why blog?

not because I got an interesting new job (standardized patient)

not because I started writing a guide (scroll down) to the Israel-Palestine conflict

not because I saw the last episode of the Sopranos without ever seeing it before

not because I went to Boston and heard crazy news (George is engaged!) or saw wonderful people (happy birthday, Mom, enjoy that extra cheesecake)

not because I went to New York and heard crazy news (oh Louisa!) or saw wonderful people (all yall)

not because we had a great meeting with synagogue folks to theorize prayer

not because of all the random articles online that I bookmark in order to remember to share

...no, I save my writing for petty ludicrous hijinx:

Yesterday I flew from Boston to Philly. I packed a big backpack just about solid with books and clothes from the mothership (Forest Street) and my usual courier with the current book and calendar and water and (gasp) mesh pouch of sundry hygiene items. Nothing over 3oz, 4 tiny bottles total. I get to the TSA gauntlet, and feign naivete when the 7-foot-tall inquisitor guy asks me if I have a Ziploc baggie. In my mind, this should be appropriately copyright-tagged: "Ziploc brand resealable plastic storage bag."

I have no baggie. He says I can dump my stuff (perfume! no.) or go out to the newsstand, where they sell "Ziploc baggies" for 35 cents. I note the lack of people in line, exit the TSA danger zone, buy my baggie. My mother laughs at me. I reload, stowing the hazardous teeny-Tom's-of-Maine in a few microns of crisp plastic, sealing up those menacing eyedrops, and hustle through the gauntlet. Mr Inquisitor ignores me, now "wanding" a hapless teenage droneboy with a suitcaseful of trashy Tom Clancys and nondescript garb.

Sparing you the details of a plane-hop (though it must be asked, what makes these pretzels 'gourmet'?) and train-slog homewards, I arrive at my front porch in West Philly, fumble archetypically with my keys, and realize:

On the keychain is my 2" folding pocketknife, slim, classy, and razor-sharp. That little beauty went through a scanner twice without notice, and, as Laurel commented, "could definitely kill someone."

1 comment:

GoodGoodman said...

This bothers me to no end. But I don't know what to do about it. Why is plane security so utterly susceptible to dramatic tactical changes? Before it was handguns and drugs. Then people realized letter openers and nail clippers posed a threat. Then the shoe bomber came along. Liquid is dangerous now.

As each new threat arrives, the other sdisintegrate into the background. It's kind of like the false notion that so many movies present of the future; EVERYTHING will be replaced, from cars to buildings to eyeglasses, as if all is absolute. Grr.