Airports drive you crazy. They are the world in a microcosm. Racism is rampant. Harassment, the VIP syndrome, rip-offs, the paper chase, dry mouths, hopes delayed, it’s all there.
Now, they are going to have weighing machines in the western world so that we have to pass another test.
As if Zika, MERS and bird flu and dengue and all those other goodies that made us ‘go in that line, get checked’ were not enough, now we have to worry about our weight.
While it might be a good idea from the point of view of the fat man who sits next to you instead of the pretty girl and then spills over into your seat, this gives ‘arbitrary’ a whole new meaning.
Not only will we have to wait for interminable periods to get our bags while praying they haven’t been despatched to Caracas, now people wanting to settle abroad will have to stand in line to do their BMI test.
I can see it happening to so many thousands, like the incident with that poor South African chef who was turned around by the Kiwis and told to scamper (?) back home for weighing 130 kilos. He is a chef, for food’s sake, surely he deserves a break. I mean, what better advertisement could there be for his culinary skills?
The rationale is that such people cost the health care sector loads of money and are prone to falling ill.
All right, makes sense. But if this is taken to its logical end, why look at only weight? We can start looking at so many other reasons to stop people at the airport and put them on the return flight.
For example, teeth and eyes could be checked. Dentists and ophthalmologists cost a bomb, and we don’t need strangers clogging up the works.
You smoke? No? Then what are these brown stains on your teeth? This way please, into the deportation queue with you.
Finally, people are getting down to the truthfulness of the matter. We don’t like each other, we don’t want each other and Marshal Maclughan’s global village is actually a pretense. The world is more tribal and provincial than an elitist club.
We can now do it for colour, caste, or any racist premise.
We can soon move into language (people must know English or bug off). I think they are implementing that prerequisite already. Maybe it goes something like this-
'Ladies and Gentlemen, Transcon Airline Flight 645 has landed. All first time visitors may please collect their belongings and go for the written and oral English testing to the right of the terminal before making for immigration.'
We can push people off on grounds of religion, because they eat different food, wear different clothes (already happening) and that way our purity is safe.
The main problem with this weight thing is that there is no dictate on the flip side. What about those who are anorexic or bulimic and look like they are on a starvation diet. They are as much of a medical drain as the fat ones (and they are not even jolly). So how come they are exempt. Told you there was a flaw.
First Published On : Feb 7, 2016 21:00 IST