Thank you for The Terrorist Threat Hippy Skirt

Okay, so now that I’m back from my trip, I am reflecting on the moments I want to remember—and one, which I would probably rather not.

I will share it with you to release it from my overcrowded mind…

On the return trip.

Oakland Airport.

Security Check Line.

Middle aged woman, dressed like a throwback from the sixties, standing on one foot, in full hippy skirt, and tank top buried under three feet of long red hair, taking off her boots, unpacking all her belongings, laying out her minimal hygiene products for the world to see that she does not use organic toothpaste, taking up several gray tubs for camera, shoes, jacket, electronic devices, snack bag sans the soda and water bottle which had to be discarded just in case they contained nitro glycerin which I frequently consume on flights because nitro is the new Red Bull and it gives me wings if the plane goes down, moving along the security line at a stilted pace while the crowd scoots forward as slow as an Xray machine can examine their underwear.

I was almost free and off to my gate after walking through the magic metal doorway that has the capacity to differentiate a hippy chick from a suicide bomber when…

“Ma’am, I’m  going to have to ask you to step through here because of your skirt.”

My skirt?  What’s the matter with my skirt?  It’s 100 percent cotton, It’s a floral pattern, It’s comfy for flying the friendly skies.

My skirt contains no threatening materials!

It’s washed in biodegradable, hypo allergenic detergent—completely eco friendly.

No living things have been harmed in the wearing of this skirt!

How can it possibly be a threat to the American way of life or this God forsaken Airport that has already stolen my dignity, three hours of my time—which I’ll never get back, and every shred of patience I was born with?

I was ushered into a glass cage in the center of the security area surrounded by ogling businessmen, child-laden mothers, and young adventurers with fewer privacy issues than the middle aged woman on display in the glass center piece with only one way out.

I obediently shuffled into the glass room in my socks as everyone stared through the glass at me like I might be hiding something very menacing under my skirt— you know, like an AK47, a nuclear missile, a dude in a turban, or maybe a shampoo bottle over 3 ounces.

And then, yes I did, I had had enough, I had no dignity left, I, in that moment, decided to make my statement and unveil the threat that could take down a plane and destroy an American city…

I grabbed the hem of my garment and raised the entire skirt above my head!


There’s your threat, you nazi privacy invader!

There’s the fifty year old thighs that can destroy a society if you slap them together when the flight attendant is unaware!

There’s the pasty white knees that will bring a country to theirs!

Yeah, there’s the long legs and cotton underwear that can induce new legislation to protect us from ourselves while you create an entire industry around the fear of a hippy woman in a floral skirt!

I put down my skirt to see a female in uniform, with an electronic wand hurrying into my glass cube as the travelers and security employees roared, whispered, and pointed at me with genuine awe.

They liked my legs and my pink cotton underwear.

“Ma’am that’s not necessary, we just need to pat you down!” the woman with the wand said with a smirk on her face.

“Oh! Well alrighty then! That’s just fine. At my age, it’ll probably be the most physical attention I’ll get in a while, go ahead!”

I put out my arms in crucifixion pose for inspection, got my legs felt up, and was released from the glass cube while giggles followed me to Gate 3.

~ by leakelley on March 20, 2010.

8 Responses to “Thank you for The Terrorist Threat Hippy Skirt”

  1. I adore you. And I applaud your cotton underwear. Too bad it wasn’t thong day.

  2. This is hysterical. Maybe not for you, but surely for those standing around when you raised your hippy skirt above your head. Where is YouTube when we need them? May I say, an older woman who is frequently subjected to extra measures at airports, your act is for all of us. Right on!

  3. So, never wear long full skirts when flying?

    Brava Lea! Your 50 year old legs still look great.

    I mean, I get it. Those skirts could hide all kinds of things, high tech polymer weapons or parts that won’t set off a metal alarm, strapped to your legs? Or something?

    I used to love to fly, now I avoid it like crazy. It’s just not worth the hassle unless it’s an emergency. Because of the 3 extra hours (at least) at the airport, & time getting there, it’s almost as fast to drive, and it’s certainly a hell of a lot less uncomfortable–can they make the seats any closer together? I’m thinking, no–sardines are packed looser.

    It used to be fun, heck, even going to the airport used to be fun, people hugged at the gates or waved from the tarmac as loved ones took off, the flights were comfy and friendly too. Now, traveling by air in the USA is just one hassle after another.

    and candy bars cost 5 cents dammit!

    Ha. Thanks for the laugh this morning Lea. I bet that security tape is being reviewed over and over again by the airport people. You will probably end up on You Tube.

  4. I never thought of that, Bev. I often wear long skirts on the plane because I can “spread ’em” any way I want in that seat. May have to rethink that–unless we start a movement and just all respond by lifting our skirts above our heads. 🙂

  5. omigosh that is too effin’ funny!! I’ll bet you made their day 🙂

  6. If I ever travel again, I’m wearing a KILT and no undies, just to pay homage to you! And YES, I will lift it.

  7. Marvelous. Excellent.Well done.

    Was it really necessary for them to still pat you down? I’m sure there were dozens of witnesses who would have willingly testified on your behalf, and are probably still testifying, to the next door neighbor, babysitter, great uncle charlie…

  8. Good for you! And how brave! I might have had thoughts of doing something like that, but never had the nerve.

    Well played, Lea. 🙂

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