Thirsty? No water here.

Aug 222006
Authors: Hilary Davis

I’m sure everyone knows by now that airline travel restrictions are becoming, well, more restricted. No gels or liquids, no water and no electronic devices. Since the London terrorist plots were foiled, these new limitations would make sense. Sort of. If you were going to London. I, however, had the pleasure of flying on a plane recently. To London, you ask? Alas, no. Overseas at all? No again. Nope, last week I flew to Nebraska. Without my gels and liquids.

I used to like the airport. People hugging goodbye at the gate, little kids with their noses pressed up against the glass watching the planes come in, overzealous security guards yelling at people to quit playing on the moving sidewalks. The airport used to be fun. I used to go there just to people-watch and imagine where everyone was headed.

But now it’s all security checks and profiling, wanding people and patting them down. I was even randomly selected to be tested for explosives on my way through security. In case you were wondering, “randomly selected” is code for “you look very shady and likely to blow something up.” Said test involves going into a glass chamber and standing still while they bounce “light puffs of air off your body.” This is code for “swirling vortex of wind” and before you can say “Marilyn Monroe!” your skirt will fly up. I had to wonder if I was en route to Nebraska: Land of Corn or Scary Airport: Land of the Personally Violated. I didn’t complain though, and neither should you, because these rules are very logical and clearly meant to keep us safe, despite the fact my friend got all the way through security with a whole tube of chapstick, which is a bit concerning.

Of course, this is just the precursor to the enjoyment you will feel on the plane. Because after they have stripped you of all your gels and liquids, the fun can really begin! Thirsty? Sorry, we don’t serve water. Face dry? See the “no water” policy. Want to listen to your iPod? Ooh, that’s going to be a problem, too. If you’re lucky, like me, you might get to sit next to a friend and quietly read a magazine while the flight attendant gives you the stink eye. She has a right to, though – INSTYLE magazine might give me some ideas for an uprising.

Perhaps, instead of an uprising, the airlines should just ban people altogether. This makes a lot of sense, actually. Let’s be honest – toothpaste doesn’t kill people, people kill people. And without all of us pesky passengers on airplanes, maybe the airlines could actually concentrate on getting the luggage to the right place.

I think we can all agree, Democrats and Republicans alike, terrorism is bad. But all of this hoopla was just to go to Nebraska. I know they have to be safe, but if anyone’s going to blow something up, it wouldn’t be in Nebraska, unless they were an avid Husker hater or perhaps had something against farmers.

But I like corn and rolling plains and miles and miles of absolutely nothing, so I put up with the rules. And I do plan on flying again someday. But when that day comes, if you see someone stagger off the plane, panting with bloodshot eyes and a dehydrated look about them, it’s me. Or it might be you. Or anyone else on the plane.

Hilary Davis is a senior technical journalism major. Her column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to

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