IN general, I don't take orders from anyone except (as a matter of prudence) my wife. So the last time I was in an airport and security agents started bellowing, "Freeze!" I simply carried on with my business of buying a box of chocolates at a pushcart a few dozen feet away from the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint area.
I was immediately upbraided, not by a security officer, but by a fellow passenger. Like dozens of other travelers near the checkpoint, he had abruptly halted in place, on command, as if playing a children's game.
"You're supposed to freeze!" the guy growled at me as he stood motionless in the frozen tableau of the reflexively compliant.
But wait a minute: Am I really supposed to freeze?
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