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THE BEST...THE BEAUTIFUL...AND THE BIZARRE | UNSOLVED
MYSTERIES | SO SOCAL

Pardon My Beep

November 08, 1998|Susan Carpenter

It's one of the great mysteries of our time--a subject of some debate among the painfully hip. Fact or urban myth: Body piercings trigger alarms at airport security checkpoints?

"If it set 'em off, I'd be like, 'ding-ding-ding-ding,' " says Kristi Williams, the 25-year-old manager of House of Freaks, a Melrose Avenue tattoo parlor. "I'd be going off all the time," she says.

But a guy who pierces at the L.A. shop the Gauntlet says it happened to him on a trip from Boston to Los Angeles four years ago. Then 19, the piercer (who declines to give his name, citing fear of stalkers) tripped the beep when he passed through the metal sensor. "I checked my pockets and couldn't find anything," he says. The culprit "happened to be a large piece of jewelry" worn under clothing below the belt. "I asked, 'Do you want me to show you?' They just laughed and let me go. They didn't want to have anything to do with it once they found out what it was."

Kathy, a pre-board screener with Argenbright Security, which staffs some terminals at Los Angeles International Airport, says she encounters the problem about every other day. "We check 'em if they beep," she says matter of factly. "But we don't like goin' there."

Says the Gauntlet piercer: "I could have had anything down there. Like a gun or a bomb taped to the inside of my crotch."

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