They See England, They See France, Cops Can See Your Underpants!

They see England, they see France

In the days of frequent “wardrobe malfunctions” that seemingly occur most often when paparazzi cameras are conveniently nearby, and when many people couldn’t care less that their pants hang low enough to expose more of their “Joe Boxer’s” than they cover, well, I ask you, who’d even for once pretend that modesty is an issue?

Yet, most of us have a problem with airport body scanners that transform our images into unattractive blobs of various shades of gray? Be for real, people. I mean, everywhere you look there are folks who willingly expose their unmentionables—plaid boxers, striped boxers, white thongs, blue thongs, polka-dotted thongs, and even no thongs, or boxers, just a good-size portion of a refrigerator repairman’s vertical smile. All out there for the world to see…whether we like it or not. And, the bare skin next to the exposed undergarments is displayed in full flesh-toned and natural living color.

Still, many of those people who think it’s their position in the world to showcase their granny panties, compression shorts, boxer and sports briefs, bikini and string panties, and jockstraps, instantly balk, scream, cry, and pout when it comes time to step in front of the full-body scanners at the airport.

No problem, though, when it comes to “lettin’ it all hang out” in the checkout line at the local Piggly Wiggly, where you and I are forced to view gargantuan moles, freckles, and unsightly warts in places only a fully-licensed and well-seasoned doctor who is, by many years of experience, numb to the horrible truths about those places that should forever remain beneath clothing.

Still, when it comes to body scanners…well, the public just does not like them. “They’re too intrusive. A stranger can see my privates. I don’t want those people to see beneath my clothing.”

Then there are the people who resist. hate, and balk at the alternative to the body scanners…head-to-toe pat-down searches. Even on the street, pat-downs by law enforcement are seen as offensive. No matter that the touchy-feely searches often produce illegal weapons of all types. You know, the weapons used to commit violent crimes, like rape and murder. But…nooo. Heaven forbid that cops try to stop violent crime before it happens.

Well, the days of stop and frisk may be ending. Officers in New York City are currently testing a new way to see if people are carrying concealed weapons. Remember the airport body scanners that people hate so much? Well…

Please allow me to introduce you to ThruVision TS4, a device that detects the human body’s natural radiation emissions (terahertz radiation). And, since the radiation doesn’t pass through things such as guns and knives, what’s left in its place is a clear-as-day outline of the weapon.

Of course,  convincing crooks to go out of their way to walk past the bulky unit may be a bit of a problem, but officials say the outlook for the future is promising.

You know, maybe a simple solution to the nation’s gun problem would be to ban all clothing, not weapons and extended magazines. On second thought, remembering my last trip to the Piggly Wiggly, I think I’ll stick with the scanners and cold hands.

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*ThruVision photos

*Top photo – painting by Julie Opell,

17 replies
  1. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    Lee, I don’t know how much of this is true, but from what I’ve read online and in the papers, a large number of airport “patdowns” are on people who are absolutely not terrorist material: children, handicapped people (their artificial limbs set off the scanners) or old people. Any hard stats on how many patdowns actually yield contraband?

  2. sz
    sz says:

    lol @ Norm, no pony tail. He was uber old ! Your Grandpas Gramp !

    @ Kate, you know I have been to two different Walmarts in California. Very disappointing not to get to see someone worthy of fun photos.

    Lee, did you catch the other day two Bronx women caught by air port dogs trying to smuggle cocaine in duct tape diapers ? Too funny. Guess duct tape is not just for men any more

  3. Kate Flora
    Kate Flora says:

    You really want to see horror, skin that should be covered, and callipygian clefts, Lee, go to WalMart.

    And it’s not just the folks who go about exposed who don’t like airport scanners. Or incompetent TSA personnel. Or the impossible screening lines.

    But I love the new device. Can’t wait ’til there’s a pocket=sized version, or even one that fits in a parked van. Imagine the fun, driving down the street and seeing who is carrying. Or would it be fun? Maybe it would make the world unimaginably scary.

  4. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    I’ve been without a computer for almost 6 weeks. (Long story. Horrid service. Waiting for a new one. Trust me, you don’t want to know.) This is my first real day back online. I so missed The Graveyard Shift. You made me laugh today. Thank you.

