Body scanning at DIA: There's no protection against bad taste!

"You're my favorite," the TSA worker told me earlier this morning as I presented my carefully sorted bins -- computer in its own container, liquids tucked into the appropriate size bag (no big, but my almost empty, toothpaste tube, was confiscated last trip), shoes and coat -- and watched them disappear into the scanner.

So far, so good. But then, after I passed through the X-ray machine -- the devilish contraption that used to ring alarms every time I was wearing an underwire bra, netting me lots of action until the machines were recalibrated -- I discovered I was in the lane that also uses the infamous body scanner.

In the wake of the Christmas underwear bomber, these controversial scanners will soon be common at most airports. DIA has had one for years, and as they told me this morning, "We might as well use it."

I said a silent apology for the person who had to look at my body scan and stepped on the footprints. Arms up, turn, then arms out -- and then, right into the arms of a very concerned TSA employee, this one on the phone with whoever had been looking at my scan. I was no longer a favorite.

I was a problem.

"Yes, there appears to be lace at the bottom of her skirt," the employee said into the phone. There was some muttering from the other end. "Yes, that's not all. There's something funny and sparkly all over it."

"Those are sequins," I interjected. "In some circles, this is very stylish." This, apparently was not one of those circles.

"Besides," I ventured, "bad taste never hurt anybody." After more high-level discussion, they decided I could pass through -- despite my gaudy garb.

For all those travelers worried that screeners will be ogling their body parts, I've got news for you: There are worse things to fear. The fashion police are on the job.


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