Fly United

I drove all the way down here to the land of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Key Deer.

I wanted to fly.

1,780 road miles it is from North Puffin to South. 2,000 or more frequent flier miles.

I wanted to fly.

I hate to fly.

Cicero taught us “A bureaucrat is the most despicable of men, though he is needed as vultures are needed, but one hardly admires vultures whom bureaucrats so strangely resemble.”

55-year-old Olga Bezmelnitsyna and 41-year-old Sergei Gorlov (called “a middle-aged couple” in the report) were fined £500 for outraging public decency after a series of incidents on a 12-hour flight from Brazil to London. The cabin crew received complaints from passengers about the pair and found Bezmelnitsyna face down in her companion’s lap. Despite being warned she was caught later in the flight with her hand on his groin with his trousers unzipped. I guess she wasn’t done.

Jeezum, all they needed was a blanket.

And a 44-year old man and his 39-year-old female partner (also called “a middle-aged couple” on the radio) were arrested upon landing in north Queensland. The Jetstar cabin crew said they found the pair together in the plane’s toilet and that the man “became abusive to staff after they were discovered.” I guess he wasn’t finished, either. He was charged with disorderly conduct on an aircraft but his partner was merely fined.

This is all because airlines stopped giving out blankets.

The news was all atwitter about the Alec Baldwin/American Airlines kerfuffle last week. No other sex to report, I guess.

No, I made that up, mostly because he tweeted about it after the fact.

“I have yet to meet a bureaucrat who was not petty, dull, almost witless, crafty or stupid, an oppressor or a thief, a holder of little authority in which he delights, as a boy delights in possessing a vicious dog,” Cicero wrote.

The AA fiasco began with a celebrity using a mobile device to play Words With Friends. He was on an airplane. I presume the Friends were not. The cabin doors closed, and the passengers were asked to turn off all electronic devices. Mr. Baldwin refused. He acted the ass. I understand that.

One passenger told the reporter that the other passengers were all Tweeting about Mr. Baldwin’s ejection for … Tweeting. “The flight attendants didn’t threaten to eject the rest of them.” he said.

Ah hah! Bureaucrats in the skies!

Lenore Zimmerman, an 84-, 85-, or 95-year-old woman on her way to Fort Lauderdale, said she was strip searched in New York after she asked to be patted down instead of going through a body scanner because she worried it would interfere with her defibrillator. She said she was taken to a private room and made to take off her pants and other clothes. She missed her flight and had to take one 2-1/2 hours later, she said.

TSA said in a statement that no strip search was conducted. “While we regret that the passenger feels she had an unpleasant screening experience, TSA does not include strip searches as part of our security protocols and one was not conducted in this case.”

I think they found her diaper.

Somebody is lying. I suspect TSA.

And a second granny — 88-year old Ruth Sherman — says she was strip-searched at JFK. She said screeners at JetBlue took her to a private area to check the bulge caused by her colostomy bag. Linda Kallish, in her 60s, also came forward with a nearly identical story.

TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein would not provide the agency’s definition of a strip search. “It depends,” she said.

People who believe the TSA have baptized themselves in the Kool-Aid™. We’re willing to let some stranger stop and search us under the presumption of guilt simply because we travel. They “randomly” select us — or they sort of search all of us — on the off chance they might catch a bad guy.

That’s why we call it “fishing” instead of “catching.”

Back in the old days, I flew to South Puffin on a one-way ticket. I had my pony tail, computer bag, and I checked my “brown cardboard suitcase” (a heavy IBM server shipping box that carried everything I needed down here including a full size cooler). The bureaucrats “randomly” selected that box and me for added scrutiny.

That was the right thing to do.

When they spent their time on the grannies, they missed the wife beater, the smuggler, the embezzler, and father stabber. Father rapers. Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me. And they was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the bench next to me.1

“Bureaucracy is the epoxy that greases the wheels of progress.” wrote Dr. Jim Boren.

Actually, I rather like to fly. I just hate to fly with the people who grease the wheels. And Mr. Baldwin.

3 thoughts on “Fly United

  1. I am, by nature, a man prone to energetic sexuality — and prone is my best position for recovery; however, on my last trip to Europe via Lufthansa’s long, northern-arc route, the urge to have sex did not wave over me, even though both Mrs George and myself had blankets. Probably it was because I sat next to a stoutish woman in strict Muslim garb. I use the word “strict” because she had her face covered, which means that I’m actually assuming she was a woman.

    She occupied the aisle seat, and I arose three times for visits to the lav because I was enjoying the drinks. She never partook of beverage or left her seat for relief the entire flight. However, this admirable show of temperance and self-control did not preclude her expelling copious amounts of gas.

    I speak and understand German; and so did the man sitting behind me. I know that for a fact because I heard him say, (loosely translated) “Somebody crapped their pants.”

    Such as that takes the edge off of flying united.

    — George

  2. The story with the First Old Lady I’ve since read is that she was wearing a back brace and the TSA thought it was a money belt. She should have taken a cue from my mom who never travelled to Israel without her custom home-made Money Bra.

    I know, I always had to help her put it on the mornings we’d be picked up for the trip to JFK.

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