here, there, everywhere

No SUVs Please

In At home on July 5, 2007 at 5:18 am

After last week’s attempt to blow up the airport in Glasgow, I wonder what extreme measures airports in The West will take to avoid such further attempts.  I’ll bet they ban people arriving at the airport in SUVs because those SUVs might be loaded with explosives.  If terrorists did that before, they are probably uninventive and bored enough to try doing the same thing again.

I loved the shoe bomber guy from a couple years back.  He tried lighting his shoes up to take the plane down, so it follows that we all have to remove our shoes at the airport now because hey, we saw him try it, why don’t we give it a shot?

When I was flying back to Vancouver from Toronto a few weeks ago, the screener guy tried to take my bottle of suntan lotion out of my carry-on because the bottle could hold more than 100ml.  I asked him to shake it around and tell me if more than 100ml was actually in there because I had been using it.  He let me take it on the plane.

Contrast this with airport security in Damascus and Abu Dhabi where it took less than 10 seconds to clear the gates.  No dusting of my laptop, no removal of shoes, belt, underwire bra.  In Damascus the security guy did remove the batteries from my camera and put them in a separate part of my purse than the camera LIKE I’M NOT GOING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO REUNITE THEM.  And as I was passing the screener guy in Abu Dhabi, I did notice that he was actively picking his nose and looking everywhere but the x-ray screen.  OK, I’m cool with that, he’s probably been doing this for awhile and has an idea of what he’s about.  And it is pretty funny watching a guy pick his nose with that much vigour in public.  Then vigilante passenger dude passes through security and sees what I see except he gets his knickers all in a knot.  He takes it upon himself to stand in the middle of a very busy and crowded gate to make loud ‘guffaws’ and ‘what the?????s’ before calling over a security guard to complain and criticize the apparent lack of concern Abu Dhabi has for our personal safety.  I felt like knocking him on the head and telling him that 200 people might watch him raise a ruckus, freak out and start a bigger one.  And it takes forever to clear security in Heathrow, a royal pain in the ass, so why not thank your lucky stars that finally you don’t have to strip, open all your carry-on junk just to repack it, eat your deodorant sticks and drink your contact solution?

And guess what???  None of these planes fell out of the sky!!!!!!!!!

All this is to say that people in the west are learning how to live in a perpetually paranoid state about airline travel and personal safety.  I do not claim to know anything at all about how airport security is handled from country to country, but it looks like in the past few years any new security measures appear to be largely reactionary instead of prevention-ary (is that even a word?)  That is why I recommend no more SUVs within 1000m of an airport.

P.S.  Why didn’t they think of backing a Pinto up into the airport at full speed instead?

P.S.2 And what’s up with plastic knives and metal forks?  I can’t hurt you by repeatedly poking you in the eye with my metal fork??

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