Wed, Jan 17, 2018 07:09 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
Smile Awhile
Move over Superman
by Sara Hopson

As a kid, we all (well most of us anyway) read comic books. And in almost every one was a full-page ad for cheap magic tricks and gimmicks - you know the kind - itching powder, gum that makes your teeth turn black, joy buzzers, whoopee cushions, and Cinder’s favorite, a monkey in a teacup. But the one that caught everybody’s attention and caused every adolescent boy to think, “I wonder if that thing really works?” was the X-ray glasses. My husband Ronnie says that a kid in his neighborhood sent away for a pair (I will bet you that it was Ronnie himself) and they did not work. Surprise! Surprise!

X-ray vision has been a favorite fantasy of everyone who has ever read a Superman comic book. In fact, in the Superman movie starring Christopher Reeve, there’s a scene where the man of steel tells Lois Lane the color of panties she is wearing. (They were pink).

Well, folks, for those X-ray vision enthusiasts among us, the wait is finally over. In last week’s Lexington Herald Leader (Thursday, June 26) came the announcement that there is a new X-ray machine to be used at airport security; and get this: it sees through clothes or anything inorganic for that matter, but bounces off flesh, thus giving the viewer a black-and-white image of the person underneath — completely naked!

Now, we’re not talking about your regular run-of-the-mill X-ray machine or florescent that sees all the way through everything and outlines the bones. As soon as the rays in this machine hit flesh, they create a perfect image of the subject in all their glory — revealing everything. (Use your imagination here folks).

And this got me to wondering, how do they screen a person for this job? Do you have to have some sort of degree? After all, they’re only looking for weapons and bombs. How much education does one need? But this brings another question, what kind of person/stranger do we want standing behind a machine at airport security looking at our naked bodies as we pass by? I should think it would have to be somebody who is not prone to giggling or reacting in any way. Can’t you just see some immature dolt yelling at his buddy on the other machine, “Hey, Homer! Get a look at his babe!” And, of course, women will get in on this, too. “Hey, Gertrude, come over here and take a gander at lover boy.”

And can’t you just see the scene at high school Career Days. There are all these booths where kids can get info about future professions - engineering, teaching, medicine, etc., and they’re all empty. But picture the airport security X-ray booth with its line out the door of teenage boys who have just gone through puberty. Up to now, it’s been Internet porn and Playboy magazines, but now you’ll have 13-year-olds seriously approaching their parents with, “You’re going to be pleased mom and dad — I’m finally sure of what I want to do with my life - and it won’t cost you a dime for college.” Yes, I’m afraid this new technology is going to open up a can of worms. On the one hand, we need the new technology to better cope with the dangerous situations in the world today, but on the other hand ... oh, you’ll have to excuse me. I have to go and help my husband put together a resume for this new job he’s applying for.

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