more on airport security

August 11, 2006

I’m surprised that none of the security experts seem have thought of asking passengers about to board a plane ‘Do you have any bomb-making equipment or explosives in your hand-luggage?’. Rather on the lines of the question that is on the application for US visas:

“Do you seek to enter the United States to engage in subversive or terrorist activities, or any other unlawful purpose? Are you a member or representative of a terrorist organization as currently designated by the U.S. Secretary of State? Have you ever participated in persecutions directed by the Nazi government of Germany; or have you ever participated in genocide?” (a YES answer does not automatically signify ineligibility for a visa)

‘Yes, my name is Pol Pot and I am planning to blow up the White House’. ‘Welcome to the United States of America, Sir.’

(I was once on a plane waiting to take off from Heathrow sitting next to a Sri Lankan doctor, when a security official asked to see his passport. The official’s subsequent questions were: ‘Sri Lankan, eh- not one of those Tamil Tigers are we Sir? Good. Any other terrorist organization? That’s alright then.’ This, unlike most of the stuff on my blog is perfectly true).

Actually, on my last visit to the US I was most frightened by the airport signs that said ‘NO JOKING’. This was a while ago so no doubt they have been upgraded to ‘Don’t even think of joking. It is a punishable offence to commit any of the following: jest, witticism, quip,pleasantry; pun, play on words; shaggy-dog story, old chestnut, double entendre, gag, wisecrack, crack, one-liner, rib-tickler, knee-slapper, thigh-slapper. It is also an offence to laugh, chuckle, chortle, guffaw, giggle, titter, snigger, snicker, cackle, howl, smirk, grin, smile, hoot, split one’s sides, crease up, fall about, crack up, be in stitches, be rolling in the aisles, laugh like a drain,
bust a gut, break up.”


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