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September 14, 2013
So I get off the #1 family-friendly cruise ship in the world and I get accosted by custom officials in Cape Canaveral, Florida. I’m used to this. I travel all over the planet and my passport is covered in stamps, front to back, from all kinds of countries. So when the customs official says, “You need to have further inspection,” I’m nonplussed.
Hey! In my world “TSA” stands for “TAYLOR SEARCHED AGGRESSIVELY!”
Let’s be honest: we live in a world of paranoia. It’s hard to be trusting. Heck, President Obama has changed his mind so many times in the past 10 days it’s hard to believe he trusts himself! I don’t get angry or frustrated when TSA and/or U.S. Customs officials go through my personal items: it’s “part of the job.”
I know I don’t get racially profiled. I don’t look dangerous in any way. I look like the guy in the “Home Appliances” aisle at Home Depot. So please!
On the day in question I got the full monty: take off my shirt and pants? OK. Take off my shoes? Sure! But I had to eat mine to prove I wasn’t smuggling expensive leather. Eating my shoe? Now I know why they’re called “Uggs.”
I wrap my puppet sidekicks individually, in their own laundry bag, for travel. When my customs buddy pulled my partner Romeo out of his sack, the little guy said, “Hey! Watch it, buddy! If you’re gonna do a search I want a warrant.” The customs drone looked at me and said, “Please stop that.” Romeo said, “What are you talking to him for? Are you gonna do the same kinda thing to him you’re doing to me? I wanna watch!”
U.S. Customs has no sense of humor….
I was actually coming back into the USA from The Bahamas, not exactly your classic terrorist stronghold. What is there for terrorists in The Bahamas? Banks for people trying to avoid taxes? OK, we’ve all been robbed by our bank, but that’s not terrorism?
They pulled Paco, my pig/lawyer (“Hey, pulled pork!” I shouted. I got a steely look in response), from his bag and had to confirm the porker wasn’t illegal. COME ON! His tattoo says, “USDA Choice!” Paco informed them that he is an attorney, that I am a client, and this search was illegal. Instead of looking at me and asking me to stop, this time they went and got their own attorney. There was a 15-minute meeting, Paco looked at me and said, “Sorry senor, they got you by the pigtail,” and went to lunch.
After examining everything in my cases and on my person, another man (TSA? NSA? NFL?) came and took my iPhone, my iPad and my MacBook into another room.
Romeo said, “You know Apple is dying, right?”
Then the kicker came: the officials wanted the passwords for all my handhelds and laptop.
“You want access to all my personal files?” I asked.
“Yes,” was the response.
“No!” I said
A pair of handcuffs appeared.
“Of course, if you have to, you can have all the passwords,” I said, and gave them all three.
I had to spell them out:
(this frustrated them… “These are hard! I would never have figured this out” said the computer specialist)
(I thought the computer guy would faint: “that’s brilliant! the ampersand sign instead of A! You’re a genius! I’m using that!”)
So now the United States Government has all my personal files. They can see who I’ve had contact with or sent text messages to. Who knew that security is a TEXTUALLY-transmitted disease?
In some ways, I do feel violated. It isn’t right, I don’t care what anyone says. Whatever happened to freedom? Landing back in New Jersey, I flew over the Statue of Liberty. She’s not using that torch to look into someone else’s bag!
I was told I was on a watch list because I travel so much. Oh yeah? Well, the New York Yankees travel all the time and nobody is searching them for drugs and… oh, never mind.
I know you’re reading this, you government spies! You’re wasting your time! I travel because I’m an entertainer and its how I earn a living. If you want to stop somebody, go after Miley Cyrus! She’s terrorizing the parents of every teenage girl in the country!