FLYING in BLACK and WHITE


The glamour days of flying are over.  It is more like preparing for a trip to hades.

First, you must present your papers.   Then all personal belongings are all taken away from you – purse, laptop, shoes, jacket,  billfold, cell phone, magazine, change, teddy bear, keys, cap – and placed in an institutional bin and conveyed to inspection via x-ray.  Depending on the airport, you will be directed to go through a metal detector or advanced imaging technology which means that someone will see an image of your body that reveals every bulge, sag and curve of your naked image.  It is all very anonymous, we are told.  If you set off the metal detector, you will have to undergo a pat down or you may be randomly chosen for a pat down.  You pray that you are spared the humiliation of setting off the metal detector and slowing down the line.  Once you are cleared, you and the other refugees scramble to collect your stuff, put your shoes and jacket back on and regain your dignity.  All of this is carefully choreographed by the Transportation Security Administration, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

Casablance

Casablanca

Maybe I’ve watched too many classic black and white movies from the 1940s, but it seems that flying was more civilized back then.  In the airport scenes the men wore a coat and tie; the women chose  to travel in tailored dresses or smartly cut suits and  hats and sexy high-heeled pumps.  (Think Joan Crawford style.)  Passengers walked openly from the terminal to the waiting plane with its propellers revving up in anticipation of the long flight.  Yes, it was Hollywood’s version of flying, but it is still a nice illusion in black and white.

Who can forget that final scene in Casablanca at the airport?  It’s dark.  Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is dressed for travel in a skirt, jacket, white blouse and hat that reflect the uncertainty and tension of the departure.  Her eyes are brimmed with tears.  Rick (Humphrey Bogart) is noble in his overcoat and fedora as he puts principle above love and makes sure she boards the plane with her husband, Victor (Paul Henreid).  When the plane is safely airborne, he and Captain Renault(Claude Rains ) walk away into the night.  Rick and Ilsa will always have Paris – in black and white, of course.I realize the TSA and the government only want to keep us safe, and I appreciate that.  For my next trip I think I WILL fly…well, maybe another time.

7 thoughts on “FLYING in BLACK and WHITE

  1. Excellent, Jo Nell! Even in the 60s when we flew to Iran for the first time, Carla & I wore the suits that our mother had made us for Easter & high heels, the higher the better at 16! We ate real food with real silver ware & had the blankets & pillows & eye covers & socks to keep our feet warm, all free….. We did learn to be more comfortable & wore cotton skirts & blouses with flats on the way back to US to go to school at Freer. It does make you think twice about flying anywhere now-days, though.

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  2. I agree with your comments! So, you’re right. I’m really trying to make it more bearable. If nothing else, jokes to remember (and new stories to write) when being prodded around like cattle, eh? 🙂 keep up the good work and witty words!

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    • It is the reality of 2012. I remember flying just a few days after 9/11 and the plane was almost deserted. Thank you for your kind words! I have not given up flying! You keep up the good works!

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