  5. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    All interesting comments and I loved your article Lee. I’d rather drive than fly because of the hassle. Not so much the security but the whole thing over the number of bags and stuff. We all need transporters like on Star Trek.
    And I really do wish the show woudl not go on with the let it all hang out.

  6. Pat
    Pat says:

    You must not shop at Walmart in the summer or you would not, even in jest, propose that people walk around in any less clothing than they do already do.

    Speaking of security, El Al Israel airlines has a screening system that involves answering detailed questions about your background, travel plans, etc. as well as scanners and so forth. Anyone who objects is welcome to walk to their destination.

  7. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    Lee-you’ve once again put your finger on one of life’s eternal dilemmas. Of course I want the police to pat down, scan, anything really, to detect weapons on bad guys, but moi???? I’m not one of ‘those’ people. I would be horrified to be patted down. I suppose it’s a variation on “Not in my Neighborhood.”

  8. Brenda Coxe
    Brenda Coxe says:

    It is rather strange, isn’t it, how some people have no problem showing their “unmentionables” in public but consider it an intrusion when they have to go through a scanner. My guess is those are the people who either have something to hide or would not hesitate to attempt to carry contraband.

  9. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    What bothers me more than anything is never knowing who’ll be bumped from a flight, the delays and cancellations, the cramped seating, and…well, you get the idea. The scans and pat-downs don’t bother me at all.

    And lost or stolen luggage!!

  10. Mary Brookman
    Mary Brookman says:

    I had to fly right after 9/11 and found it made me feel much safer with armed military at the airport, although a woman actually yelled at the soldiers for “scaring her kids.” The kids looked fine. It did take a little longer at the airport in the years following 9/11, when you were required to show ID multiple times, but I don’t find that the “pat downs” and scanners slow things down much. I feel safe flying and am willing to let the TSA do their jobs so I can be safe because I much prefer flying to driving on long trips.
    Can’t wait for WPA 2013!

  11. Norm
    Norm says:

    “One time I saw an elderly man with a walker barely making it across the street bare.”

    A dollar to a doughnut that he had a pony-tail.

  12. sz
    sz says:

    Yep, we actually had to legally say put your cloths back on in San Francsico. And it was never the hot young thangs running around neked ! One time I saw an elderly man with a walker barely making it across the street bare.

    I went through those scanners when they came out. I have no problem with them. People get over yourselves !

  13. Norm
    Norm says:

    Gosh, Lee, I hope we don’t ban clothing. Even San Francisco has decided that clothing in public is a good idea. Most people are not built like Elle McPherson or Daniel Craig. Good grief, some of them could hide Uzis in a layer of flab.

  14. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Merely my tongue-in-cheek means of introducing the new gadget, Norm. But your comments do reinforce my statement about banning all clothing instead of weapons and extended magazines.

    And, I agree about flying. I haven’t flown in years, and it’s because of all the hassles at the airports and on planes. If I can’t drive I don’t go.

  15. Norm
    Norm says:

    Good points about what we show off in public. But, partly you are basing your argument (if it is an argument and not just a way of introducing this new gizmo) on what some do in public. Not everyone wears their pants around their thighs. I saw a tshirt once that said, “The Sperminator, f*** you I’ll be back” at a fast food place. The guy had his kids with him. I would argue that this is not in keeping with what is okay to show in public; 99.99% of people would not think such a shirt was okay.

    It goes back to an average person’s definition of “reasonable” search, doesn’t it? Courts have allowed officers to base observations (prior to warrants for more invasive searches) on what can be reasonably seen or heard in public (unless the officer’s safety is a concern). If I walk on the sidewalk by a house and see a crime being committed inside (absent exigencies), then a warrant can be obtained. It takes witnessing a crime to take more invasive measures. TSA starts with invasive measures and makes not wanting to be harassed by them (and their scanners) the crime.

    On the other hand, TSA (bless their hearts) has made taking the train, bus, or car a more reasonable option.

  16. Scott Silverii
    Scott Silverii says:

    The evolution of technology!! Yes, banning clothing would not be the best idea, and would prevent any Ravens fans from showing who they support. Great ideas, great technology, great game.

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