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Fear of Flying
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I see that the courts have agreed that police can search your bags if you want to ride the New York City subways. Airlines have increased their security measures in light of the recently uncovered terrorist bomb plot. Passengers already had to remove their shoes. Who knows what's next.

We are approaching the society envisioned by Robert Heinlein at the end of The Puppet Masters where, at the drop of a hat, polite citizens will need to be prepared to drop their drawers and the rest of their clothing, not to prove that they don't have any alien parasites to hide but to prove that they're not carrying explosives.

While I might very well board a subway -- without a bag -- the chance that I will ever subject myself to the hassles of air travel are now the same as the chance I will ever cart explosives around -- zero.

Not that that will be any great inconvenience. I've been on a plane twice in my life. Once, when I was in junior high, the science class had a field trip during which we took turns going up in a Piper Cub to view the local geology from the air.

Years later I was flown from New York City to Rochester, New York for a job interview. I still remember the sight of the morning fog trailing like spider webs from the Empire State Building and the Twin Towers. I got the job but it never paid enough for me to bother flying again. I could've sprung for airfare, when I had a regular salary, but the only reason I would've had to fly was to go on vacation and I couldn't afford a vacation.

I guess I'm an anomaly. I'd better hope I'm never a bestselling author because then my publisher would want me to to fly around the country on a book tour. Luckily, the chances I'll ever be a bestselling author are the same as the chances I'll ever decide to stick a bomb in my pocket.

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