We got back from Vancouver about 12:30 this morning, after a long afternoon of air travel, most of which was, as usual, spent not actually flying. This was uneventful, except of course that six or seven planes exploded when several individuals, defying not only Homeland Security but also common sense, had the temerity to brush their teeth on the plane. After clearing security on the Canadian side (which is roughly 138% easier and less melodramatic than in US airports, especially SFO, of which more, perhaps, if you're good, later), we found food from a so-called "Asian cuisine" joint, where they pitched our food into styrofoam, poured us a cup of water - which, in compliance with new safety regulations, had no lid - and then handed Lauren a potentially lethal weapon: chop sticks.
Much will be written about the inanity of the new "safety" regulations. Lauren thinks the next thing to be forbidden will be teeth, since she was able to cut a strip off a band-aid to affix a breaking bit of fingernail to the remaining part. I believe the next thing will be identification.
TSA drone #1: Sir, is that your photo ID?
TSA drone #1: No ID, sir.
Passenger: What? Don't we need photo ID to get past security?
TSA drone#2: (shouting so that his voice echoes unintelligibly in the tinny security area) No PASSports, no DRIver's licenses, no photo ID!
Passenger: (to TSA drone #1, who has ignored the previous) Excuse me? Sir?
TSA drone #1: Yes?
Passenger: I have to throw away my ID?
TSA drone #1: Is it a photo ID?
TSA drone #1: (with increasing condescension) An ID, with a photo on it?
TSA drone #2: No DRIver's licenses, no PASSports. No one gets on the PLANE with photo ID!
TSA drone #1: Is it a photo of you?
Passenger: Yes, it's a photo ID card, so the picture is of me.
TSA drone #1: Does that sound like it would be a kind of photo ID to you?
Passenger: Yes, but my question is, do I have to throw it away?
TSA drone#1: Is it a photo ID?
Passenger: Look, what I mean is, if I need photo ID to get through security, but I have to throw my ID away, how do I get through security? And what if I need my ID again? Like, to drive?
TSA drone #1: Can't have it at the gate or on the plane.
Passenger: Yes, you said that, but my question -
TSA drone #2: (still shouting, but right at Passenger) No PHOto ID, no PASSports, no DRIver's licenses!
Passenger: Oh, forget it. (Tosses ID into trash.)
TSA drone #3: Can I see your ID and boarding pass, please?
Passenger: They told me to get rid of my ID, I just threw it away!
TSA drone #3: I'm sorry, sir, you can't pass to the gate without ID.
The other scenario would be that no boarding passes are permitted.
TSA drone #1: Boarding pass.
Passenger: Yep, here.
TSA drone #1: You're under arrest.
By the way, SFO sucks. New security, old security, no security, SFO sucks. No one there seems to understand why planes keep landing there and people keep showing up to get on planes there.
More on the Vancouver trip and the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labour (tee-hee! Funny Canadian spelling!) later. I'm brain dead, and I have to get my teeth cleaned, and I hope trade back in this awful rented Malibu for the repaired Eddie Jetta. I'd also list my complaints and grievances about the Malibu, but they're too many to list.