(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
By Yuval Weiss
Last Updated 11/2/2015 at 12:30 PM
Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport: Noted author, New York Times columnist, and pundit Thomas Friedman was detained early this morning at Ben Gurion Airport for attempting to illegally smuggle multiple clichés out of the country. In addition, he is being held for possession of several non sequiturs and homespun bits of nonsense that he failed to declare to Customs authorities upon departure. The United States Embassy in Tel Aviv has sent a Consular Affairs official to the airport to meet with Mr. Friedman and ensure that he is being treated in accordance with agreements and protocols between the two nations vis-a-vis detention of citizens in transit. Meanwhile, the Daily Freier is on the scene of the unfolding crisis and speaking with Israeli Border Authority Spokesperson Sarit B.
“Mr. Friedman exceeded the very strict cliché limit that Israeli Customs Law dictates. Normally we let people go if they have one or two Masada references. Same with “Stuff your neighborhood juice guy told you”. You’re also allowed to have two camel anecdotes from the Negev……Birthright participants are allowed six.”
Mr. Friedman first attracted attention while standing on line waiting for the pre-departure interview. Alert local Ronit S. was waiting on line next to him and discreetly notified security that something was amiss. Ronit shared her experience with the Daily Freier; “So it’s 7 AM, I’m on my way to Rome for a week, and this guy will Not…Stop…Talking to me. At first I ignored him because I thought he was just trying to hit on me. Then I realized it was far worse. He was trying to convince me that the Bible was actually a lot like a tech start up in Palo Alto.”
Suspicions were further raised when Mr. Friedman informed Passport Control officer David P. that “Bibi is still bargaining but the shuk is about to close.” followed by “If Assad watched Seinfeld then Putin should have played American football.” David explained the chain of events to the Daily Freier; “He wasn’t making any sense. I even called over my supervisor and we just sat there staring at him dumbfounded as he compared the Gaza withdrawal of 2005 to the Amtrak Acela train from DC to New York. None of us could figure out what the hell he was talking about so we detained him.”
When the Daily Freier queried David as to why Mr. Friedman was still being held, he replied
“I don’t know. Why don’t you go ask ‘Captain Obvious’ over there” as he gestured to Mr Friedman pacing backs and forth in his holding cell. When the Daily Freier approached the cell to talk to Mr. Friedman, he began screaming “The world is flat!……I wish that Mark Zuckerberg could run Saudi Arabia for a day!….. I’m overpaid!….. Bibi is buying matzoh but Abbas is selling a carpet!….. Olive trees!….. Random hummus reference!…..When you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail!….. NASDAQ! …..Georgetown!…. Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer but Ariel Sharon was a rancher!….. That time I played backgammon with the late King Hussein!…. AirBnB could never work under Mubarak!….. What if King Solomon had Wi-Fi?”
Authorities were finally able to sedate Mr. Friedman with a phone call from a patient and genial Shimon Peres followed by an hour of traditional Israeli folk dancing with the guards, some of the cleaning staff, and the ladies who work in the duty-free shop.