Monday, October 22, 2007

Madness in the Air

This evening I board a flight for London and, as always when contemplating such aeronautical ventures, my suppressed fury at the inanity of the so-called security measures boils over.
For many years my office was at the sharp end of one of these people carrying tin tubes where I was a sort of superannuated bus driver.
It might give much consolation to know that not only you, the fare paying passenger, but also your crew have been subjected to the same idiotic and time wasting procedures that authority deem are for your safety.
Not only you but your captain will have been deprived of their nail clippers for a start. I have searched most diligently the records and have been unable to find an instance of nail clippers having been used as an offensive weapon, not only in flight, but even on the ground.
And safety razors are incapable of giving you more than a nick, and that's if you try very hard.
So your captain is unable to trim his nails in flight or even have a quick shave. Teeth cleaning is also verboten, the explosive properties of Macleans dentifrice being a well documented hazard according to Big Brother. And don't even mention shampoo – unless of course you put it in a plastic bag sold to you conveniently at your departure point for a few hundred per cent profit. The explosive retaining power of polythene is well known.
But now, gentle reader, follow me on to the flight deck, secure in the knowledge that your captain's shoes have been irradiated to prove he has not absent-mindedly filled them with high explosive.
You, the passengers are now strapped in your seat and, as is the custom, ignoring the safety procedures being demonstrated to you along with the fasten seat belt sign. You are defenceless, authority having removed that old ladies pair of scissors that she tried to smuggle on so she could do her needle work, a cunning ploy if ever there was one.
But up ahead of you, behind that locked and armoured door, is your captain. Nail clipper less, razor less, deprived of his toothpaste and shampoo but far from impotent.
For stored on the bulkhead just behind his head is a vital piece of equipment without which the flight cannot leave.
It is a very substantial crash axe, designed for chopping through the side of the fuselage in an emergency.
So next time you go through security , I suggest you carry one of these. When arrested, you can point out that there's one on board already.
I would do the same this evening but I have an appointment to keep.
Let me know how you get on.


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