The perfect toy for fun and indoctrination

The US has been slipping into the grip of generalized fear for years, having hastened its pace since September 11, 2001. There’s nothing too trivial for us to fear! One outward and visible sign of our fearful nature can be seen in the security theater at airports. Test after test shows how ineffective airport security is, but that doesn’t stop TSA agents from doing their part — fiercely barking pointless commands at hapless travelers. It’s obvious that few TSA workers or their bosses have ever traveled outside the US, where security is effective and almost zen-like by comparison (no, you don’t have to remove your shoes in most parts of the world, and so on).

But I have digressed, as I so often do. Gizmodo alerted me to this outstanding toy. Sadly, it’s currently unavailable on Amazon, though I suspect an enterprising eBay customer could find it. You might still be able to get one for the kids in time for Christmas! This mini screening station is perfect for the travel enthusiast or power-hungry person in every household. Parents, you can use this to train your kids that they must remove their shoes in order to keep aviation safe and that carrying more than 300ml. of any liquid might cause Western civilization as we know it to end.

I found myself enjoying one of the Amazon reviews almost as much as I enjoyed reading about the toy. Allow me to share the witty words of “loosenut”.

I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger’s shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger’s scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said “that’s the worst security ever!”. But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil Boeing 757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.

The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I’ve heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I’ll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead (it comes with a cute little memo from George Bush).

I’m tempted to try to land a few of these toys and give them to some TSA workers. Perhaps they’d learn a few things. Of course, if they decide to Google me as I’m going through security someday, they’ll find this post. And then I’ll be the one learning a few things — the hard way — about the Fourth Amendment.

Incidentally, if you do buy one of these for the kids, don’t forget to get the complete directions. (Good one, TSA!)

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