainsaw Massacre movie, we prefer to fly instead. So fly we did. But before we could fly, we had to run the Security Gauntlet. This is where complete strangers have the legal right to make you disrobe so they can grope you. I'm sure there are those of you out there that have paid for this kind of personal service, but for sheltered housewives such as myself, it can be a bit disconcerting. Especially when they cut your children from the herd.

My baby girl wears a DAFO (an articulated brace) on her right foot and leg to help her walk because she has CP. I'll be the first to admit she's dangerous, but how did security know? It must be their crack training and animal instincts. Ashley was pulled aside at the security checkpoint by the guards there. They made her stand in a plexi-glass surrounded annex. I went to go to her and the uniformed guard came after me. I was trying to put my shoes back on so I wasn't moving very fast but you'd have thought I was sprinting.

Security: "Stop!"
Me: (looking around) "Me?"
Security: "Yes, you! Don't touch that child!"
Me: (Looking a bit bewildered) "What did she do?"
Security: "Nothing. We just need to wipe her down to see if she has any
explosive residue on her"
Me: "Well of course you do, I mean look at her. I bet her brace is loaded
with C-4. She's six years old for crying out loud!" I moved towards
my little girl who was looking a bit scared by then.
Security: "Ma'am, DO NOT TOUCH HER. "

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At this point they got the special cloths to wipe down this obviously dangerous terrorist my little girls hands, legs and feet to check to see if she'd been handling explosives recently.

Thankfully it came away clean. All our parental admonitions to always wear gloves while handling explosives must have paid off. I was so proud.


  1. Boy, that makes me feel so much more at ease that airport security and Homeland security is on the job and doing the right things. What would make me feel even better is if they got the Keystone Cops back together and made them their crack anti-terrorist team.

    You know, my friends 6 month old daughter has that look in her eye...and I could swear I heard her mumble "Jihad!" from behind her pacifier one time.....

  2. Janet5:40 PM

    I would have really hit the fan

  3. Calypso5:41 PM

    My natural senses of optimism and good humor would have surely failed me.

  4. Lee Ambrose10:51 AM

    Dear Pamela
    Well... this time, I can honestly say that **I** wasn't laughing -- but I WAS glad that you were able to find some humor in the whole ****** mess!

    I am appalled that your daughter had to go through this sort of treatment and that *they* have the authority to wisk a six year old away from her parent and prevent the parent from standing with her... I mean, for crying out loud, in a medical emergency where the child's health is at risk, it takes a court order to allow physicians to proceed without a parent being there and giving permission.... but these "security screeners" are allowed to grope anyone and remove small, innocent children from their parents? Disgusting. I know that this is what our world has come to ever since 9-11 but.... that doesn't mean I have to like it.....

    Again, cudos to you for being able to find the lighter side of things in this but - let me say with assuredness that you, my dear, must be a far better woman/mother than I for I would not have been able to find an ounce of humor in any of it!

    Wouldn't it be nice to return to the days when families can go all the way to the gate to see a loved one off and children are seen as innocent and harmless rather than potential explosives carrying terrorists?

    Hugs to you

  5. Zaynab10:52 AM

    In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

    Dear Pam: Got it this time. Great as always. Your writing always has this sadness and poignancy of being a mother and inevitably suffering so many little and big pains along the way; yet you are able to phrase it in a way to let us all have a laugh about it. I could really feel your pain and confusion about having to be "groped" by strangers, even though you phrased it in such funny terms. And what a sense of panic to have your child "cut from the herd".
    Thanks for sharing this vignette, with us.

  6. Thanks everyone. Lee, it took me quite some time to be able to write about this incident. Months in fact. At the time I wasn't amused.


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