Just as I was thinking that my biggest fear of flying was exploding underwear.
How we don’t go insane given the onslaught of headlines of threats to our well-being, I haven’t got a clue.
Long after the underwear bomber accidentally (one would presume) torched his crotch, it’s been one thing after another.
We are given the impression that leaving our cell phone, iPad, Kindle, Garmin, or battery-operated Margarita-loaded portable blender in the ON position while flying will kill us all.
Or, apparently not, as many (most?) of us don’t even bother to. Turn them off, that is, as directed by the on-board flight authorities.
Recent news reports provide—not so surprisingly if you have flown lately—significant statistics that many of us “accidently” forget to do so.
Clearly, it is by accident, like the guy in 3C is accidently talking on this phone as we are in the air, or the gal in 5A is accidently checking her latest Facebook posting, or the kid in 4B is accidently texting.
(Oh, I know that my blender is not turned off, but, hey, you expect me to wait until the drink service gets rolling down the aisle?)
Even scarier is the latest not so comforting news that anyone can buy a computer printer for home use that creates 3-D objects, such as a plastic gun that fires real bullets. Well, at least those airport metal detectors keep catching that lint-covered loose change in the bottom of my pocket.
As to the whole issue of our safety in public places, according to a story in Vanity Fair, “one of America’s top security experts” on the subject, claims that,
“…the great bulk of the post-9/11 measures to contain [the threat] are little more than…security theater”
Well, funny he should use the term “security theater.” And by funny, I mean not so much, if you are the one sitting next to guy with his underpants on fire, on the verge of going thermonuclear.
And, it comes out that our aural security has even come under jeopardy while flying. Last month, an American Airlines plane had to make an “emergency” landing due to some woman doing an apparently painful to the passengers version of a Whitney Houston song.
(The YouTube video is posted below.)
Ironically, as the law enforcement personnel were escorting out the wannabe soul singer, the flight attendant made an announcement over the PA,
“No photos are allowed to be taken on the aircraft.”
Well, while people are packing printed plastic guns and “forgetting” to turn off their electronic interference generating devices, at least I am safe from someone snapping a picture of me scratching in places that the wife-person only tolerates from good looking, highly compensated, well equipped professional baseball players as seen on national television.
Speaking of the wife-person and baseball, we occasionally attend sporting events—Go Giants!—and since 9-11, it is not uncommon to get “wanded” by “security personnel” as we enter the event.
The funny thing here is that there is something fishy about the whole, “we’re wanding you to make you safe” routine, and by funny, I mean I am pretty sure it is fake.
First, I noticed the “wanders” were fairly inconsistent on how much they wanded, and to whom. The guys with the highly sensitive electronic portable metal detectors seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time wanding the good looking women, and seemed especially concerned that something interesting might be hidden behind those protruding upper body undergarments.
And second, when I got wanded while I was carrying enough metal objects to fashion an anchor—think keys, binoculars, flask (of course), and lint-covered loose change—their highly sensitive electronic portable metal detectors made nary a peep.
It was almost as if they were just bit players in some kabuki security theater.
But, in reality I actually do feel relatively safe when I am out in public, whether flying at 32,00 feet or at a local ballgame.
Why, you might ask? Well, I guess it’s partially because I view it based on my vast knowledge, gained through my advanced college degree earned at the University of California at Berkeley, during my study of differential calculus.
I just calculate that it will probably happen to someone different than me.
That, and those multiple Absolut® Bloody Mary’s.