Thursday, August 24, 2006

The One Percent Fruit Juice Doctrine

by Tom Bozzo

Some of you have surely seen this brilliant post from Kung Fu Monkey (via Dean Dad or other sources, h/t also to Tom C. from NYC) showing just how low Bushism has taken us since the Greatest Generation. Quotes of money:
FDR: Oh, I'm sorry, was wiping out our entire Pacific [battleship] fleet supposed to intimidate us? We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and right now we're coming to kick your ass with brand new destroyers riveted by waitresses. How's that going to feel?
US. NOW: BE AFRAID!! Oh God, the Brown Bad people could strike any moment! They could strike ... NOW!! AHHHH. Okay, how about .. NOW!! AAGAGAHAHAHHAG! Quick, do whatever we tell you, and believe whatever we tell you, or YOU WILL BE KILLED BY BROWN PEOPLE!! PUT DOWN THAT SIPPY CUP!!
Traveling as we just were with two small children (the elder of whom doesn't exactly enjoy flying) and two empty sippy cups, the mind can wander into trying to locate brighter sides of the whole stinkin' mess. That doesn't count dreaming that someone might respond by locating the money needed to build a high-speed rail corridor from NYC to Minneapolis via Madison, the thought of which crossed our minds yesterday evening as we watched an Acela Express pull into the Wilmington train station while we were having drinks nearby.

The main positive externalities, IMHO, derive from a dramatic reduction in carry-on baggage following the liquids ban. This in turn speeds travel through security checkpoints as well as loading and unloading of aircraft. Some additional preservation-of-civil-society benefits arise as the marginal carry-on no longer needs to be checked at the aircraft door, and there's less risk of being clobbered by a roller bag fumble.

So at PHL, where after five freakin' years the enhanced Terminal E checkpoint still looks like an afterthought, the screening line this morning was unsurprisingly long but moved along at more than double the speed of similarly long lines of post-9/11 yore.

As we approached the checkpoint wall, I noticed that a word or two had been blacked out in the liquids-ban notice: upon close inspection, they turned out to be "or juice." As in, juice for infants or small children — one of the few exceptions to the initial ban, along with human milk and infant formula — is no longer permitted. At the time, I said something like, "I'd like to have been a fly on the wall in that meeting, to discuss the sippy cup threat," which later signage suggested might have come close to the civilly and/or criminally punishable joking about security threats in line. But upon reflection, this almost makes sense, as the definition of "small children" otherwise could easily make for some testy checkpoint moments.

That didn't stop us from having a testy checkpoint moment. Julia seemed put out by having to have her shoes taken off (no exceptions to shoe removal for toddler sneaks), but as she and Suzanne were about to head through the magnetometer, the TSA screener staffing it ordered that Julia's "baby" (a plush Red Riding Hood-like doll) had to be X-rayed along with the shoes.

Julia must have sort-of understood, because her grip on the baby tightened immediately; while she's pretty good about dropping it in her crib on request, she just gripped it closer when Suzanne asked her for it.

It took a good yank to separate Julia and the baby — and with no crying, fussing, or for that matter the slightest peep, Julia removed her pacifier and whipped it at the screener at the input end of the X-ray machine, who was startled out of some chit-chat about screener social lives, much to the delight of every other TSA employee in sight who evidently got the Big Laff of the shift.

It's such a relief to know that the homeland is well-defended against the toddler threat.

But it's good to be home, yes?
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?