I pity anyone getting on a plane in the UK today. Since British authorities discovered a plot to blow up a number of transatlantic airliners, all air passengers are now being forced to check all their bags, empty their pockets, and jettison all but a few permitted items (to be carried in plastic baggies).
Certainly, no one needs hair gel or lip gloss on an airplane, and banning perfume from public places gets my vote at any time, but please, let these people keep their books! I think we all know that those seat pocket magazines make for pretty thin reading, and they’re the same at every seat so there’s no possibility of trading with other passengers for another issue when you’re done with yours. And would it kill them to throw in a few crossword puzzles at the end? Oh, right, no pens or pencils allowed.
Obviously there are more important issues, like food and water (not allowed either), but presuming that the stale pretzels and tap water have taken care of your bodily needs, then what are you supposed to do? Knitting needles were banned some time ago, and music players and laptops are out now too. Barring charades and sing-alongs (99 bottles of.. oh, right, no bottles allowed…), all we have left are books, but even these inert blocks of cellulose are seen as a potential threat. Sigh. I suppose we should be thankful that we are still allowed to wear clothes on planes.