Why I paid attention during Super Bowl XLVI

by awindram


Yesterday I had to go through airport security for “processing”.
As usual, it was a struggle to maintain an even-temper. The passenger behind me passive-aggressively nudged my grey security trays forward with his own while I took my laptop out of my bag, fished coins, keys and lint out of my pockets, and placed my shoes in a security tray. One-handedly I then pushed all my items into the X-Ray scanner, with the other hand I struggled, in what was a last second oversight on my part, to remove my belt and add it to my pile.
Stepping through the metal detector and collecting my now-scanned items, I noticed an unusual sight – a smiling, friendly TSA agent.
He was not, I should add, smiling and friendly towards me, but to the man in front of me in the line. The two of them were laughing and conversing with each other like old pals.
As I put back on my shoes and belt, I listened to what they were saying, curious as to whether there’s something I can learn from this other passenger in the art of conversing and charming TSA agents – a skill I’m decidedly lacking in. They were, it turned out, talking about the Super Bowl and the previous Super Bowl match-up between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots.
So is that how you get along with TSA agents, talk football with them?
I thought about trying to join in the conversation, but I realized I had nothing to add on the subject. All I could remember from the previous Super Bowl is people wore hats in the shape of wedges of cheese and that the Black-Eyed Peas sang (badly).
Clearly I need to make more of an effort to learn about football. This year I had no need for my Super Bowl party survival guide as I wasn’t invited to one (those two things are almost certainly related) so was actually able to pay attention to what was an engrossing game. I won’t ever be quite the traitor that Gerard Baker is in swapping the premiership for the NFL, but hopefully I can get a smile myself a smile from a TSA agent.