Museum of Tolerance not Tolerant of Bicyclists

I went to watch a very profound film at the Museum of Tolerance yesterday.

Enemies of the People.

About a journalist whose family was killed by the Khmer Rouge regime in the Cambodian Genocide and him interviewing people who executed thousands of people and the 2nd in Command of the Khmer Rouge regime.

But anyway as important as that film is to our overall understanding of humankind that wasn't why I'm posting on this blog.

I'm posting because of everything that happened before that screening while at the Museum of Tolerance.

Security check.

I'm a commuting bicyclist, and a student. This means I carry lots of stuff everywhere. My netbook, my file holder thing, some books, some school supplies, and of course the wrenches, patch kits, hand-pump for my bicycle. This all fits into my high school backpack and weighs about 30 pounds.

I take this with me to the Police Commission, to Long Beach, to my cousin's house, to parties, to bars, but (I was warned by security) the Museum of Tolerance.

I biked from Downtown to LA via Olympic Blvd, and was pleasantly surprised. I hung out at UCLA for a bit, did research at good ole Young Research Library, and made the decision to buy some candy. All sour stuff. Paid $7.76 for a bag that I thought would cost $4; I should've just said, I was a student.

So back to the Museum of Tolerance. Security check. Complete with the bag check terminal and metal detector.

I see their sign saying "No food or drinks allowed."

Seeing that sign and having my $7.76 bag of candy tucked away in my backpack, I decide I'm going to tell security what to expect. I do this so they don't think that I'm trying to be sneaky. I'm hoping they'll be somewhat more lenient on me, ultimately allow me to bring my candy inside my bag with me because of my outright honesty.

"Hey I've got a bag of candy in there, but I won't eat it, I just don't have any place to put it."

With a slight pause, he nods no, and says " I don't know what to tell you, you either got to eat it throw it away."

I tell him, "Hey man, I paid $7.76 for this! Cub scouts honor, I won't eat it."

The security guy nods no, and uses me as an example to announce the standing crowd behind me: "Absolutely no food, no chewing gum or anything else is allowed, please get rid of it, or we will."

Slightly irked, I tell him "I don't have a car to store things in, so that's why I can't leave this food anywhere."

At this point he tells me to open my bag as he investigates my stuff. I put my loose stuff in the tray. Standard procedure if a little delayed.

Getting frustrated at all the stuff in my bag, he makes the remark "Normally, we don't allow bags of your size, please take that into consideration for next time"

I tell him, "Well, I can't. The bicycle is how I commute, and I've got take my stuff everywhere with me, maybe you should consider how unfriendly you are to bikes."

If you commute by car, you probably wouldn't see the problem. You can carry stuff from work/school with you. It doesn't even have to be just work/school stuff, you can include guns, tasers, knives, sex toys. All you have to do is leave all that shit in the car. You'll be fine, you'll get by security just fine.

However, if you commute by bicycle to school or work, you usually carry lots of stuff with you. I have to accomodate not only my school/work stuff, but also bike maintenance stuff. And this is the bare minimum of stuff to bring because bicyclists probably don't prefer heavy bags.

Then, there are these places like the Museum of Tolerance, which restrict you as to the kind of stuff you can bring in. You carry your stuff, usually pretty important stuff, seeing that you're already bringing the bare minimum for your commute. However, you could also forget about the important stuff on your way out. At a different venue with the same degree of asshole security, I almost forgot my wrenches.

And if you leave it in the front desk, which always ends up being the compromise, you're putting all your trust these probably laughably underpaid front desk strangers not to eat your food or mess with your stuff.

To that, all I'll say is: Locker or baggage check-in system. Cough Cal State Long Beach you too Cough.

No comments: