Given a robust sample size of three flights in one day, I can conclusively tell you that the time most people simultaneously spring from their seat and head for the toilet is right after the pilot turns on the seatbelt sign about 30 minutes before landing. The bell dings and heads pop up like whack-a-moles.
Through close observation, I have noticed that each of these rule-breaking passengers goes through the same motions. He half rises from his seat, placing one hand on the seat back in front of him, one hand behind. He cranes his neck and looks forward and aft, trying to determine if the stewardess is looking his way. If the stewardess is nearby, his face turns furtive, trying to give the message that he is just stretching and that he has no plans to bolt. But if the stewardess is remote, he claws his way into the aisle, hikes up his trousers and legs it to the toilet, where there is usually a line.
This happens so often—I have never been on a flight where it has not—that the timing of the seat-belt-sign illumination must have a built-in safety margin. My seatmate (a stranger), after sucking down a large coffee, did this on a short haul right as we went into the approach, and the stewardess had to phone the pilot to advise delaying the landing. The pilot must have not have agreed, because I heard the stewardess say in a resigned tone,”Okay.” My seatmate made it back on time, but barely.
Apropos the TSA. I stood by one security counter for about five to eight minutes and I did not see even one person get a pat down. I did watch one young mother have her baby bottles scrutinized. One was opened and, I swear, sniffed by the gloved agent. One bottle must have spilled in the tray, because a roll of paper towels went into action.
On the subject of high-flying objects, the Daily Mail has a hard-hitting investigative report on the ghastliness of breast implants (complete with pictures, guys).
They are proudly displayed by a group I call ‘the Boob-Job Boobies’: the A-list celebrities and C-list nobodies who are forever out on the town with their big bosoms popping out over little black dresses.
I’m not sure what authority is tasked with rating celebrities, but I can understand that the Daily Mail is against these inflationary devices. As am I; though I admit my prejudices may have been shaped by what, through remarkable good fortune, life has presented me in the form of natural beauty (not my own).
The reporter says:
A woman with real class would never have a boob job. For here’s the most remarkable thing that no surgeon who takes your money will ever tell you: those big inflatables just aren’t sexy.
Indeed, quite the opposite: a boob job makes an attractive woman seem less attractive — it’s the breast equivalent of the trout pout.
To which we can only say: amen.
Abrupt segue: on that same Daily Mail page appears the link to the article, “Will The Beaver really launch Mel Gibson’s career comeback?”
I admit to some jet leg, so I cannot be certain my fogged gray cells are deceiving me. But this appears to be a review of a Mel Gibson movies called The Beaver. “The Braveheart star plays a depressed man who finds solace by wearing the furry beaver hand puppet that he uses to communicate with people.”
I searched the text twice, but was unable to discover any indication that this was some kind of prank. And we’re nowhere near April 1st.
The voice over of the trailer starts: ‘ This is the story of Walter Black, a hopelessly depressed individual. The successful, loving family man he used to be has gone missing.’
Walter: ‘What’s that?’ (Younger son pulls out arts and crafts project from a bag.)
Younger son: ‘Your brain. Mom says yours got broken.’
Voice over: ‘You can see, Walter is a man who’s lost all hope.’
Walter to his beaver puppet, who becomes his alter ego: ‘I’m sick.’
I’ll probably read these words later after fully waking and realize that the movie is indeed a hoax. This will only re-prove to me that traveling takes it toll.