Thursday, October 26, 2006

Terrorist Shampoo Airline Action

Apparently I am completely out of touch with what is going on in the world these days. I'm not quite certain how that happened. Perhaps I blinked. Maybe I have been avoiding. But it is critical that I share this information with you. Perhaps you already know because you have not blinked and you have not been avoiding. Nevertheless it is important enough worth repeating.

Moments ago I was sitting at my desk when I received a call from an attorney I work for who was at her home packing for a trip she is taking out of town. She explained that due to an aggressive cat family that has moved in outside of her house she was unable to travel past the sliding glass door to her computer to look up the answer to several questions about her trip. Not wanting to cause tension between her and the aggressive cat family she thought she would call me at the office for assistance instead.

Given my employment situation this seemed perfectly reasonable so I asked her how I could help. She wanted to know what liquid or liquid-like items she would be permitted to carry on to the airplane. I did not quite understand her question and explained that I was quite perplexed. She informed me that there have been new regulations outlining what liquid and liquid-like items were permissible to pack in one's carry on luggage.

I was shocked. But I soon discovered that this was not a practical joke. It took no more than a quick Google search to determine that she was in fact correct and I was completely out of touch with this vital newsworthy news. It would appear that there is some great fear by the TSA with respect to liquid and liquid-like items carried on to an airplane.

After hearing about these new regulations I realized how fortunate I am that the attorney was traveling and that the aggressive cat family prohibited her from walking past her sliding glass door and discovering the answer to her own question. What might have happened if I boarded an airplane in the near future without this vital information. I could certainly imagine carrying four ounces of Bert's Bee's shampoo which would have been far outside of the allowable three ounce limit. And what horrors might have I have endured if I brought a full tube of Tom's of Maine wintermint toothpaste in my carry on luggage. I shudder to think. Perhaps I would have been transported to Guantanimo as a suspected terrorist. Not even my legal connections would have been able to assist me under such circumstances. And given the Terrorism Detainee Bill I might never have been heard from again. Thanks Liza!

So yes. Thankfully the attorney is traveling and she thought it wise to contact me. I owe her my life and liberty. And I strongly urge you to visit the TSA Permitted and Prohibited Liquid and Liquid-Like Item Site and memorize it immediately. I would hate for any of you to be executed for traveling with too much conditioner. Even if you do have excessively dry hair.

I will not relay all of the points on the TSA site for you. However I will provide you with some of the more important points to consider. Because I care. So here we go. Please take notes. Bookmark this page. Do whatever you must but please oh PLEASE do not fuck this up. Your life and liberty may depend on it.

First it is IMPERITIVE that no liquid or liquid-like product be in a container larger than three ounces. This is grounds for immediate deportation to a country located in the Axis of Evil. The TSA website actually refers to these products as "liquids, gels and aerosols" if you are not certain whether your product falls into the LG and A category or not I highly recommend you assume that it does for your own safety.

Second. You should know that all of your LG and A toiletry products must fit "comfortably" in a one quart zip top clear plastic bag. I for one am quite pleased that TSA is concered with the comfort of toiletry products. Someone must be looking out for their welfare and civil rights. It is unacceptable to cram one's toiletry products and cause it discomfort. Please keep in mind that the United States of America will not accept mistreatment of toiletry products. Power to the people!

Third. For those of you concerned about packing products of a more sensitive nature you should know that TSA respects and understands your concerns. Therefore travelers are permitted to carry as MUCH KY Jelly as they deem necessary without adhering to the LG and A guidelines. In fact travelers are permitted to carry as MUCH prescription and over the counter medications as they might deem necessary. Therefore feel free to pack your carry on full of pseudophedrine if you so choose.

Finally cigar cutters, corkscrews, knitting and crochet needles, nail files, and scissors with metal pointed tips -- provided the blade is less than four inches in length -- are permitted in carry on luggage. Wonderful. I feel much safer now.

But thank goodness that the TSA was smart enough to prohibit the carrying of too much mouthwash for our safety. Now I can relax. Thanks TSA!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Orange Juice and the Sunday Newspaper

Many years ago I had an in-depth conversation about orange juice with my very wise friend before I was aware of the fact that he was very wise. He articulated utter delight in a tall glass of orange juice coupled with newspaper reading on a Sunday morning. I articulated that I was adamantly opposed to orange juice during this conversation. I exclaimed loudly that I neither wanted nor did I need orange juice. I told him that I thought orange juice was icky. And orange juice coupled with the Sunday newspaper was almost too much to consider.

And I did not realize it at the time, but I was afraid of orange juice. I ran from it. I ran as if my life depended on it. The mere thought of orange juice was enough to make me feel anxious. Even artificial orange flavoring made me itch.

But sometimes I would pretend that I did not have an orange juice phobia. Because I wanted to feel normal. And people tend to look at you with a wiggly eye if they learn that you are afraid of orange juice. So when I wasn't refusing orange juice I purposefully sought it out from places that clearly did not offer it. I pretended that it was perfectly normal to ask for orange juice at the hardware store. I looked for it under rocks in the desert. I inquired about obtaining it at the dentist's office. And each time I was unsuccessful in my feeble attempt to obtain the beverage. I never acknowledged the fact that I might be purposefully sabotaging my own quest for juice.

And then things got completely out of hand. I tried to purchase the Sunday paper on Thursday.

Denial is powerful. And I remained in denial about orange juice for quite some time. I couldn't admit that I was terrified at the risk of diving into a tall glass of ice cold orange juice. Certain that it would be the end of me. I would most certainly drown. I imagined losing my identity in the sweet round fruit. Or I feared that I would develop a fondness for the beverage and then it would disappear forever. So to protect myself I became adamately opposed to orange juice. Because I was afraid. And it seemed easier not to care about oranges at all.

But then something changed.

In the most unlikely place I found an amazing supply of orange juice. I wasn't inquiring about oranges. And even though they were in my line of sight for quite some time I didn't notice them. But then I did. And the amazing orange juice supply seemed to not only sense my fear. But understood. I'm talking about tree ripened organic oranges. Fresh squeezed juice folks. The perfect blend of sweet and tangy. And the most beautiful orange color I have ever seen.

And I must admit that it scares the crap out of me. Seriously. Maybe that makes me weird. I'm pretty well certain that it does. But I have decided something. This isn't an ephiphany mind you. Rather I decided to make a conscious effort to accept my fear of orange juice. And take a risk anyway. I have decided to open myself to the idea of orange juice and the Sunday newspaper. I thought I would lose it completely after the first sip. But I didn't. Sometimes I still get a bit nervous around oranges. But I think that I am going to do just fine.