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Marcel first encounters Security Theater in school, when it is proclaimed throughout his county that henceforth only backpacks of transparent mesh will be permitted; this despite the fact that the kid who got caught with the airsoft pistol had it tucked into his pants.

Purses are exempt. Marcel and Theo immediately buy purses.

Twelve years later, this genre of performance art is the world’s most well-funded, “which is why,” says Marcel, “I’m concerned about the low production values.”

“Please step out of line, sir,” says the lady with the beeping wand.

“One second,” says Marcel, “let me grab my clutch.”