In the wake of the attempted terrorist attack aboard a Detroit-bound Northwest flight from Amsterdam last week, the Transportation Security Administration has outlined new measures for air travel, including requiring all passengers to remain in their seats for the last hour of the flight. I find this especially troubling, as I have the bladder of a 5-year-old and typically make more trips to the airplane's lavatory than a bleacher bum at Yankee Stadium. And when ya gotta go, ya gotta go...
I'm not exactly sure who makes the "Depends" brand adult diapers, but now might be a great time to buy their stock, for I'm sure I'm not the only traveller contemplating slipping one on for extra peace of mind. I'm not joking. Just consider for a moment all those flights you've had where, just as you thought you were about to land, the pilot announces several rounds of "circling" due to inclement weather, ground traffic or unavailable gates. Startin' to squirm already, aren't ya. Under these situations the "I-ain't-gonna-get-to-pee-for-an-hour" rule turns into something much more problematic. Especially to those of you who like your 30,000 foot hops and barleys. Imagine a whole plane-full of cranky, belligerent grown-ups whining about how badly they have to pee. Or even worse (if ya know what I mean...).
And if that wasn't enough, we won't be able to have personal items in our laps during this last hour either. No laptops? No iPods? Books? Magazines? Portable DVD player? Seriously, if I have to fly with my 6-year-old without the DVD player, well, I ain't flying. I often say Bill Gates, Jonas Salk and the Wright Brothers have nothing on the person who invented that thing. So, now what we do for the last hour, talk the person next to us? You mean we actually have to engage them now in idle chit chat as our bladders are about to explode like water balloons tossed off a roof? Train travel is starting to get infinitely more appealing.
To be sure, there's gotta be a better way of keeping our citizens safe from terrorists and their attempts to blow shit up. (By the way, these Muslim extremist virgin-seekers aren't exactly the brightest bulbs in the Jihad. Between shoe-bomber Richard Reid and Thursday's genius Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (who had the highly explosive substance PETN taped to his leg), these guys are so inept they often can't seem to blow up anything but themselves. And the guys who actually did cause catastrophic death and disaster--the 9/11 attackers--likely wouldn't have succeeded either with their highly sophisticated box-cutters had it not been for an America and an airline industry that was asleep at the wheel). How about spending more time and money screening the bastards who are actually trying to kill us and leave the 2-year-olds and blue-haired grannies alone? I swear, if I see one more 90-year-old being frisked like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed I think I'm gonna scream. Especially when monsters like Abdulmutallab, who are on government watchlists for being known or suspected terrorists, are not pulled out of the security lines, subjected to thorough searches and interrogations, and yanked off flights.
One thing's certain: we need to stop being so damned politically correct in this country and stop wasting time on old white people and little kids just so we can't be accused of racial profiling. America can learn a lesson from the Israelis, who only care about keeping its citizens safe, even if they have to hurt a few feelings in the process.
On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We're a 501 c 3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my late wife's honor, and with a simple mission: supporting women filmmakers. Adrienne, who wrote, directed and starred in the hit film WAITRESS, was killed November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds, screenwriting fellowships and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; IFP; the Nantucket Film Festival; the Tribeca Film Institute; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Please click here to make a donation. Thank you.