Messing with the Blatch. Oh dear…
It was at that point that the Air Canada clerk at Gate 27 approached me.
“Excuse me,” he said, “you can’t say those words. Those words are illegal.”
“What words?” I asked, bewildered, given that by then I’d said probably 2,000 words.
“Suicide bombing,” he whispered.
Now, I know of course one is not to make jokes or threats about bombs at airports, and properly so. But I hadn’t been doing that, rather recounting some of the public evidence heard that day at a public trial in the nation’s capital.
“That’s not illegal,” I snapped, barely restraining myself from adding “You ninny.” Besides, I told him, I was a reporter telling another reporter about my work day, which was true enough.
“Do you want me to call security?” he asked primly. “I’m supposed to call security in these situations.”
“You do what you like,” I said, talked to Rose a bit longer, then sat down and resumed reading my book.
About 10 minutes later, a fellow passenger warned me that she thought the clerk had called security. I couldn’t believe it, and kept reading, and sure enough, within a few minutes, a young woman with a walkie-talkie in her hands (I guess so if I suddenly turned into a human missile she could call for help) asked to speak to me. She’d had a report about “an incident,” she said. So I told her through gritted teeth what had happened, she magnanimously agreed it was “not illegal” to say what I’d said, apologized and went on her way.
When we boarded a little later, I asked for the ninny’s name. He refused and hissed, “If you make a scene, I’ll call the pilot and you won’t be flying tonight.”
I was so very tempted to tell him to go ahead, but I knew he probably would do it and I wanted badly to get home, so held my tongue. I was quietly praising myself for my steely calm when another passenger remarked, “I didn’t know you were an anarchist, Christie.”
The book I was reading that night, and for the past week, is Mark Steyn’s America Alone (The End of the World as We Know It)…