Today, I started my first business trip since the alleged terrorist plot that took America back to Code Orange Alert. I still haven’t done my patriotic duty and adopted a bunker mentality, so silly me, I packed a tube of toothpaste in my carry-on bag. I had to throw it out into the garbage before I could get through security. The evildoers are just aching to get minty fresh formulas up into the skies, apparently.
So, I was waiting for my flight, wondering what I’m going to have to do when I get to my destination. It would be past 10:00 in the evening, so the airport shops wouldn’t be open. By the time I’d get to my hotel, it will be close to 11:00 PM, so the hotel shop would be closed too. I supposed that I could spend another 30 minutes, and another ten dollars in cab fares, to find a late night pharmacy to buy my toothpaste. I have to start work at 7:00 AM, so I certainly won’t have much time to go shopping in the morning. Maybe if I wake up at 5:00 AM, I’ll have time to go scrambling around town for toothpaste.
Or, I could just say to hell with it and forget the toothpaste. I mean, I really am sick of this Homeland Security garbage, where every little terrorist plot or alleged conspiracy to form a terrorist plot, or unconfirmed rumor of an alleged conspiracy to form a terrorist plot forces us to throw away another part of our lives to serve the security machine.
What’s next? An alleged terrorist plot to blow up airplanes with plastique explosives in the form of fake boogers shoved up the terrorists’ noses? Will we all have to blow our noses and take decongestants before going through the security checkpoint?
So, I suppose, I could just forget the toothpaste. I could go to bed tonight without brushing my teeth, though I had dinner in the car on the way to the airport. Then, I could wake up in the morning and just start my day of work without brushing my teeth. If someone complains about my bad breath, I’d just tell them to call the Department of Homeland Security. United we stink!
Imagine if every business traveller did this. That’s the kind of protest that could bring down the government. The corporate economy would grind to a halt in no time. No meetings. No projects. No work.
Ah, but we won’t do that, will we? No, we’ll all just scramble for that extra half hour or so in the morning, with less time for ourselves, but our careers intact. At this point, we’ll do whatever the Homeland Security people tell us to do for however long they need us to go through these little rituals of paranoia, keeping the politics of terror alive for another election cycle.