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Have a Nice Flight
by Tom Speropulos

Our post 9/11 world with exploding shoes, underwear, and who knows what’s next, has made traveling, in particular air travel, fraught with more hazards than ever before in our lifetimes.

Entering any airport security area now, we routinely take off our shoes; empty our pockets, remove our belts, place all of our belongings in plain view, and place everything we hold dear in 3 ounce containers. Next, we are patted, scanned, pressed and blocked before we are allowed to penetrate the "ok”, you're not a terrorist" zone. Full body scans are here, therefore you folks with hide-a-keys need to find a new place to put them.

Of course, there's always a chance some evil doer has slipped through the security screening disguised as a nere-do-well innocent, and we are all blown to smithereens by an IED hidden in their surgically enlarged nasal cavity.

Further, if that ever does occur, everyone with a nose larger than a grape would be profiled and have to withstand a nasal cavity pat down and forced to blow into a hanky. Personally, coming from a big-nosed Greek family, most everyone in my family (including or especially grandma) has a mustache and fits into that Looney Tunes version of terrorists TSA folks keep in their minds when screening the public. I know, I know. The TSA folks state they don't profile. However, I have heard that before and is usually followed by "We don't profile, sir, but please come with us".

Therefore, I am apprehensive for me, and my fellow large-nosed passengers, being caught in a wave of patriotic frenzy by inspectors, as they gleefully subject us to unjustified nose humiliation. "Please, sir, blow into this hanky, and keep your nose where we can see it".

Even worse, is my poor Uncle George who suffers from double jeopardy since he had his hip joint replaced with a titanium one. Now, whenever he passes though airport security, he lights up the scanners like a Macy’s Christmas tree with lights and buzzers flashing throughout the terminal giving off the appearance he’s just won the jackpot on a Las Vegas slot machine. Then, after the commotion dies down and the defibrillators are put away, he must endure the nose blow and a virtual proctology exam before he is allowed to enter.

The irony is, even with all of these check points and my personal concerns for privacy, my overriding paranoia keeps me suspicious of my fellow passengers, and I remain so until we have safely landed and deplaned. “Did you see the guy in seat 32B? He had a pencil and I swear he was talking into the eraser head in tongues. I think we need to alert the pilot..."

Have a nice flight everyone, you may now safely tie your shoes.