We are all impacted by terrorism, and if you doubt that simply think back to your last adventure in air travel. Getting on a plane in most major airports involves multiple checks of identification and boarding passes, damn near undressing before sending personal items down a conveyor belt and through X-ray, and a full-body scan that leaves nothing to the imagination. Overhead speakers repeatedly and annoyingly stress the need to be on the lookout for anything suspicious - and to definitely not carry anything onto the plane for someone else.
My biggest resentment in the pig-push to board a plane is having to take my shoes off, put them on the conveyor belt, and then walk around on the filthy airport carpet in my stocking feet. (Phoenix Skyharbor Airport is trying to brand itself as the friendliest airport in America -it isn't - but it does hold the honor of having some of the nastiest carpeting in the country!)
All of this aggravation is primarily due to two events - the 9/11 attacks of 2001 in which four large passenger airplanes were turned into flying bombs, and another incident three months later where a British national on a flight from Paris to Miami tried to detonate a shoe bomb. The would-be shoe-bomber, Richard Reid, failed in his attempt to set off the bomb and blow up an airplane full of innocent people, but he was wildly successful at making air travel much more harried and stressful. Richard Reid, once a relative nobody, became personally responsible for tens of thousands of people having to bend over and shuck their shoes every day in American airports.
Now news sources are reporting that the American intelligence community has warned the Russians that terrorists may be planning to smuggle explosives into the Sochi Olympics in toothpaste tubes. More indignities, I fear, are on the horizon.
Homeland Security will undoubtedly develop a Toothpaste Division, and TSA agents will be sporting brighter, whiter smiles. Toothpaste kiosks will pop-up like toadstools in airport arrival areas - perhaps next to the luggage carousels.
And once these changes begin to be implemented, they will never, ever go away.
My next career may be training toothpaste-sniffing dogs out at the farm.