Yes, I'll take my shoes off. *I* don't have to walk on that dirty floor!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/12/24 07:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2010/12/24/10108811.aspx


So it was oh so very recently that Twitter friend Lexi Love pointed me at one of the many CNN surveys:

As a by-the-way, it was Lexi's birthday just yesterday, and she is ten years younger than me. Aimee Mann, on the other hand, is ten years older. They both are rather interesting people (for largely entirely different reasons) So I guess I think of Lexi and Aimee as my outer markers bracketing my existence here on the third rock from the sun.

Lexi has effectively doubled the growing population (there are now two!) of vegans I know who aren't aggressively negative about my non-vegan diet. This community can only grow over time and I find this to be a positive development....

Hope you had a happy birthday, Lexi!

Anyway, back to the CNN survey: Air travelers hate removing shoes more than pat-downs.

Now as survey go, I thought the CNN one was was interesting.

The "taking off your shoes" thing didn't really start in earnest until after I was either in a Pride Mobility Go-Go scooter or an Independence Technology iBot.

And although for much of that time I could in theory stand and perhaps even walk, the likelihood of me falling over doing it has been rather ever-present, so for the hundreds of planes I have gotten on over these years I have stayed sitting in one of those two assistive medical devices.

So I remain sitting.

Now because I am sitting down, I don't really care whether I have to take my shoes off or not. But I know that if I had to walk around I'd be even more likely to fall over without shoes, and since my residual self image of me is someone who can walk around, I likely would have voted for the 'taking off the shoes" thing being the worst too.

I have been suffering the minor indignity of being felt up by TSA screeners for much longer than most of the people complaining about it, though to be honest that doesn't usually tend to leave me feeling any more violated than the majority of standard government interactions I have.

Though many have suggested that it is people "choosing" the non-back-scatter that leads to "aggressive' patdowns. They told me I couldn't go into the back-scatter anyway even if I wanted to, so perhaps TSA is being a scosh more gracious if a person doesn't have a choice of screening procedure....

Perhaps it is symbolic, like it was at the temple in India (described in My 2 out of 119 (11 + 108) trips around the Chilkur Balaji Temple's inner shrine), where they wanted me to remove my shoes despite the fact that my feet were never touching the ground.

In the case of TSA the examination of the chair was cursory at best, so taking my shoes seemed pretty symbolic too. I mean, I wasn't hiding anything, but if I were then hiding things in sandals seems pretty unlikely as far as plans go.

I think of former colleague Brandon Berg, who spent almost all of his time barefoot even at work, and I can't help wondering what he does when he flies. The things one never thinks to ask people before they leave to go work for Amazon....


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referenced by

2011/04/05 Men Without Hats? Michael Without Shoes!

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