Honolulu Lite


Wednesday, September 26, 2001

What to do about
our fear of flying

The big question these days is how much freedom we would be willing to give up in order to make commercial airline flights safer in the wake of the recent terrorist incidents.

I know a guy who said he'd be willing to fly to the mainland tied up in a straitjacket as long as everyone else on the plane was in one, too (except the pilots) and they let him sip scotch through a long straw. But to really gauge public sentiment on the issue, we offer the following Honolulu Lite Airline Safety Poll. Fill out and return.

>> Do you think the cockpit should be made impregnable, like with one of those big bank vault doors? A. Yes; B. Maybe; C. No. (If no, please leave a number where you can be reached by the FBI.)

>> Airline pilots should be armed with: A. Pepper spray; B. Buttery Pam; C. Handgun; D. Bazooka; E. A pithy statement.

>> When checking in for your seat assignment, you'd be willing to: A: Be asked if anyone packed your bag for you; B. Be frisked; C. Submit to a body cavity search; D. Be interrogated while under sodium pentothal; F. All of the above.

>> You notice the guy in the seat next to you with the ruddy complexion has what appears to be small fingernail clippers in his pocket. You: A. Ask for a manicure; B. Ask the flight attendant if you can change seats with the older, rather frail-looking gent across the aisle; C. Secretly save the hard roll from lunch in case you need to use it as a weapon.

>> All commercial airline flights should include: A. An armed sky marshal; B. An angry stand-up comic; C. The 25th Infantry; D. Several trained attack wiener dogs; E. Colin Powell; F. All of the above.

>> From now on, it should be considered a federal criminal offense if you: A. Carry any sharp, pointy object onto a plane unless it's made of Nerf; B. Use any part of an airline meal, including the hard rolls or utensils, as a weapon; C. Fiddle with the music knob on your neighbor's arm rest; D. Refuse to put your seat-back in its original, upright position.

>> Carry-on luggage should be limited to A: Large Kevlar blanket; B. Satchel of Quaaludes; C. Parachute; D. Scuba tank filled with nitrous oxide.

>> To make your fellow passengers feel at ease, which books should you not read on an airplane: A. "D.B. Cooper, American Hero"; B. "The Getting to Know Your Taliban Government Handbook"; C. Anything by Tom Clancy.

>> To help passengers relax before their flights, airports should post soothing messages on walls. Which statement would be the most helpful: A. Flying is safer than swimming in Florida; B. Airplanes are just like the choo-choo trains of old, except they are more than a mile high in the sky, tearing along at the speed of a bullet; C. If God had not meant humans to fly, he wouldn't have created the FAA; D. You can always walk, buddy.

Alo-Ha! Friday compiles odd bits of news from Hawaii
and the world to get your weekend off to an entertaining start.
Charles Memminger also writes Honolulu Lite Mondays,
Wednesdays and Sundays. Send ideas to him at the
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210,
Honolulu 96813, phone 235-6490 or e-mail

The Honolulu Lite online archive is at:

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin