This morning, I went to the Tip O'Neill Federal Building
so I could get a duplicate Social Security card. (My original card was in a wallet that was stolen when I lived in Israel back in 1998. Stupid of me, I know...)
Since it was a government building there was the standard metal detector and bag scanning device. As usual, I resigned myself to the extra hassle of standing on line, emptying my pockets, and getting ready to walk through the arch.
Unlike previous trips, I had my daughter with me.
To wit, I have the following observations to make:
1. When you tell me "leave the stroller with your child in it, walk through the metal detector, then come back and get the stroller when we've cleared you," you can bet your sweet ass that I'm going to walk through that arch backwards, never taking my eyes off of my child.*
2. After getting cleared, I walked back through the arch, retrieved RAB, wheeled her through the arch in her stroller, and went about my business. The stroller made the arch beep, given that it's primarily made of metal. Nobody bothered to stop me or check the stroller or my daughter in any appreciable way.
3. The metal parts of the stroller are hollow. Anybody who's desperate and stupid enough could get a stroller, pack the hollow bits full of whatever contraband you want (C4 and a detonator, gun parts, flash drives containing videos of Glenn Beck, whatever), and wheel it right in.
4. The combination of points 2 and 3 make the whole "empty your pockets, place all bags on the belt, and walk through this dingus" thing absolutely pointless.
I just can't wait until we fly or travel internationally with my kid in tow, I'm sure it'll be just as educational.
*To the guard's credit, he stood right next to the stroller, didn't let anyone else come near it, and actually made smiley faces at my kid. I suspect he realizes how incredibly uncomfortable that request must make people feel.