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Penn of Penn & Teller gets groped at airport
January 5, 2003 5:18 PM   Subscribe

Federal V.I.P. Penn Gillette almost gets his "crank grabbed." Not quite as concerning as the pregnant woman who got her breasts groped by security at the airport but it's an interesting read.
posted by suprfli (36 comments total)

 
Well, I have to say that if Mr. Angry Screaming Guy in the original post had behaved the way Penn Gillette did, I'd have had a lot more sympathy for him than I did. Penn did everything right, and made his point far more effectively by being calm and polite about it.
posted by biscotti at 6:02 PM on January 5, 2003


agreed.

If I ever get my crank grabbed at the airport, I'll call the police.
posted by titboy at 6:46 PM on January 5, 2003


I want a disposable income...
posted by Ron at 6:56 PM on January 5, 2003


But, if you give me your itinerary every time you fly, I'll be at the airport with you and we can make sure it's very pleasant for you.

Great! And for the rest of us? Bupkiss, I'm guessing.
posted by rushmc at 7:17 PM on January 5, 2003


Yeah, but complimentary bupkiss!
posted by biscotti at 7:29 PM on January 5, 2003


For a minute that looked like it was going to turn into a Penthouse forum letter there at the end.

*sigh*
posted by gottabefunky at 7:33 PM on January 5, 2003


I don't know what it is exactly that biscotti and rushmc want, but I know when I fly that I would like bupkus instead. ;)
posted by oflinkey at 7:54 PM on January 5, 2003


Follow-up in which Penn decides to settle for bupkiss himself.
posted by willnot at 7:57 PM on January 5, 2003


I wonder how much he would have complained if it had been some lovely young thing crabbing at his crotch?
posted by dg at 7:59 PM on January 5, 2003


WHY is this interesting, or amusing? P&T are great entertainers, but this tale of woe is just...um...BORING.

So - what have we learned today, kids?
posted by davidmsc at 8:03 PM on January 5, 2003


It's a shame that it was Penn and not Teller, just so we could hear Teller talk about it. Son of a ...
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:06 PM on January 5, 2003


Ufez- Teller has been on NPR.
posted by oflinkey at 8:11 PM on January 5, 2003


Lesson learned (by Penn, I would hope): Use the X-Ray tray.

Anything I have that's metal and isn't strapped down I put on it. I've never been frisked, except once in Scotland...

I see instead he's chosen to take the lame/unintelligent way out by simply slapping a defaming stereotypical name on the entire set of people rather than dealing with the problem.

Ho hum. I'd probably have done the same thing in his situation, though.
posted by shepd at 8:15 PM on January 5, 2003


Wow dg, I love your comment. Sitting here reading that article you get really upset and you support this guy 100%, but what you said is absolutely true. What offends me is the hysteria and the increased security and the homeland security and the patriot act and the reducing of American freedoms and no one willing to do anything to combat it. That's why this story strikes a chord with me. Bush is screwing up America, not only our freedoms but he's doing a hell of a job on our economy and the environment too. There was a post on Metafilter that really put things in perspective. More pedestrians died in traffic accidents in the US in the year 2000 than all of the people who died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Why aren't we having a "war" on traffic accidents? Put up some more posts up or something. If people continue to live their lives in fear they let the terrorists win. In fact, that is the purpose of terrorism... to promote terror and fear. This is exactly what Bush is playing on to promote his own agenda. Also, look at Bush's personal agenda, Saddam tried to assassinate his father. Bush has a somewhat personal stake in all of this, and it's not good for Americans, and it's not good for the world.
posted by banished at 8:20 PM on January 5, 2003


bush is an asshole, and he has an army of minions. on the news i see there was an airport screener asleep at his post. solution? punish the public. all flights were cancelled and all passengers were herded back by shouting louts with bullhorns and forced to rescreen.
posted by quonsar at 8:28 PM on January 5, 2003


here's the story: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134609869_webseatac05.html
posted by quonsar at 8:33 PM on January 5, 2003


btw, this was posted by penn in november. does anyone know what has happened in follow-up to this? i'm curious if the federal employee met him at his next flight and what was discussed.
posted by suprfli at 8:59 PM on January 5, 2003


Here's the follow-up, suprfli: Working Class Hero Penn - 11/17/02
posted by lpqboy at 9:28 PM on January 5, 2003


err... gah! Let's try that again!
posted by lpqboy at 9:30 PM on January 5, 2003


"...freedom is kind of a hobby with me, and I have disposable income that I'll spend to find out how to get people more of it."

