June 7, 2010
Club security: has it come to this?
I headed out to Long Island City yesterday afternoon to see Tom Middleton and his party DJ house/mashup style and frolic in the early evening sun. I'd heard they have pretty extensive security there, but let me tell you my story. It's graphic.
At the main entrance, the security lady went through my knapsack, rummaging around and quickly checking out the wallet, lipgloss, tissues, and magazines. She shook out a pair of shorts and a tank top, then came to a pair of underpants I had in there from the previous day. "We've got a pair of panties here!" she said to another security guy. "More panties?" he said.
She fixated on my dirty undies at the bottom of my bag and sort of pawed at them. I was lost. "Is there something, um, wrong with...panties?" I asked, not sure if I should be trying to explain what I was doing with underwear in my bag or what. She said, "Well, a lot of girls have been spraying GHB onto a pair of panties and carrying them into the club in their purse. Then they sniff their panties and get a hit."
I reacted with an expression of speechless confusion and horror, which must have convinced the security lady of my innocence. She handed me my bag and let me inside with my non-GHB-enhanced panties, that I'm very confident no one would have any desire to sniff.
People! Is this what we've come to? Huffing our panties in clubs? Creating security alerts over a pair of embarrassingly non-sexy cotton underpants in a backpack?
It was a funny and ridiculous situation, but the absurdity of it reminded me of airport security and how the TSA adds new rules in response to whatever attempted terrorist act happened most recently. We have to take off our shoes and can bring on only travel sizes of liquids, not because anyone necessarily thinks travelers are hiding bombs in their flip-flops or Vitamin Water bottles, but in reaction to something Richard Reid did in 2001. You raise suspicion at a club if you have a pair of underwear in your bag because someone got busted smuggling drugs on her panties.
I have to believe these reactionary security measures are designed to create an illusion of security rather than to make us more secure. People who are determined to bring drugs into a club or a bomb onto a plane will just move on from shoes and bottles of liquids and underpants and find some other way that security workers don't screen. We've gotten ourselves into a Red Queen's race, where it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place.
Keep your panties on, ladies.
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