Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Throw the Old Spice down the well.
So my people can be free
(Sorry, Borat).

I hate to kvetch on this, but I am in a hotel room in Florida, preparing to leave tomorrow morning for home.

Upon arrival for a two-day stay I went to a Walgreens near the hotel to buy small containers of 1. toothpaste and 2. deodorant. The 1.3 ounce tube of Acquafresh toothpaste cost 99 cents, as did 2.5 ounces of Old Spice Classic deodorant stick ("Original Scent"). It was the only travel-size deodorant on sale.

At the deodorant aisle, they had a great special -- big containers of Arm & Hammer stick deodorant, two for $1.99. But I had to pass on that because, I realized, I was only allowed 3 ounces of such substances on an airplane. Plus I didn't have a baggie, meaning I was not actually allowed even the three ounces. And the regulation quart-size, zip-lock baggies -- one of which would have been required to display and carry any of the aforementioned products onto a plane -- cost way more than the savings I would have had thanks to Walgreens' two-for-one sale.

The result, as I pack for home, bereft of baggies: Into the trash go the 99-cent and barely used containers of Old Spice Classic (not such a tragedy there because the smell of Old Spice reminds me of 1968, which, trust me, younger people, was a year that really and truly sucked) and the barely squeezed Aquafresh toothpaste.

And what it the reason for this farce? In August, a bunch of hysterical British badges in London ran around shrieking that they had heard about a plot -- details remain very mysterious -- to use liquids, pastes and gels to blow things up. For a while, you couldn't even carry a book onto a plane leaving London. Then the New York Times lost its marbles one morning with a batty editorial suggesting that all carry-on materials be permenantly banned.

American security officials echoed the hysteria on cue. Later, the ban on liquids, gels and pastes was relaxed by saying you could carry on three ounces of any one, provided you displayed it in a quart-size zip-lock baggie. (For some utterly unknowable reason, a gallon-size zip-lock baggie is not acceptable). Next, I am assuming they will require that baggie to be tied to your wrist with a nametag on it, and a little American flag sticker in the corner to affirm that you Support the Troops or whatever those litle lapel flags sweaty politicians who never served a day in the military wear are supposed to affirm.

As I said in a recent post, would somebody please reassure me? This is the country that won the Battle of Midway, cured polio and invented the computer, right?

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