(p. B6) “DOES he bite?” the screener at the checkpoint asked warily.
“She doesn’t bite,” I said.
“Because we have to check under the wings,” he said.
“In that case,” I said, “she might bite.”
At issue was our chatty little African Grey parrot, Rosie, who was watching the scene from inside her travel cage at the security checkpoint at the Newark airport. This was last week, a few days after a suspected terrorist tried to blow up an international flight on its descent into Detroit by igniting some explosives hidden in his underwear.
While the explosion fizzled, it threw airport security into a tizzy.
. . .
We were very anxious at the checkpoint. My wife solved the problem, though. One of Rosie’s tricks is to spread her wings and lower her beak if you ask her to imitate an eagle.
“Rosie, do an eagle,” my wife said. Inside her cage with the screener’s face framed in the open door, the bird promptly spread her wings wide.
The screener had his look under the wings and lowered his wand. Merriment ensued all around — but it had to look pretty silly.
. . .
On a more serious note, an airline pilot who did not want his name used, asked, “When will passengers say enough is enough with the ineffective theatrical security measures?”
For the full commentary, see:
JOE SHARKEY. “On the Road; Please Take Off Your Shoes, and Is the Parrot Loaded?” The Wall Street Journal (Tues., January 5, 2010): B6.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the article is dated January 4, 2010, and has the title “On the Road; Take Off Your Shoes, and Is the Parrot Loaded?”)