Come Fly with Cheese! Helpful Air Travel Tips from Vegas Celebrities
The holidays are upon us, which means that there’s an excellent chance that you’re reading these words while cooling your heels at a large metropolitan airport. I wish you safe passage, along with my most sincere hope that your flight is on time, that your laptop battery stays charged, and that coach is relatively free of screaming babies and plague germs. Remember, a good fifty percent of the value of that hundred-dollar upgrade to First Class is freedom from screaming babies. The rest lies in the ability to watch Sandra Bullock movies over and over and over. Your forebears fought and died for this.
On the off-chance that I’ve caught you on your way to the airport, I would like to remind you that that the Transportation Security Administration has laid down several Draconian amazingly helpful and not-at-all arbitrary guidelines governing air travel, and nowhere have I seen those rules and regulations more entertainingly expressed than at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Their TSA video is packed to overflowing with advice and testimonials delivered by Las Vegas celebrities. (It is out of overwhelming respect for my hometown that I don’t put quotation marks around that last word.) In the interest of air safety, I’d like to share those tips with you now.
Note: The images were taken off the TVs in the screening area circa 2004, so some of these Vegas stars have been replaced with newer and hepper personnel. Also, the pictures are blurry because a TSA rep had me by the neck and was shaking me: “Stop that. Stop. Stop. Stop.”
Wayne Newton, the Shadow Mayor of Las Vegas, bids you welcome to the screening gate and advises you to bend over when ordered to do so by TSA agents. Oh, Great Wayne. Danke schoen.
Make sure your carry-on baggage fits in an overhead compartment. Don’t you be like Carrot Top here and try to bring on a bag that’s three times your size! Ha ha ha ha ha! Good God, that guy’s every word and gesture is the purest comedy gold.
Magician Lance Burton, who’s actually one of the better up-close magicians and a pretty nice guy, places all his metal items in the dish — except for his irony!
“Hey, watch this, underpaid TSA screener. I will place the cherry on the sundae that is this slight-of-hand routine by pulling a coin of your ear!”
“Haha, that’s amazing, Mr. Burton. Just love your show. Now please step behind that curtain and bend over.”
Oh-ho! “A Klingon warrior does not remove his headphones for anyone not wielding a Bat’leth.”
A word to all you Trekkers and TV addicts: There’s no need to diss and no need to bring static. There are two things about this segment of the video that are Trek canon: He’s listening to Klenginem, and no Klingon would shell out tall money for an iPod when a cheap black knockoff does the same job.
Singer Clint Holmes implores you to respect his authority. Who’s Clint Holmes? Exactly.
Members of Cirque du Soliel do … something that explains something else. They’re brilliant, I tell you. This is the best part of the informational video, and well-worth the $300 round-trip.
Also, it’s worth noting that at the time this photo was taken, Cirque du Soliel shows only accounted for some 20% of Las Vegas’ entertainment total. Today, that number is up to 90%. This is because Cirque du Soliel are geniuses, and not because Las Vegas casino owners lack imagination.
Take off your blue suede shoes. Cliche you! Cliche you very much.
Speaking of blue things, these strange cyan-colored men pop up at regular intervals to remind you that only ticketed passengers are allowed past the security checkpoint. They mug around with props, stare mutely at the camera, and through advanced telepathy, encourage you to plop down $100 to watch them do the exact same thing in a theater setting.
Don’t try to bring weapons through the security checkpoint — be they guns, knives, bats, razors, broadswords, flails, glaives, English longbows or trebuchets. Sharp-eyed TSA screeners are trained to pay extra-special attention to anyone in a metal codpiece. Huzzah!
Time to catch your plane! The Shadow Mayor bids you getouttheah. Rumor has it that his shiny shirt is made from disobedient children. His hair, too.