Monday, October 02, 2006

Only Terrorists Have Good Hair

Random facts: the average redhead has 90,000 strands of hair on her scalp. My hair, with the curls and kinks straightened out of it, is about two feet long. Ninety thousand strands of hair times twenty-four inches per strand equals 180,000 feet of hair, which is just over 34 miles.

Washing 34 miles of hair requires a metric assload of shampoo. Detangling 34 miles of hair after washing it requires two metric assloads of conditioner. And a metric assload, though smaller than an imperial assload, is still a sizeable amount.

Why the hell am I writing about my hair-care regimen? Because it’s so goddamned important our government now regulates it lest the terrorists kill us all. You see, there’s been a death in my family, and in order to make the funeral on time I’ll have to fly, which puts me under the legal authority of the TSA, high-school graduates with complete legal authority to poke through my underwear, confiscate anything I have on a whim, and then tell me it’s a matter of national security. Of course, as an American citizen I have the right to challenge this, but if I do that they can make me miss my flight (and not get my ticket money refunded), and since I wouldn’t be there in the first place if I didn’t need to make the flight then for all practical purposes I have no rights where TSA is concerned.

Anyway, I have to pack my suitcase for the flight. To protect us from terrorism, TSA has decreed you can’t bring more than three ounces of shampoo and conditioner onto a plane. (By comparison, those little trial-size bottles you find in bins at drugstores are usually two-ounce bottles.) From the way the site’s written, I’m not sure if that’s three ounces each or three ounces combined.

I figure I’ll bring separate two-ounce bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and if TSA says those four ounces are over the limit I’ll keep the conditioner and sacrifice the shampoo. My significant other will have to pack his supplies separately because together, we’ll exceed the anti-terrorist shampoo safety limit.

I’m also bringing a new bar of soap, but I have to unwrap it first. Otherwise, a guard might read the label, notice that it’s “glycerine” soap and think “Holy Christ, if she adds nitro it’ll be a bomb!” I hope the soap’s translucency doesn’t make anyone suspicious.

No hair mousse for me, this trip. There’s probably a hair-mousse company somewhere selling their product in containers small enough to protect us from the jihadist hordes, but damned if I can find any for sale. I have an almost-empty can with maybe half an ounce left, but TSA would confiscate it anyway since it says “5 oz.” on the label.

You know something? Ten years ago I never would have written an essay about what toiletries I’m taking on a trip, because ten years ago such an essay would have been completely pointless narcissism rather than a sincere, straightforward description of government regulations affecting ordinary harmless citizens like me.

7 Comments:

Anonymous A Moose said...

I love the part where they go into explosive materials. I wonder if there has anyone who has (legitimately) attempted to take dynamite on a plane?

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

THey hate us for our hair care nanotechnology.

This is ridiculous. And what really makes it bad is that we're doing this nonsense based on a tip from the British. Remember them? They're the people that we fought a war against when they dared to tax our tea. Now they tell us that we can't have too much shampoo on a flight and we go along with it "for our safety."

5:44 AM  
Blogger David Macharelli said...

Since you'd prefer put your fellow travelers at risk rather than shave your head, the TSA must conclude that you are at minimum a terrorist sympathizer. :)

7:17 AM  
Anonymous McGuyver said...

Terrorists once took over a plane I was on. If only I had had hair gel and a pair of nail clippers, I could have stopped them.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

I’ll have to fly, which puts me under the legal authority of the TSA, high-school graduates with complete legal authority to poke through my underwear, confiscate anything I have on a whim, and then tell me it’s a matter of national security.

Actually, last I checked, they don't even have to have graduated from high school. This is why my preferred nomenclature remains "those illiterates at the TSA."

8:34 AM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

For all our sakes I hope they check the contents of your bra. You are, after all, the mastermind behind the boob-a-bomber threat.

(A U-Tube moment fer sure.)

8:59 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Terrorists once took over a plane I was on. If only I had had hair gel and a pair of nail clippers, I could have stopped them.

Or joined them....

10:47 AM  

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