Recently in Travel Category

Yellow Rose of Texas


I was reading the internet today (when I ought to have been paying attention to class formation in Civil Procedure) and I saw something I thought was unbelievable. Texas has a ban on vibrators? Sure enough, Texas has a ban on vibrators. Huh. Vibrators can be sold as novelties, and presumably also as "Personal Massagers" (scare quotes inserted because I believe that that is the convention used when trying to sell vibrators that you don't want people to know are vibrators), but if you tell somebody it's for sex, you've violated Texas's obscenity laws.

So: Formerly no birth control. Until a couple of years ago no sodomy (defined as anal and oral sex, but limited in enforcement to gay men). And still no sex toys. It seems like it'd be easier for them to just mandate what kind of sex is legal, rather than naming all the sex acts and products that are illegal. They could even use a Federal Register-style administrative regulation! "Sex shall be defined as the following: 1. Featuring one (1) man and one (1) woman. 2. It shall involve the insertion of the male sexual organ into the woman's vagina. 3. No other orifices or protrusions may be involved in sex. 4. The positioning during sex must involve the man on top, facing downward, with the woman on bottom, facing upward (Henceforth, the "missionary position."). ... All deviations from the standards defined herein shall be punishable by fines and other administrative actions."

Programming Difficulties


They don't show movies that feature plane crashes as the in-flight movies on airplanes. This makes sense. Lots of people are already on edge about flying, no need to exacerbate the problem by showing them the worst-case scenario. Jet Blue has in-flight movies available, but they also have a selection of regular cable television channels. Regular cable television channels are not screened for airplane suitability. Perhaps you know where I'm going with this.

Last night/this morning I took a Jet Blue flight from San Diego to New York. It was pretty uneventful. We got off the ground without incident and the televisions switched on. I flicked around the channels, because Jet Blue flights are pretty much my only exposure to cable television (I don't get cable, both because it is too expensive and because I really don't need any more time-gulping distractions in my life). I reached the Sci-Fi Channel just as an episode of The Twilight Zone was starting. I watched a lot of Twilight Zone in my formative years, but haven't seen an episode in a while, so I decided I'd settle in and watch this one.

The episode was Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.

For those who don't know, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (written by Richard Matheson) is the famous (within Twilight Zone circles) episode in which William Shatner (before he got tubby and his acting got hammy) plays a travelling salesman on a long flight. He's returning home after a stay in a sanitarium following a nervous breakdown, and is flying with his wife. He's extraordinarily nervous about the flight, but he manages, with the help of his wife, to keep calm through take-off. The plane flies through a storm, and Bob cautiously glances out the window. There, on the wing, he sees the outline of a man. He tries to tell his wife and the stewardess, but every time someone else looks out the window the man is gone. Eventually, as he looks on in horror, the man opens up a panel on the engine and begins tearing out wires. Bob, needless to say, goes apeshit. The captain tries to trick him into taking sedatives. Bob does so and then pretends to go to sleep. He then gets up, sneaks over to the air marshall and steals his gun. Returning to this seat, he steels his courage and opens the emergency exit, causing himself to get sucked out as his wife tries to hold him in by his legs. He aims his gun and fires at the gremlin on the wing, causing it to fall off the plane. The episode ends on the ground with Bob being carted off in a straight jacket.

I enjoyed it, but needless to say it possibly wasn't the sort of show that would show up on the in-flight entertainment if there were planning involved. I also watched an episode of Quantum Leap, and I learned, through the person sitting next to me, that The Tao of Steve is an amazingly long movie for a film in which, essentially, nothing happens.

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