Jewish World Review Sept. 13, 2002 / 7 Tishrei, 5763
Airlines ban back-shaving on all
But back-shaving enthusiasts cry foul over new rules
One day after four unruly passengers locked themselves in a bathroom on board a
Northwest Airlines plane, reportedly to shave each other's backs, major U.S. airlines
established new rules banning back-shaving on all domestic flights.
"Make no mistake about it," said Jody McPherson, a spokesman for the airline
industry. "This new policy means zero-tolerance for back-shaving."
Aircraft used by the major airlines were expected to have their bathrooms fitted with
new alarms that would activate at the first sign of back-shaving.
And passengers at airline ticket desks, in addition to the usual security questions,
will now be asked, "Do you intend to shave your back in the course of the flight?"
While many travelers applauded the new no-back-shaving policy, embattled
back-shaving enthusiasts said that they were being unfairly singled out.
"It's really open season on back-shavers," said Carlton Holman, a leader of one of
the country's prominent back-shavers' rights groups. "Already, we're not allowed to
shave our backs in the office building I work in. I have to step outside during my
lunch hour to do it."
Mr. Holman said that the new rules meant that back-shavers would be less likely to
fly in the future but would drive instead, allowing them to shave their backs in the
privacy of their cars.
And while anti-back-shaving groups called the airlines' decision a victory, they are
hardly resting on their laurels.
Next week, the groups are meeting with Hollywood producers and television
networks to persuade them to produce fewer movies and TV programs that portray
back-shaving in a glamorous light.
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JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, a former president of the Harvard Lampoon, is a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville. He is the author, most recently, of "Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor's Guide to Day Trading" and "Rationalizations to Live By". Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.
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© 2002, Andy Borowitz