Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Take Off, Eh
I had been lucky to have been let on the flight at all. Left over from the days when I had a job that required be to carry the equivalent of an entire desk around with me everywhere, there was a pair of forgotten scissors in that very bag. As I reached to take it off the conveyor belt at security check-in the guard slammed her hand down on it.
“Sir, there are scissors in this bag. Can you show them to me?” Her eyes were firmly fixed on mine.
I know that not too long ago this might have been the reason to hold me for hours, and I calmly slipped into calm panic mode, where my voice gets all placid and serene while my mind fires off ten thousand non-sequiturial thoughts at the same time (Did I turn the coffee maker off?). I rifled through the bag, unsure of where I had left them months ago. I resisted the urge to say something like Well if I can’t find them, I can’t be too much of a security risk. I have found that people with supreme power don’t appreciate the questioning of their authority. I learned that when I was nineteen with a West German border guard (way back when the was a country called West Germany). You don’t need the story, but take it from me that the lesson was learned very, very well.
Once I had finally located them, the lecture began: I could still be charged. I have to be aware of what I’m doing. Did I leave my bag unattended for even a microsecond? I must learn to be a more responsible traveller. All the while, I hung my head contritely. I had no objection when she told me she would have to confiscate them. The scissors I bought at the dollar store?! Shriek!
I’m very glad for airport security, although it’s a great pity that a single pair of scissors could cause such uproar. I also suspect that if my eyes were brown instead of green or if my last name began with “El-” or “Al-” or had a “q” or two unaccompanied by a “u”, my treatment at the hands of the airport security guard for an innocent pair of scissors might have been quite different. What a world we have been born into.
And so here I am in the house in which I grew up. My old bedroom has become the computer room. My parents like spongey mattresses that give me a backache. I can’t get into my comments for some reason on this computer so I am temporarily mute. I have been stuffed with good food and good cheer. I sit typing in my former bedroom, looking out the window at Winnipeg’s beautiful, enormous elms and I remember why I used to think I would never leave this city.
***UPDATE - I am not totally mute. All I have to do is "edit" the comments from the Haloscan homepage***
| | Link