I arrived at the Ft. Lauderdale airport to a line at the Spirit Airline ticket counter so long that I didn’t even contemplate whether to wait. My flight to Laguardia wasn’t until 3:20 P.M., and it was only 11:00 A.M., so, after a leisurely lunch, I dropped my bags off and decided to look for the chapel.
There was no chapel at the airport—only a meditation room. A sign on the door read: “The Meditation Room has been locked due to security reasons. If you need to use the Meditation Room, go to the nearest pay phone and dial *22. An Aviation Department representative will make it available to you. Thank you.”
My curiosity was piqued: What was in the meditation room that constituted a security risk? I went to the nearest pay phone and dialed *22. It took the Aviation Department official about five minutes to show up. A meek-looking fellow in his early 60’s, he sized me up intensely as if to determine whether I was a troublemaker. He asked me how long I was going to be, and I said I would need it for a half-hour or so. When I asked him why this meditation room was considered a security risk, he mumbled something about September 11 and asked me where I had been since then.
There were no bomb-making materials in the room. In fact, there was nothing in the room but three rows of ten nice-looking chairs all facing the...