When I perform comedy, I dress in black.
Not because it is the chosen dress code of the cynical and depressed profession of comedians.
I dress in black because I go to the airports a lot.
Oh, I don’t travel any more. As you can imagine, most of my traveling by planes has stopped since September 11.
No. I‘m like ExLax, the popular American laxative. I just go there to scare the crap out of the people. It’s about the only fun I get.
I don’t have to say anything or even do much. I just stand there and grunt occasionally. Plea flee like farmers in the early 1960s Japanese-made Godzilla movies.
Naturally, people do come up to me and ask me all kinds of questions at the airport.
'That’s not my bag. That’s my wife'
The question I get most asked most often: “Are you on my flight?”
Security usually asks me other questions, like: “Did anyone suspicious-looking give you anything to put in your bags?”
“Suspicious-looking?” I respond in utter disbelief. “Have you seen my family? They are all suspicious looking.”
Or, they ask: “Is that your bag?”
“No, that’s not my bag. That’s my wife. She’s wearing a Berqa.”
But like all husbands, I make the mistake of starting to think, wondering if maybe I can save half the price of my ticket if I put my wife with the baggage.
No Right of Return
They do that anyway in some Islamic countries.
I did travel one time this year, though. I thought I was going to Mexico. But who knew that “El Al” isn’t a Mexican name? I ended up in Israel.
When the waitress came up to me, she asked if she could get me anything. Of course, I replied, “Well, how about the keys to my handcuffs.”
She un-handcuffed me and I went to the bathroom.
Sure, you know what I am going to say, but not all of it. When I got to the airplane bathroom, someone was in it. It didn’t say “Occupied” on the door.
Instead, it read in English, Arabic and Hebrew, “Disputed Toiletry Area.”
Attorney and tenacious defender of Israel Alan Dershowitz was assigned to stand next to the “disputed” urinals just in case someone complained. It’s a good job. He’s writing a book about how Palestinians are jeopardizing the peace by asking to use the toilets on airplanes.
And when I got back to my seat, the flight attendants gave the seat to someone else.
They said they never forced me to leave - I did so on my own and therefore have no Right of Return.
They asked me to leave. But they were stuck arguing that if they did open the door to the plane while it was in flight, it might bring down the plane.
But since there was only “one” of me, it didn’t qualify to be “collective punishment.”
They let me stand the rest of the flight.
An award winning syndicated columnist and Palestinian standup comedian Ray Hanania writes exclusively for YnetNews on issues that are serious, satirical and humorous. He can be reached at www.hanania.com