Friday, July 22, 2005

Search and Destroy

I went to bed last night to the Channel 7 news going on and on about the new MTA regulations, under which police officers can examine a commuter's backpack or purse at random. I woke at five to the same news, only slightly amended by a groggy reporter emphasizing not the necessity of new safety precautions, but to "leave anything you don't want a cop to see" at home. At my train station, a recorded warning played on a loop, exhorting the possibility that your crap could be rifled through at any moment.

I thought the fuss had to do with informing people that a bag search might happen if you gave anyone reason to believe you might explode. Of course I was wrong, though, and decended the stairs to the subway this morning to find a wall of cops asking me to please step to the side and open my purse, as well as a TV camera documenting the whole thing. At first I assumed everyone's bags were being checked. Again, wrong. I forget I emit some kind of "shady character" signal that sensitive receptors like police officers and, god help me, airline security agents pick up instantly. So while a cop donned rubber gloves and insisted I open my bag for him to inspect, I watched the rest of the crowd go by unmolested. It took longer than it should have because I was carrying the new Harry Potter book and my wallet and the debit card I'd extracted from it all in one hand, and I think my fumbling was mistaken for nervousness.

I mean, I'd totally inspect a girl reading a magical children's book. She's exactly the type to take out a subway car or two.

Satisfied my H&M imitation leather purse housed no ticking bombs I was allowed to get on the train. I'm sure I'll be searched again this afternoon when I head back uptown. I wish they could've given me some kind of hall pass to skip the security checkpoint for the rest of the day. A stamp on my forehead? A tattoo on my arm that says EX-CATHOLIC FROM WESTCHESTER--UNLIKELY TO HAVE EXPLOSIVES IN BAG (HIGH RISK FOR A NEXTEL, SOME VALIUM, AND A TINY TUBE OF PUREL)?

I have to admit that I do feel safer today. This has nothing to do with the new security precautions, though. I feel safer because it appears that Batman does indeed exist, and that last night he was crimefighting on the roof of the adjacent building. The normally immaculate rooftop patio was in thrilling disarray; the fence is toppled over and the furniture is upset. Best of all, a long white rope is anchored on a taller roof top, stretched down across an alley and coiled around a pipe near the patio, then tied to a fire escape. This is obviously how Batman escaped once Two Face stomped his Batarang to bits, or whatever that thing is called that shoots out the rope to swing on.

The NYPD can take their crappy bag search and shove it. I'm putting my faith in the Dark Knight.

(Except that this is exaggeration, so please don't Patriot Act me.)

7 Comments:

Blogger katy said...

Is there really any such thing as an ex-catholic? Isn't it more recovering catholic?

3:42 PM  
Anonymous stupidboy said...

I'm still intrigued by what you said in your last post about teaching kids to sing 'This little light of mine' and suchlike. You got paid to do this? In my Catholic school this would have been frowned upon as flakey new age mumbo jumbo.
But one time this American christian rock band visited our school and we were all too shocked and confused to boo or throw fruit. They were the coolest looking people we'd ever seen in our poor backward Irish lives. Is there a lot of that sort of thing in the U.S.?

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no no no, the batarang doesn't have a rope attached to it. Its just a boomerang/ninja star shaped like the bat-signal.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no no no, the batarang doesn't have a rope attached to it. Its just a boomerang/ninja star shaped like the bat-signal.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the NYPD can take their crappy bag search and shove it, and stop mongering a state of perpetual fear and suspicion.

harumph!
-- ms. texas

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy, I've been terrified that you were gonna bomb the shit out of me since the moment we met.

-Clare

1:47 PM  
Anonymous mombi said...

most americans don't really seem to have a problem with the searches at the airports, or now at the ny subway...

if a bomb did get through, the first thing we would all say is "how the hell did that happen?"
"what did Bush know and when did he know it?".

i feel less scared when i see that we are at least trying to catch things before they happen!

2:12 PM  

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