A duck, which can be identified by its quack.
I just talked to someone from BBC radio, and they want to call me in the morning and interview me. It's for a human interest piece, how Americans feel about flying to the States now that cross-Atlantic flights have been targeted.
They also want to talk to Daughter Number One, who is
apparently on her way to Chicago. Her flight left a little over an hour ago. still sitting on the runway. She called from the plane phone. While she was talking the pilot explained that they were checking every name against a list of suspects; that's why they may be a few more hours getting cleared to fly.
Honestly, I'm flat-out terrified to fly under the best of circumstances. Knowing how easy it is to bring down a plane mid-flight only makes me more convinced I've got no business being 30,000 feet in the air.
I weigh that with the need I have to see my mom one more time before she is gone. I suspect I'll choose to fly over in a few months. The rest of my family probably won't be fazed by this either. Long haul air travel is just a fact of life for us now. Approximately once a month one of us is flying to or from the States.
My mood today has alternated from sheer terror to absolute confidence that there was no danger in flying today, at least. I have that sick adrenaline-overload feeling that makes me want to fight or flee, preferably to a warm spot under the bed. And I was prepared today to be sad and mopey, composing a post about how my daughter had grown up and flown the coop (to stick with avian analogies) and about how a parent's love is unrequited.
Instead I've been glued to the TV and the internet, waiting for a phone call from the daughter who's treated the whole disruption like a lark.
And I'm really pissed at 21 people who may have been plotting to blow me and my loved ones out of the sky. (I'm taking this rather personally, as one does.)
I've read with dismay all the various conspiracy theories, all based on the cry-wolf theory: the Bush and Blair governments have tried to scare us too many times for crass political gain.
Well, they have, but I've never been affected by their convenient bogeymen. I know all too well that terrorists are real—I saw the Edgware station days after it was bombed. I saw the WTC fall, on live TV. I've seen the hatred in the gaze of the odd extremist.
Sometimes that quacking sound you hear comes from an actual duck.
If these are would-be terrorists, intent on harm, then we need to do more to stop them. Better police work, yes. Better security measures.
Better yet, stop feeding them the fodder for their hatred.