Friday, August 11, 2006


Now I hear that they are confiscating items like bottled water and lipstick at checkpoints before boarding airplanes. I never before considered my lipstick a lethal substance or something that could be mixed with other ingredients and used to blow up things. Nor did I consider its tube big enough to carry anything useful other than that slight tinge of color to enliven my features! I have known for a long time that my mascara can be dangerous. Just stick that wand in your eye and you have black tears rolling down your face and your vision is blurred for hours! But lipstick! Who would have ever thought?

The names on my lipsticks are so benign. Petal Pink. Scarlet Flame. Autumn Orange. One would never guess that their containers could be used to kill. The terrorists seem to be desperately looking at all the everyday, mundane items that seem so innocent and safe, so that they can surprise us with a new way to annihilate a good number of us in ways that are difficult to fathom. And using something as innocuous as a lipstick would be about as mundane as one can get.

Americans are strange people, in a way. We carry these things with us, and we feel we can't leave home without them. Who wants to be caught in London without a lipstick? It is almost like asking a gal to walk around naked. Isn't it enough that we have to kick off our shoes and allow strangers to roll little wands around our bodies? Do these idiot terrorists have to take our lipsticks, too?

I can envision a day when we are stripped of all clothing, all possessions, when boarding a plane. We will be issued little paper outfits akin to those used in doctor's offices. They will crinkle and wrinkle as we sit in our seats, devoid of drinks, books, magazines, anything that could be converted into a weapon.....and evidently almost everything can!

We will all eye each other suspiciously as we sit there, for we are told to be alert. If our seat companion twitches or scratches or moves about suspiciously, we must inform someone. And Heaven help him if he is Middle Eastern. I once traveled from London sitting in front of a turbaned fellow whom I considered a dead ringer for Osama bin Laden. Of course, that time they allowed me to keep my lipstick. Go ahead and laugh, but I used my little makeup mirror to constantly reapply my lipstick and incidentally keep an eye on that fellow.

I presume they will allow us to use a lipstick before boarding a plane, so if you can buy a long-lasting, guaranteed to be water-resistant, adhesive type cosmetic, perhaps one application will last your entire trip. Smear it on! It has to last! Or I understand you can visit a tattoo artist and have permanent color applied to your face. This sounds painful, though, and I don't have the courage necessary to withstand pain, so forget that idea.

Years ago, they used to advise women to fight off attackers with force. We were told to fight with any weapons we could find in our purses, scream, scratch and toss our car keys as far away as possible.

I used to ridicule all this, claiming that, if faced with an attacker, I would reach in my purse, blind him with a perfume spray and stab him with my lipstick. You see, it was never my habit to carry anything that would be useful as a weapon in my purse. Now, my purse is a regular arsenal of potential death! Lipstick, perfume, deodorant, mouthwash....out it goes!

Today's world is different. We don't worry so much about these everyday kinds of attackers, because we have become obsessed and frightened by the invisible kind, the ones who videotape their sinister messages for the world to view, then kill themselves while taking as many others with them as possible. These messages always list the ways they feel other people have messed up the world, but for the life of me, I can't understand how they believe that killing themselves and others is any way to correct the problems.

To me, life is a very precious gift. To throw it away is stupidity, because gifts do not come around that often. We have people who suffer from horrible diseases, people who are crippled, people who are blind or, like me, deaf or hearing impaired. We should use our faculties to cure these maladies and conditions, rather than tossing away our lives in silly political fracases. Those terrorists ought to work to improve conditions in their countries. They ought to become political leaders, instead of whining dingbats who blow themselves up and try to demolish airplane or train passengers. What good does that do?

I suppose the problem is that Americans enjoyed such a leisurely, fairly prosperous way of life that we have been ignorant of the fact that more than half the people in the world are desperately poor, in need of help, and looking at the United States with hatred and envy. We find this difficult to understand because no one has stopped them from emulating our way of life. It seems to be a case of their rulers....dictators or ruling families....causing their distress, not Americans!. "Hate America 101" has even become a school subject and North Koreans, for instance, are brought up on a diet of hate for us. It's like a school lunch, to be digested and remembered.

It makes it difficult to know what to do to correct this situation, and to protect ourselves, we start tossing away potentially dangerous items, like our lipstick. We want nothing more than freedom to live our relaxed style of life, with these Shadow Fiends out of our hair and the oil to keep flowing in our pipelines.

But I guess life isn't that easy. Terrorism, I fear, will be with us now and forever, and we will have to learn to cope. We have Americans now who label other citizens as "lazy" and "sinful." Ann Coulter has made a career out of demonizing her fellow Americans. We are beset by within as well as set upon by terrorists. One part of the country seems to want continual War, while the other part still clings to dreams of peace.

It's a quandary to be sure, and the inclusion of my lipstick in the list of dangers facing us is reaching into the hidden recesses of my cosmetic necessities. I can give up many things without complaint, but my lipstick is essential, and should be left alone when seeking things with which to make a bomb or carry a bomb.

You idiot terrorists want to kill yourself, do so without company, face your maker like the cowards you are, and leave my lipstick out of it!