Penn Jillette is my hero.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:49 PM on January 5, 2003


lpqboy: thanx!
posted by suprfli at 9:57 PM on January 5, 2003


I'm all for freedom, but this is someone making a big deal about his pocket being touched. A pocket that contained a flashlight which should have been placed in the xray tray. If they had actually touched his genitals without his consent I would fully support him. They didn't. Calling the police due to a reasonable search that caused him no harm is a waste of taxpayer resources.
posted by Xkot at 12:03 AM on January 6, 2003


bush is an asshole, and he has an army of minions.

I think the army of asshole minions have been here on earth forever and exist everywhere you may go, but Bush is pure poetry. (except for that tariff thing)
posted by hama7 at 3:27 AM on January 6, 2003


Penn's an asshole, but he's my kind of asshole!
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:32 AM on January 6, 2003


LOL!
posted by mecran01 at 3:55 AM on January 6, 2003


Using the X-Ray tray won't necessarily help. The metal detector always goes off when I go through it, even though I don't have any extra metal adornments, glasses etc. I asked why this was and it turns out its because my shoulders come within a fraction of an inch of either side of the metal detecting portal. They get pissy if you turn sideways a bit when walking though (what are you trying to hide?) so I'm always pulled aside for a pat down. Penn is a big guy, he may have a similar problem (and may well be adorned with extra metal bits too).

They've always been friendly about it (no crotch grabbing) but the pat down plus extra wanding is annoying and so is everybody staring at you as they're doing it.
posted by substrate at 4:43 AM on January 6, 2003


Try being a girl wearing an underwire bra...they now have to check that you are indeed wearing a bra and not some sort of nefarious explosive device and so you get a really humiliating public groping. Go Penn. I got a vicarious kick out of the groveling he made them do.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:53 AM on January 6, 2003


Try being a girl wearing an underwire bra

I'm afraid no matter how much I try that wont work. More to the point, if I were of the bra wearing persuasion I might consider not wearing the underwire model when traveling via air.
posted by cmdnc0 at 9:10 AM on January 6, 2003


If you're the type of person that doesn't enjoy being groped, wandraped, insulted, arrested without cause, and imprisoned without trial, you might consider not travelling via air. Hey, I don't like it either, but it's the price we have to pay for security. You don't want the terrorists to win, do you? Why do you hate America so much?
posted by RylandDotNet at 9:31 AM on January 6, 2003


I made the mistake of wearing overalls on my most recent trip, and the metal buckles set off the alarm. They had a female security agent frisk/wand me, and because the buckles were pretty much on top of my breasts, she had to pat me down there. She said out loud several times what she was doing and used the back of her hand. So personally, I felt that they handled a potentially uncomfortable situation very well. I think I'll wear those overalls on my next trip, too.
posted by widdershins at 9:57 AM on January 6, 2003


I hope all of you who shrug your shoulders at this delusional implementation of "security" are prepared to accept body cavity searches once the feds realize that the entire charade can be sidestepped by anyone who's willing to pack a pound of C4 up his arse.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:12 AM on January 6, 2003


Every time, and I mean every time (four or five, I think) I've gotten on a commercial airline in the past year I've had my actual (male) genitalia pawed in the interests of security. This is without even the pretense of an excuse given by the metal detector panicking at, say, the metal in my fillings.

Now I don't fly no more, though with federal support of airlines I seem to keep paying as if I were flying.

I only wish that I were wealthy, connected, or famous enough to pull the kind of truly admirable stunt Penn did. Any of us, I think, would have received treatment more similar to the aforementioned Angry Ranting Guy.
posted by stet at 10:40 AM on January 6, 2003


Hey, I don't like it either, but it's the price we have to pay for security.

No, it's the price YOU'RE willing to pay for an imaginary comfort. Not all of us are.


Question: What happens when people go through the metal detector wearing genital jewelry?
posted by rushmc at 11:27 AM on January 6, 2003


What happens when people go through the metal detector wearing genital jewelry?

I think it depends on how big the jewelry is. I wear metal earrings (three in each ear) and they've never set off the metal detectors, so I suspect that comparably-sized body jewelry would be the same.

Any of us, I think, would have received treatment more similar to the aforementioned Angry Ranting Guy.

Angry Ranting Guy probably would have recieved treatment more similar to Penn's had he not started his complaining at eleven and worked up from there. Sure, Penn's famous and likely got treated differently because of that, but I most people don't take well to being screamed at, especially those ostensibly on the lookout for terrorists, and had Angry Ranting Guy been calm and polite like Penn was, I suspect his experience would have been substantially different.
posted by biscotti at 11:55 AM on January 6, 2003


No, it's the price YOU'RE willing to pay for an imaginary comfort. Not all of us are.

Sorry, rushmc, I forgot to include the <sarcasm> tags.
posted by RylandDotNet at 12:30 PM on January 6, 2003


Doh!
posted by rushmc at 6:15 PM on January 6, 2003


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