Thursday, January 21, 2010





It makes me worry about what else people will confuse with potential threats to our traveling safety.

If you have not heard (mostly because you are smart and stay away from all news sources), the above is a picture of a Jewish Religious Article called Tefillin - or Phylactery.

(NOT - Olfactory, as one police officer tried to have us believe...)

There are two parts. One part is a box that sits just on top and center of the forehead with leather straps that hang. The other is a box that sits on top the upper bicep and its straps get wrapped around the rest of the arm on down and weave through the fingers.

Inside the boxes there are specific prayers written on parchment. The Tefillin are worn by men as they pray every weekday morning.

I will not link to any one site that will explain them further - but feel free to join the thousands who have made the words "Tefillin" and "Phylactery" the most popular web searches in just the past few hours.

Now I can move on to the point of this post...

I am traveling on a plane in just 7 days and I do not want problems. Flying has gotten so awful, I am considering putting myself on the "No Fly" list.

After the underwear dude - I traveled and required a pat down of my head because I refused to remove my head covering which funny enough - is also a Religious "DEVICE".

The new protocol was to include making it a requirement to store all things in the overhead bin an hour before landing - nothing was to be allowed on your lap or in reach. This caused my never before mentioned nightmare, where I was greeted by a flight attendant who looked like Ellen DeGeneres and was told to store my "lap" child in the overhead compartment for landing. I was confused about whether or not this was a joke, as the instructions were delivered by a flight attendant who looked much like a comedian. But I was quickly made aware of its seriousness when Ellen DeGeneres suddenly turned into Simon Cowell. And so, I put Bam in the overhead bin.

You know - if my baby poops his diaper on the plane, that is now considered a flammable material hidden in the nether regions and then how different is he from the Nigerian dude?

I hope no one has to change their colostomy bag while in the air ... that would lead to all sorts of problems.

I am traveling in a week because I am planning on running a half marathon in Miami. It was suggested - to all of us who need to travel to Miami, to carry all our running gear in a carry - on on board, you know, because airlines are totally unreliable and they lose your crap all the time.

But I am worried that some flight attendant who has diminished brain cells due to sudden change in cabin pressure will just assume I am up to no good and brought my running shoes to make a quick getaway.


A quick getaway......

.....from a plane flying 32,000 feet up in the air.

My point is, are we now, and forever going to be traveling in a state of paranoia?

Will we all be getting on planes (those of us who still do that much) and quickly start assessing our fellow passengers? I mean, the U.S. Home Security and TSA may refuse to "ACTUALLY" profile, but I'll be profiling.

If you have a bulge in your nether regions - I may ask the flight attendant to assess that situation.

Sorry that it's all messed up for any one named - Mohammed, or Achmad, or Timothy McVeigh, but if that IS your name, and you were allowed on my plane, I hope you are fully restrained and being escorted by armed U.S. Marshals.

(And maybe that above statement is controversial, but you know I am not the only one who tenses up on a plane when there are certain, someone's sitting in your line of view.)

If you take out something that has funny leather straps hanging from it .... well .... my mind may wander into all sorts of areas - especially if you and that curvy redhead went into the bathroom with it and there is substantial yelling and banging around... But I won't involve myself in that one.

If the only English word you can say is "BOMB", then I will be thankful that I spent ten minutes assessing which of my personal belongings can be used as a self- defending weapon.

(Another reason why 4 inch Stilettos can make you into a superhero.)

Also, that laptop cord they let me bring on the plane WILL find its way around the neck of whoever is the least bit threatening to my fellow passengers and myself.

But if a 17 year old is wrapping himself with boxes and leather straps ....

...OK, fine, I can see how that might have been confusing to an overtired, overworked, and underpaid flight attendant,

but I can assure you, he was NOT hiding it in his underwear. And that means - it went through a Security check and x-ray, just like my friggin' shoes did.

Oh the paranoia - will it ever end?

7 have shown Orah a little love:

adinab said...

apparently i no longer watch enough tv or browse the internet save for facebook. cuz until now, i had no idea what anyone was talking abt with this whole tefillin business. i STILL don't, cuz I have not yet looked it up, but your blog has given me a pretty good idea. so thank you, orah, for keeping me in the loop on world events. whatever would i do without you?

Rayli said...

same. totally had no clue. the only show i watched today was curious george and project runway.

who needs to watch the news when you can just read about it on Orah's blog.

blueviolet said...

I haven't flown in a couple of years now so I'd kinda forgotten just how bad it is. Or I'm blocking it out of my mind because I got selected for more attention that day. And I'm no Achmad.

Anonymous said...

Wait, u put Arial in the overhead bin??? I'm half asleep.
For the sake of your own mental health, I hope your flight to Miami is uneventful, but realistically , I am sure you will have some kind of interesting experience to share w/ us.
- Miss S.

christy rose said...

So True! I have been so enlightened to the world events here today. I never watch the news. But I feel very informed now! :)

Shosh said...

i saw the news article. and i saw the statement the agudah released about it. their statement was really smart, actually.
unfortunately we live in really crazy times. so if you are bringing something weird on board a plane, better to educate the flight attendants before the flight takes off. Flight attendant, this is my tefillin. Flight hair is actually a wig. Haha.
Can't imagine their reactions to that one. said...

you are just killin' me...LOL!

You would be a hoot to travel with!

A half marathon!!! You go girl. I am sooooo impressed!

post pix :)