The always-vigilant Transportation Security Agency has promulgated rules governing the security procedures to be implemented when a disabled traveler is traveling with a service animal, in case al Queda figures out how to pack a bunch of explosives into a dog or cat or helper monkey.
The TSA’s guidelines for helper-monkey security are reproduced below, with one addition that I made up. If you can guess which one is fake without checking the TSA site, then you would likely qualify as a TSAMHSS (Transportation Security Agency Monkey Helper Security Specialist). Actually, you could probably qualify with a high-school diploma or equivalent, but try to guess anyway.
- When a monkey is being transported in a carrier, the monkey must be removed from the carrier by the handler prior to screening[.]
- The monkey must be controlled by the handler throughout the screening process.
- The monkey handler should carry the monkey through the WTMD [metal detector] while the monkey remains on a leash.
- When the handler and monkey go through the WTMD and the WTMD alarms, both the handler and the monkey must undergo additional screening.
- Since monkeys may likely draw attention, the handler will be escorted to the physical inspection area where a table is available for the monkey to sit on. Only the handler will touch or interact with the monkey.
- TSOs have been trained to not touch the monkey during the screening process.
- TSOs will conduct a visual inspection on the monkey and will coach the handler on how to hold the monkey during the visual inspection.
- The inspection process may require that the handler take off the monkey’s diaper as part of the visual inspection.
Okay, they’re all real. And I’m sorry, but if the War on Terror really requires me to potentially search a monkey’s diaper, then I surrender. The terrorists have already won if they have really forced us to choose between security and the freedom not to root around in a chimp’s underpants. I mean, please.
It is sad to know that the TSA will not touch my monkey. But they can still love him! Ihn lieben! Meinen Helferaffen lieben!