Must Be Nice to Be John Smith

#ShitTSASays chronicles the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s ludicrous mistreatment and profiling of Muslims while flying. Send your story to

I travel a lot. I’m usually never home more than two or three weeks at a time — or whatever schedule the film I’m working on requires.
You would think at this point I was a regular at Newark Liberty International Airport or even John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Far from it. The small luxuries of checking in on my convenient app are gone, making me physically check in.
Every. Damn. Time.
After being carefully looked at up and down, making my way to TSA is where the fun begins. Those secondary checks are pretty personal when they realize my alliteration of a name is anything but cute.
But from, “Sorry, it’s pretty random how we do this” to, “Sir, may you please step down?” — it all sounds like a pretty non-random process.
Must be nice to be John Smith.

Written by Ali Abouomar.