| Working Class Hero Penn - 11/17/02
The PR person from
airport security was able to placate me last week, by
promising V.I.P. treatment at the airport. The truth is
I'm not bothered by waiting in line and I don't really mind
people grabbing my crotch. I've enjoyed both on occasion.
What I don't like is the loss of freedom in a country that
I used to kinda sorta dig hard. I was casually
corresponding with my big cheese lawyer buddy, about
my chances with a real criminal assault case against an
airport security employee and he thought I was on shaky
ground. Being single, without kids, and employed in a job
that pretty much keeps me in Vegas, a court case would be
as little trouble for me as it could be to anyone. The
judicial system is always a stone solid drag, but if not me,
who? And if not now, when? But, my buddy,
wasn't pushing for me to do it, and he's enough of a
nut to go to the Supreme Court against the blind having
government mandated TV descriptions, so when he thought my
battle was a bit Quixotic, I really wanted to think before
If I lost the case, and I had a good chance of doing that,
there would be precedent for a pig to say, "I can do
whatever I want," and that bugged me. I was also bothered
by how it looked. I did not want to be seen in a court
case as a crybaby who couldn't bear to be slowed down from
my busy celebrity schedule at the airport. I wouldn't be
thrilled with that embarrassment. Even the Road Penn,
which goes out to people I know personally, had some people
writing stuff to me about not letting myself be bought with
a "limo and a suite." If people here can misunderstand my
position, what hope do I have the court of public opinion?
She asked when I was flying next and said if I could give
her my itinerary she would make sure that security was "no
problem." My plan was to take my special treatment with a
smile and then write it up and publish wherever I could. I
thought maybe both freedom fighters, and cowards alike
would be appalled at a cheesy Vegas juggler being rushed
through this more-important-than-freedom-national-security.
It seemed like a good plan. Last night Glenn asked if he
should call the woman's office with my flight information.
I just couldn't say yes. Even as he asked me, I blushed.
It just felt so embarrassingly evil to call up a government
agency and say, "Here's when to treat me better because I'm
on TV and might have access to a soapbox."
I had told her on the phone that I was leaving for Chicago
"around 2," and I figured if she really wanted to shut me
up, maybe she'd guess my flight from there and look for me.
It seemed like a compromise with myself. The part of me
that wanted to set up the sting to bring down the pig power
structure, and the side of me that would roll it's eyes at
"Mr Jillette will be flying to Chicago on the 2:35 United
Flight and would like there to be no trouble." So, I put on
my jeans, pajama tops and suit coat and headed for the
airport. I stood in a long line and waited my turn. There
was no tap on the shoulder whisking me away to the
"special" line with caviar, and topless wand rapes. A few of
the pigs made the usual jokes about "can't you just make
your luggage disappear" and complimented me on our show.
It was the usual uncomfortable interaction, as I try to be
polite about the compliment while still keeping a good
solid pout on about my loss of freedom. Yup, I beeped.
Yup, I was wand raped. He followed all the rules and
didn't grab me. He was polite and efficient.
So, the follow-up to the last Road Penn is that nothing
happened. I guess I'm not going to try to press charges,
and I didn't get V.I.P. If the woman on the phone is to be
believed (and why would she?), they were very upset at my
complaint and my little piece of video will be part of
their training. But, the revolution will not start here.
If me, why? If now, why? But, I was sour and I really
pouted a lot going through security, and . . . if the
longest journey begins with whining, maybe the revolution
starts with pouting.
A working class hero is something to be. A working class
hero is something to be. So, if you want to be a hero,
then just follow me.