TSA True Confessions

So a priest, a journalist, and a TSA officer walk into a security line.

I know there's a groping joke in here somewhere.

But seriously, folks, while I was going through airport security at Burbank Thursday afternoon—no backscatter scanners or enhanced pat downs yet—I went through the line next to a priest.

Source: Getty Images

As we walked through the metal detectors (or whatever you call the "regular" machines) and waited for our carryon luggage, the TSA officer politely told me the image of my purse was blurred, and they had to "run it through" again.

"They found your gun," joked the priest loud enough for others to hear. I have to admit I was a bit shocked, but I had to laugh. This seemed to encourage him. "It's a nuclear device."

I waited for security to pounce. He said "gun"! He said "nuclear device"! You can't joke about that at an airport.

Unless, apparently, you're a priest.

"I need one of those," I told him, pointing to his collar.


Don't like being groped? Imagine how the TSA officers feel? That's exactly what travel blogger Steven Frischling sought to find out.

Frischling talked to 17 TSA officers about the new procedures. Here's a sampling of what they said:

“Yesterday a passenger told me to keep my hands off his penis or he’d scream. Is this how a 40 year old man in business attire acts? He’ll scream? My 3 year old can get away with saying he’ll scream, but a 40 something business man? I am a professional doing my job, whether I agree with this current policy or not, I am doing my job. I do not want to be here all day touching penises.”

“Being a (Transportation Security Officer) means often being verbally abused, you let the comments roll off and check the next person, however when a woman refuses the scanner then comes to me and tells me that she feels like I am molesting her, that is beyond verbal abuse. I asked the woman if she thought I like touching other women all day and she told me that I probably did or I wouldn’t be with the TSA. I just want to tell these people that I feel disgusted feeling other peoples private parts, but I cannot because I am a professional.”

Last but certainly not least, read this interesting story in Mother Joneswhich suggests we should get rid of most security measures, or, at best, have random enhanced screenings.

In the story, security expert Bruce Schneier says, "exactly two things have made us safer since 9/11: reinforcing the cockpit door and convincing passengers they need to fight back. Everything else is a waste of money."

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