Traveling at Christmas has always been a bit of a crap-shoot; you knew that there were high odds that there would be delays and line-ups at the ticket counter and through the security and so you had to remember all your Zen-training and deep breathing techniques to combat the high-stresses of Christmas travel.
I was in Lacombe, Alberta visiting family for Christmas and flew in from Montreal on WestJet, which was fine…no waits, everything was smooth…the only worry was when the stewardess welcomed us aboard and introduced herself and the other members of the flight crew, the other steward was her Ex-Husband! She said, don’t worry we still get along! Then she introduced her other stewardess co-worker who was her Ex-Mother in Law! Oh My, I thought, this could be a long flight!
Leaving from Edmonton on the way home was a different story as far as airport security goes because it was on Christmas day that this crazy kid from Nigeria, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight by igniting some explosives that he had sewn into his gonch! WTF! It’s Christmas and this loser has nothing better to do than to try and harm innocent people? Well this was all over the news on Christmas how this guy had burned himself and was stopped by other passengers when he had been locked in the bathroom for an hour trying to rip open his undies and mix some sort of explosive cocktail…how sad!
Anyway so suddenly the airlines are all freaked out and airport security is suddenly back on the front burner and so everyone was warned to expect longer than normal delays…so I took my car rental back to Enterprise at the Park n’ Fly in Leduc and got to the Edmonton Airport at around 6:30 AM for my 8 AM flight and the airport was packed like a ticket line-up for an Oprah Winfrey show or the Harry Potter new movie! The line-up to the WestJet ticket counter snaked all over the main concourse like a huge seething parade of wary travelers trying to get home.At the security counter it took about 60 minutes to get to the front of the line, and lucky for me this was a flight from Edmonton to Montreal and not into the US or another country, apparently they were telling people not to have any carry-on luggage on International flights…OMG where would I store the Christmas Cake??
So the new heightened security levels mean that people are being patted down and their bags are undergoing a more stringent and rigorous inspection. The couple ahead of me were heading back to Saskatchewan after they had been in Grande Prairie visiting friends and were anxious to get back for a senior’s curling tourney. They must have been 70 years old and of course the security gaurds decided that she looked like she needed a thorough patting down so she was pulled aside by some guy looking like Stephan Segall the LawMan! A lady cop came over and patted-her down…now maybe it’s just me but this old couple looked as dangerous as puppy at a dog show! How did this Nigerian kid get through security with explosives?? It makes no sense that because of this they start strip-searching grandmas!!
Apparently the CIA had been warned by the FATHER of Abdulmutallab that the kid was nuttier than a fruit cake…and he paid CASH for his ticket from Amsterdam…and then strolls through security with powdered blow-up dust packed into the seams of his boxer shorts! Instead of zapping our seniors curling team members with Tazers why not just grab the obvious nut-bars like this Umar Farouk? If a father calling the CIA isn’t a red flag then I don’t know what is!!Ok…so maybe the old lady from Saskatchewan had a little bulge at her waist but for Goodness Sakes that was her “Depends” Adult Diaper that needed changing!
So because of stupid lapses in intelligence like this we have to suffer through tougher and tougher security procedures to get onto our airplanes! Hey…I’m all for having extra precatautions to keep terrorists off our planes and out of our country and if we need to increase security then so be it…strap-on those rubber gloves and strip everyone! And what’s even more gonzo is that the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union, is saying that these extra securities are Anti-American and UN-Constitutional because they infringe on people’s freedoms! WTF! The freedom for radical morons to kill people?
I think that what will be coming soon is that there will be NO carry-on luggage at all allowed on any flights and passengers will be forced to strip and wear little “doctor office gowns” on the airplane. Yep…I can see a day when we will all be wearing those little backless green hospital gowns on the airplane after having succumbed to a full x-ray and cavity search by robots and sniffer dogs.
But even that will not be 100% fool-proof because some whack-job will probably still get on a plane with undetectable radioactive plastic explosives injected into his kneecaps that detonates when he rubs his thighs together! Is there no way to avoid these mental defectives??
It really makes me think that driving everywhere is one of the best options for getting somewhere because I can wear my plaid pants, sing along to System of a Down and stop for box of Timbits and a Large Double Double when I want…can’t do that at 36,000 feet!