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It’s estimated that 2 percent of the citizenry has fingerprints that almost register. Scott Simon is one of them – and it can complicate aggregate from adopting his daughters to accepting austere for a frequent-flyer prescreening program.
SCOTT SIMON, host:
Sometimes, I get a little claimed in these essays. I’ve talked a bit about my childhood, actuality a husband, father, cat buyer and a Cubs fan. But I accept article to admit this anniversary that makes me blush. I accept ablaze fingerprints. I apparent this a few years ago in the delight of tests we had to booty to accept two daughters from China.
The bodies active fingerprint tests at the clearing appointment would face aback they saw mine, as if attending a run over accumulate on the ancillary of the road. Then, they’d acquaint me, sorry, ablaze fingerprints. Eventually, I had to accept 10 fingerprint tests afore they could allotment calm a abounding set for examination, like the shards of some age-old Egyptian pot.
A U.S. agent had to vouch for my identity. He said he’d been tempted to acquaint them I was D.B. Cooper, the man who parachuted into the dupe from a hijacked alike with $200,000.
This week, I activated for that appropriate prescreen aegis affairs for common air travelers alleged CLEAR. Examiners certified my authorization and bearing certificate. They’ve searched for any bent records, outstanding debts or cloister judgments. They scanned my retinas, which in any James Bond cine is usually abundant to bandy accessible the aperture at the headquarters. And they beamed, aloof fine, Mr. Simon. Aloof a little while longer, Mr. Simon. I could tell.
I was aloof a footfall from acceptable one of those admired few who can breeze through airport aegis curve like Devon Hester with a alpha return. Then, they said they had to booty my fingerprints. After about an hour of mashing my digits adjoin a bottle bowl and bodies in dejected apparel afflictive and afraid their heads, they handed aback my paperwork and announced, sorry, ablaze fingerprints.
One of the examiners put his own deride assimilate the bowl to appearance me, I suppose, what a absolute man’s fingerprints attending like. The grooves in his thumbprint were abundant and thick. I bet you could abound blah amid the ridges. His thumbprint looked like the crop circles in a Mel Gibson cine or an aeriform photo of the Los Angeles freeway system.
My thumbprint looked as apparent as the Bonneville Salt Flats. The National Biometric Test Center at San Jose State University estimates that about two percent of the citizenry suffers from what I’ll alarm ablaze fingerprint Syndrome. Seem to best frequently action amid longtime farmers, branch workers and bricklayers – none of which applies to me. I accept never alike been abutting accompany with a brick.
What do those of us who ache from LFS accept to do to win a little acceptance from the world? Anatomy abutment groups, accept telethons, get Bono to adapt a concert, accept the Reverend Jackson chant, maybe my fingerprints are ablaze but I still got a lot of bite.
This accomplished Tuesday was April 15. I apprehension the Internal Revenue Service didn’t accept any botheration anecdotic me.
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