Good Essay on the No-Joke Zone at Airports
Joe Bennett in New Zealand:
An officer frisks me with hands like questing butterflies. Up my legs they flutter, then over my buttocks, my back, my chest and along my arms, but not, I notice, over my crotch. So there’s the answer. When my anger at being pointlessly searched in airports finally reaches such incandescence that I feel compelled to act, I’ll tape a bomblet behind my scrotum with the detonator clenched between my cheeks. It will kill no one except myself and I won’t make a pretty corpse, but I will make damn sure I take out a particular notice. You know the one I mean. It’s the only notice in human history to forbid, on pain of imprisonment, the making of jokes. I am not allowed to crack a joke about bombs.
Jokes are essential to mental well-being. But all authorities hate them because jokes pierce to the truth. Jokes see through bogus seriousness and say, “oh come off it”. The instinct to make jokes is a natural reaction to overweening authority.
The authorities have an obvious response. Airport security, they will say, is no laughing matter. Do I want planes to be blown up?