20 years too many? Tom and Curley debate the TSA as Thanksgiving travel ramps up

Nov 24, 2021, 5:35 AM
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

With millions of travelers already having taken to the skies for the Thanksgiving holiday — and with more on the way — and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) under a vaccine mandate potentially taxing its processing speeds, holiday travelers will need to prepare for possibly substantial wait times at Sea-Tac Airport.

Sea-Tac Airport on how to skip TSA lines during Thanksgiving travel rush

KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney and John Curley put their heads together and debated the relevancy of the TSA, and just how necessary it is 20 years after its inception.

Curley’s perspective is colored by the fact that he always seems to require additional screening, something which Tangney blames on him being a “papa hotel.”

As written by Mental Floss in an interview with former TSA agents, the term allegedly refers to internal TSA code for attractive airline passengers, called out as such before they reach security screens. That may or may not be the reason Curley is ritually harassed at the airport.

“Whenever I get in the walk-in scanner, I place my feet correctly, and I put up the double bird up over my head, and say, ‘Blank the government, blank the government, blank the government’ before I get the radiation blast,” Curley said during Monday’s edition of KIRO Radio’s Tom and Curley Show.

“I hardly ever make it through without a, ‘Sir, I just need to check your left glute,’” he said.

Regardless of the real reason for his regular pat-down, Curley is not interested in preserving the airline security in its current form.

“The whole thing is just an absolute joke. Every time they do a test on these guys, they never catch the actual weapons they’re supposedly paid to find,” he said.

“Find some other system, because this is nothing more than a carnival,” he added.

Tangney’s approach might more practical. He figures that whatever TSA is able to accomplish, it’s better than not having it at all.

“My hunch is, because we go to all this theatrical trouble, it may seem in a lot of cases that it does discourage the terrorists from trying anything,” Tangney added. “It’s not like I have any desire to stand in long lines and have to take my shoes off. But it just seems to me that if it prevents shoe bombers, it’s worth it to me.”

They both agreed that airport security can be a thankless job at times, and wished TSA well as they work to process the estimated 1.5 million people moving through Sea-Tac this holiday weekend.

Listen to the Tom and Curley Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley and Shari Elliker

MyNorthwest Staff

Alaska Airlines CEO anticipates ‘choppy May,’ issues mea culpa as flight cancellations rack up

Alaska Airlines is facing issues with contracting and a shortage of pilots, leaving travelers to deal with a surplus of flight cancellations.
2 days ago
Pramila Jayapal...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John and Shari: Political pressure to forgive student loan debt is well-timed ahead of mid-term elections

President Joe Biden and Congress’ plan for student loan debt remains an outstanding question as Democrats look towards the midterm elections.
28 days ago
diner, tip...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John & Shari: Inflation has forced some people to adjust their tipping habits

Inflation is driving up prices lately on nearly everything, and it seems to be leading some people to tip less at restaurants and for other services.
2 months ago
John Curley, Shari Elliker...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley and Shari Elliker want story ideas from listeners

John Curley and Shari Elliker are looking for story ideas and could use your help. If it's good, you may even get a gift from John of his choosing.
2 months ago
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John & Shari: Seattle teachers can keep masking if they’re concerned about safety

In a change of plans, and against the union's wishes, masks will soon be optional for all teachers, staff, and students at Seattle schools.
2 months ago
Russell Wilson...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John & Shari: If Russell Wilson leaves Seattle, his home could be on the market

While everyone else is thinking about the football impacts of Russell Wilson leaving Seattle, John Curley is thinking about what will happen to his home.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
20 years too many? Tom and Curley debate the TSA as Thanksgiving travel ramps up