In a major policy shift, the TSA has opted to revise its airport public safety announcements so that their message is clearer and more direct. It is hoped that with the modifications, there will be less confusion and, resultingly, more satisfied airline passengers. Frankly, we think their approach is a bit risky, as it hews pretty closely to the truth and, as many of us have learned, the truth is sometimes inconvenient. Anyhow, here it is, in its unedited entirety:
Thank you for braving the traffic, overpriced parking and the lengthy shuttle bus or tram ride to finally get to the TSA security checkpoint. Our goal is to make sure that the upcoming hour or two ordeal of humiliating intrusion is as enjoyable as possible for you. Towards this end, we offer the simple twelve steps that, if followed with no variation at all, will allow you to complete this process with your dignity intact. Remember, we are here to protect you from terrorists, your fellow passengers and yourself.
First, please remove all toiletries out of your bag. Anything containing liquids, creams, pastes, sprays, anything that could be mistaken for a toiletry, anything with the word toilet on it, including but not limited to small liquid explosive devices, should be removed from your bag and placed in the bin.
Second, please make sure that you take everything out of your pockets no matter what it is. Paper, plastic, metal, wallets, food items, small rodents, prehistoric insects embedded in rosin or miniature extraterrestrials.
Third, please remove your belt, all jewelry items including any watches, for which you feel you may have paid too much, as well as your shoes and, if you are an attractive and fit man or woman, your skirt, pants, top and undergarments. The floor has been cooled using the high-tech, gas-based refrigeration so that no bacteria can survive on the floor for more than 10 seconds. That’s why it is important that you hop vigorously, as prolonged exposure of the base of your foot on the floor may result in frost bite.
Fourth, if you have a large electronic item like a laptop computer, DVD player, breathing machine, Jedi light saber, electromagnetic particle accelerator or cold-fusion generator, we ask that you remove it from its carrying case and place it in a separate bin. Nothing should be placed underneath or next to the item nor should an invisible cloak be placed over it. If you are unsure as to whether it is an electronic item, please attempt to plug it into one of the three outlets hidden in secluded parts of the main arrivals terminal.
Fifth, because of the potential for miscommunication, TSA strongly recommends that you refrain from mentioning any words that are, sound like, might sound like if you spoke them underwater, or any sign language or similar hand movements that could be construed as sign language that resemble the words: “bomb”, “terrorist”,”no”, “ouch”, “help”, “what”, “the”,”why”,” I” or “hello”. Our experience suggests that the utterance of any word at all or the movement of either arm has contributed to unfortunate miscommunications.
Sixth, you will be asked to step into large machines that, in most science fiction movies, are used to transport or vaporize humans. We can assure you that they will not transport you anywhere. The TSA uses them determine whether the weight and age that you’ve listed on your photo ID is understated by more than 10%. We, at the TSA, need to protect the public against people who list artificially low weights or lie about their age.
Seventh, if you are asked by the TSA agent to step into a private room for further examination, we ask that you go silently and without protest. Before you do, you are permitted to embrace or kiss any members of your traveling party and sign any wills, deeds or other legal documents relating to probate.
Steps Eight through Twelve are highly sensitive, classified measures that cannot be shared with our customers. But we assure you that they are reasonable and are only used when a passenger fails to comply with steps one through seven.
Thank you very much for your attention. We will repeat this announcement at five minutes intervals with the hope that after approximately 38 listenings, you will successfully survive our screening procedures.
(And yes, this was a parody. If while reading you were not entirely sure, then we strongly recommend you seriously re-examine your stress levels)