Thursday, October 20, 2005

Time to get a grip

I've nearly completed re-entry. I'll soon be caught up on e-mails and various reponsibilities around the office, and then I'll be able to started thinking about bikes again. In the meantime, airport security has been on my mind.

My friend Sue once told me that, hey, she's really sorry 9/11 happened, but she's tired of being treated like a criminal every time she wants to fly somewhere. She had a great point. I'm getting a bit fed up with watching old ladies and toddlers get wanded. Here's an idea: Frisk the guy who looks like a terrorist. Let's get over the whole profiling thing and train those TSA monkeys to look for high-risk passengers. Screw political correctness. The guys who flew those jets into the WTC towers didn't look like Opie Taylor. Yeah, yeah, I know, the guy who blew up the building in Oklahoma City did look a bit like Opie. He didn't use an airplane, but point taken. White guys can be dangerous, too. So occasionally pull guys like me out of the line for more thorough screening when we're traveling alone or otherwise arouse suspicion. But leave the two-year-old and his teddy bear alone, OK?

I'm also really tired of taking off my tennis shoes to walk through a metal detector. One nut tries to light up his shoe on an airliner, and now we all have to strip our shoes at the airport? Give me a break. I hate to imagine security screenings after some terrorist boards an airplane with a pound of C4 shoved up his ass.

"Sir, please place your jacket and shoes in the bucket, remove all metal items from your pockets, and then drop your pants and lean over this table."

I hope they'll at least talk dirty to me first.

But my point — and as Ellen Degeneres has been known to say, I really do have one — is that I can live with security checks in their current form. I can live without a pocket knife for four hours. I can even live without the dull, plastic butter knife they used to provide with in-flight meals. (Remember in-flight meals?) But why make me do all these things and then serve beer in glass bottles on the same fucking flight?

As of this month Alaska Airlines is serving Alaskan Amber beer in bottles on their flights. Don't get me wrong; I love the stuff. It's my favorite beer. That's irrelevant. We can't take a pair of fingernail clippers on an airplane, but they'll sell every adult passenger a tasty beer in a potential weapon. Am I missing something here?

I don't know about you, but if someone's going to hold a sharp instrument to my throat I would prefer the dull butter knife or the fingernail clippers, thank you very much.

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