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We Have Begun Our Descent

January 5, 2010

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

I can’t help but notice you still haven’t mailed me my tampon refund. But I’ve heard you’re not at work much these days, so maybe you just haven’t had time. I’m confident that you’ll send the cheque as soon as you can.

Meanwhile, there’s something else I wanted to run past you. I’ve got a certain rather important flight booked for Thursday, and airport security has been getting weirder and weirder since September 11, 2001, for some reason. This ridiculous business with the Christmas Day Shitbastard has only complicated matters. For almost ten years now, airport security has consisted of asking me to take more and more stuff off before stepping through the metal detector, which then inevitably catches the button of my jeans or the rivets on my beloved Converse sneakers anyway. About 50% of the time, I am randomly or “randomly” selected for an extra patdown which consists of somerubberglovedone getting to know me better while someindelicateone else picks through my backpack contemplating every feminine hygiene product with the same commitment to thoroughness that the scientists of yesteryear employed when inspecting the items brought back from the moon in 1969. Mr. Prime Minister, please pass on this message to the security officers of the world: there is absolutely no cause for such scrutiny, because unlike the aforementioned Shitbastard, I will not ever, ever put anything explosive anywhere near my crotch, ever. If I’m hell bent on having sex with seven comely virgins, all I have to do is go to the Den on a Thursday night. [Editor’s note: The Den is a sketchy undergraduate bar, or “public house,” on the University of Calgary campus.]

Granted, as I proceed through the cattle line, I’m sure I look irritable, but that’s not because I’m a terrorist, it’s because I’m chronically irritable. And it’s because I’ve just taken off most of my clothes and unpacked the carry-on bag I just packed three hours ago. Also, a lot of the time, I’ve got my cat with me, and in terms of mental health she’s a fucking mess at the best of times, and this isn’t one of those, and I have to take her out of her cat suitcase and then everyone for miles around freaks out and starts shrieking and cooing and saying “Awwwwwwwww! A kittyyyyyyyy!!!!” and I’m thinking, Guys, come on, it’s just a cat, you see these all the time. And everyone wants to pet her and hang out with her and I have to fakepologize 140 times for the fact that she is not in a great mood and wouldn’t want to be touched by anyone other than me even if she was. Then inevitably someone notices her crazy feet and I’m like “Okay, she has five extra toes, but that doesn’t make her a terrorist,” and then people start asking what her name is and I say “Sappho,” and they all scrunch their faces up because in these modern times, Mr. Harper, people don’t have a clue who Sappho is! One time someone thought I’d said “Cell Phone”! I apologize in advance for the profanity, but why would I fucking name my fucking cat Cell Phone? Fuck!!!!

And the thing is, for years now I’ve been seeing news stories about this new amazing piece of technology where basically you step into it and it produces a digital image of your body, highlighting any knives, guns, baby bottles full of plastic explosive, crotch pouches full of plastic explosive, and so forth such that upon noticing these items, airport security can escort you from the premises instead of letting you on the plane. This is awesome. These things should be in every airport in the world. But always right at the end of the story there’s a part where the reporter goes on and on about how this technology makes a lot of people feel “squeamish,” “violated,” “uncomfortable,” or the like. Mr. Harper, I have neither the authority nor the driver’s license to go to each and every one of these people’s homes, knock on their doors, and give them the finger, but perhaps you do. I believe that is what needs to happen. You give the finger to all kinds of people all the time. How about this group? They really deserve it the most!

Despite being a small youngish vulnerable female who as recently as 1999 was called “not unattractive” by a guy who subsequently took her to a movie about snuff pornography and then ambushed her with the all-time least satisfying kiss ever (the adjective that immediately springs to mind is “oceanic”), I’m in no way concerned that security staff would get off on the digital image of my naked frame. I doubt that anyone who’d spent a single day at the helm of that machine could ever get off on anything ever again. As a species, human beings really are not attractive. We need to realize this and then get on with our lives. Leave self-consciousness to peacocks and panthers. Available to us right now is a device that would preclude the need to throw out our hand lotion and bottled drinks, spend seven hours in airport security lines and then, while putting our shoes, socks, jackets, jewellery, etc. back on, worry about what if some deranged piece of shit fellow passenger has plastic explosive taped to his gotch, gitch, gonch, or whatever the term was on the playground when you were a lad. And now if you’re flying to or from America you can’t even go to the bathroom for the last hour of the flight. An hour may not seem like a long time, but I still remember the 50-minute psychology lecture I went to back in ’98 after consuming a litre of coffee in the class I had before that one. Stephen, I literally thought I was literally going to literally die. You might well ask why I didn’t just slip out of class and deal with the situation. To which I can only respond: if you think I’m neurotic now, you should have seen me twelve years ago. All of this is completely beside the point, by the way.

In conclusion: if I can’t take a Snapple on an airplane, then the terrorists win.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this letter. I look forward to hearing from you – and to receiving that refund cheque!

Sincerely,

Kate

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sleepless in TO permalink
    January 5, 2010 4:43 pm

    Stephen never thanked me for all the fucking work I did helping him out last year. Ruined my whole work day and I never got any acknowledgment.
    Crypto tried to bite an airport guy who stuck his hand into her carrier. She’d just seen a dog, he was lucky she didn’t have an acident. And imagine having to listen to them repeat her name and then me have to explain each time what it is: ‘Cryptospo…WHAT? What the hell is that?’
    And YES I know IT IS A FUCKING BACTERIA. It’s also an XBox game character. I didn’t get to choose the name, I was vetoed. She was supposed to be Zuul the Destroyer, but noooooooo, SOME people think that is too hard to say.
    Even the vet laughs when he hears her name, but of all the pets he sees, he remembers her because apparently she has the ‘awesome-est’ name ever.
    Pssst, you really should send this in to him. It’s not like he’s doing anything else. Except maybe directing people to read the books Yann Martel sends him.

  2. Andy permalink
    January 6, 2010 7:20 am

    Count it as official. I plan to get a cat of my own one of these days and it has a name already: Cell Phone the cat.

    While on the subject, Penny gave me a cat via Casey via some old lady via her degenerate daughter. T’was a good cat. However, and I swear I’m not making this up, the cat’s original name was Kallie, which was – and I SWEAR I’m not making this up – shortened from Kaleidoscope. Are you fucking serious? Kaleidoscope? First problem: stupid name, at the best of times. Second problem: the cat had two colours of fur – grey and white. Had the person that named it ever seen a Kaleidoscope? Weaksauce (which would be a much better name than Kaleidoscope. As would be HolocaustMyth. As would be Grey-ee.) Anyhow, I decided the name “Cat” was suitable, and Cat was my cat.

    THEN, and THEN, when relating this story to Mom or someone, Grandma misheard me heroically and thought the cat’s name was “Debbie,” which really appealed to me for its random brilliance.

    Not that it mattered. After like two weeks the cat fucked off, never to be seen again. But anytime I see a beautiful sunset – one reminiscent of Roy G. Biv and the rest of the colours of the rainbow – I cannot but think of the beautiful bi-chromatic Kaleidoscope.

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