The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Checked and Ready for Boarding

Posted on | June 26, 2023 | 1 Comment

Remember the “Shoe Bomber”? In December 2001, would-be terrorist Richard Reid was aboard an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami when he failed in an attempt to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his shoes. Because of this botched terrorist attack, all commercial airline passengers to this day are required to remove their shoes and send them through the X-ray scanners before boarding their flights.

More than 20 years have gone by, and if this safety protocol has apprehended or deterred a single copycat “shoe bomber,” I’m unaware of it, but it keeps TSA busy, on the taxpayer’s dime, inspecting us all just to make sure we aren’t some kind of Al-Qaeda sympathizer.

There’s lots of time to ponder things like that, here at the Firkin and Flyer Pub in Concourse C, as my wife and I await the call for boarding. What I hate most about flying nowadays is the security protocols. I’m old enough to remember when you just went straight to the terminal gate — no waiting line for security — and your family could meet you at the gate when you returned. But now any airline trip requires you calculate not only the drive time to the airport (leaving a margin for possible traffic delays), but also leave yourself a little extra time in case there’s a backup at security. You don’t want to be sprinting to the gate at the last minute for fear of missing your flight, and so the total time required for any trip must be extended to account for such contingencies.

Thank you, Islamic jihadists!

Just popped into this pub to update the blog before our departure, and also to consume my traditional pre-flight beverage, which cost $10.89 and I tipped $2.11 to round it up to $13, but that’s OK, because it’s a tax-deductible business expense. As a journalist, anything you write about counts as “business,” so by telling my readers that the Firkin and Flyer serves a tasty Bloody Mary, I’ve covered myself with the IRS, and I’ve got the receipt to prove it. Meanwhile, I must express my gratitude to Mr. White, a resident of Cook County, Illinois, who was the first reader this morning to contribute via PayPal in support of this expedition to Alaska.

Are you feeling thirsty all of a sudden? You could order Bloody Mary mix from Amazon, but as to the vodka, you’re on your own. Now, it’s about 15 minutes until boarding, so I’ve got to head to my gate. Remember the Five Most Important Words in the English Language:





One Response to “Checked and Ready for Boarding”

  1. Missing Children | okrahead
    June 26th, 2023 @ 11:01 pm