September 27, 2001

"Today's top news story--curbside check-in!" That was the big news story this morning as I got ready for work. We had an early meeting this morning so I was up at 5:45 watching regular news instead of the Today show. I saw the story about 3 times during the hour it took me to get out of the house.

Curbside check-in has been authorized to resume at SFO and people seemed pretty darned excited about it. Actually, the interviews with people at the airport were of people saying how disappointed they were that it wasn't happening yet today and how much they missed it. But apparently it's coming back.

Who would have ever imagined a day when curbside check-in at the airport would be the lead news story of the day? I don't know if I should laugh mockingly that this is the best they can do for news today, be grateful that this is the best they can do for news today, or be appalled that suddenly anything related to the terrorist attacks of two weeks ago is big news, no matter how trivial.

Then there's the part of my mind that wonders if they x-ray our checked baggage. I never really thought about it before. It would be easy to put a bomb in a bag set to explode while you're in the air. I suppose they must x-ray it. I find it a little disturbing that this is something I never thought about before and a little disturbing that I have to think about it now.

They also said on the news this morning that if you're flying, make sure you don't bring scissors in your carry-on. I heard somewhere else that you're not even supposed to have tweezers or fingernail clippers. An anti-terrorist person I heard said even pens can be used as a weapon. I imagine us being brought onto a plane, no carry-ons, no books, no purses, they sit us down and tie us up for the duration of the flight. After all, our fists, teeth, fingernails, legs--all are weapons. I suppose they couldn't get away with that--how would we put on our floatation devices in the case of a water landing?

I'm all for more careful control of what gets on a plane; I think I'd be thrown out of the country as un-American if I said otherwise. But there's a point at which it reaches a level of ridiculousness. If someone really wants to get on a plane with a weapon, they'll figure out a weapon and a way of getting it on that will work. I heard they stopped serving meals on planes because they have to give you plastic utensils. I suppose even the trays could be used to hit someone with. We have to figure out to what degree we're going to allow our way of life to be affected.

Curbside check-in, the ability to tweeze at will, the joy of eating a terrible airplane meal--all are basic parts of our life that probably should be let take their natural course. There's no real reason to stop any of them that I can see. I don't know that the announcement that nail clippers will now be allowed on domestic flights needs to be a special news bulletin, but let us have our little pleasures.

Posted by Alyssa at September 27, 2001 02:05 PM
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