So today it was raining. Mr. Personality was bouncing off the walls, having just recovered from a week's worth of nasty coughing. I will leave out the part where I thought he had bird flu, however, since this post is about something entirely different.
Inspired by a blurb I read in a children's magazine, we decided to take Mr. Personality to a local airport. He loves mechanical things, so this would be a slam dunk. How could we go wrong, we naively thought. We would be indoors, there would be planes and baggage claim machines and men loading luggage in little carts. Besides, with the rain I thought there might be a chance that all the runway lights would be on, making the experience even cooler.
You see, we happened to forget something.
That something called 9/11 and what it did to our airports.
When I was a young lass, I loved going to the airport. There was something mysterious and exciting about airports. All these people rushing around, or even more interesting, those who were taking their time. We used to meet my father right at the entrance of the tunnel as he walked off his plane. He traveled to places like Ghana, Costa Rica, and Samoa which made the journey to greet him somehow more exotic than if he was coming from Duluth. I'm sure there is nothing wrong with Duluth, it's just an example, my friends.
I bet you agree with me, though.
We parked, and ventured into the baggage claim area, where Mr. Personality was duly enthralled with the baggage carousels. Feeling vindicated about my choice to come to the airport for the afternoon, we headed up the escalator to ticketing, and thus the boarding gates.
Except we had no idea we could not even get near the boarding gates.
You see, we had no boarding passes.
All that stood between us and the boarding gates where the huge 100-foot windows stood to look out at the runway was a puny 20 foot bridge. And of course, the security guards.
Don't think I didn't think about trying it. Just for a millisecond.
We walked up, explained that we just wanted to take our kid to the McDonald's that you could plainly see from where we were standing, and watch the planes.
Let me say that I don't think extra security at airports is not a bad thing. Let me also say that I am a patriotic woman who becomes a blubbering mess when I remember 9/11.
But is stopping people from gettng near the gates really going to stop terrorists?
As long as I have been inspected, what danger am I going to pose?
There are probably hundreds of ways in which a terrorist could attack us, and I am going to posit the theory that if they plan correctly, there is not much that could stop them.
Everybody feels better, thinking that the extra security guards and long lines mean that they are safer.
Are they really?