My 1984 Experience.

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Last week I passed through the Frankfurt, Germany, Airport on my way back to duty in Afghanistan. I saw that German security was doing pat-downs. I don’t know if they were doing 100% pat-downs, but in any case when I passed through the medal detector, the alarm went off. I believe it was my watch. So I was moved to a secondary search area inside a low-walled booth where a male security officer did a pat down and another sweep with a hand-held metal detector.

The whole time I was trying to conjure my Patrick Henry Doppelganger: “Give me junkless plane rides or give me death!”

Alas. The spirit was not moved. I envisioned our Founding Fathers of demigod status, demanding freedom from English conscription and crushing taxes. Washington mustering his troops at Valley Forge. Surely a pat-down should entice my revolutionary spirit. Was I even a real American anymore? No outrage, no images of Nazi Germany dancing through my head. Had I become so weak that I’d even vote for Jimmy Carter if he decided America needed yet another bad president?

Oh, but wait. There is always that man of letters that one can clamor to if one wishes to see totalitarianism in every motive, in each new rule. especially when one can’t really find the material, negative impact of that rule. It’s all about ideals, don’t you know. Orwell.


What a great year. And what a great book for the rabble-rouser. At any moment I can make any law look like it was penned by a fascist, simply by calling out that famed year.


My 30 second pat-down was over. And none too soon. Because surely, surely I say, had it lasted one second longer, I’d have been whisked off to a concentration camp and had my knee caps drilled. Or I’d have been goose-stepping to the coffee shop just on the other side of the screening area. All my American values dashed, succumbing to inglorious junk-grabbing. And all because terrorism is winning.

At last, after that long 30 seconds, I cast off my Thought Crimes, and skipped–no shiny black boots to slow me–to grap a hot cup of joe. Freedom never tasted so good….


3 thoughts on “My 1984 Experience.

    Royce said:
    December 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Sort of reminds me when at a thorugh physical exam and the doctor completed his prostate exam (I humourously I thought) said “Does this mean that we’re engaged?” The doctor was not amused so I skipped the humor in future exams, although you might have tried this approach with the guard.

    WTP said:
    December 5, 2010 at 1:45 am

    4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and 3+ years residency/internship, all while maintaining as near a 4.0 GPA as humanly possible. $100-200K tuition expenses, not to mention interest on student loans. After all that, you are now qualified to, possibly several times a week, stick your finger up someone other guy’s ass. You gotta figure, after hearing it so many times, given all the physicians who have been doing this for so all these years, it’s bound to happen eventually that some physician doing his last physical is going hear the joke for the last time and make a point of shoving his watch up some guy’s butt. I sure as hell hope it won’t be mine.

    Amos Volante said:
    December 5, 2010 at 5:19 am

    I can’t believe those jack booted thugs treated you that way!

    Aren’t you outraged? It’s like 1984 you know…those fascists!

    I’m going to wear a hemp shirt, drive my dad’s old Volvo…and rebel!

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