They say that a man’s home is his castle. This is a proverbial expression which illustrates the principle of individual privacy, which is fundamental to the American system of government. In this regard, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution — part of the Bill of Rights — prohibits “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Even the law of England has so views a man’s home, particular and tender a regard to the immunity of a man’s house, that it considers it his castle, and will never suffer it to be violated with immunity: agreeing herein with the sentiments of ancient Rome, as expressed in the works of Tully; quid enim sanctius, quid omni religione munitius, quam domus unusquisque civium? Dictionary translation: What more sacred, what more strongly guarded by every holy feeling, than a man’s own home? Or as Clint Eastwood would say, Go ahead punk, make my day!
They also say that a man’s car is an extension of his home, which is why some home owner’s insurance policies cover theft. And if you agree that a man’s home and car are his castle, it becomes fairly easy to make the leap that his both his office cubicle and his seat on the plane are further extensions of said castle. Which brings us to the point of this article (Yes, everything up to this point was simply background – take it or leave it). Just like the English used moats to keep the hoard from entering their castle, the cubicle and the airplane seat come with their own versions of said moat. Although not as obvious to the untrained eye, these moats do exist…they’re called the headset.
That’s right, the headset. They represent the moat separating the knight from the hoard. No matter how long you stand outside the castle, if the drawbridge isn’t down, you can’t sell your wares to the elders of the land. Translation: I can only speak to one person at a time, and now isn’t looking good for you. However, a gifted assassin can overcome the castle wall, even when the iPod moat is full of alligators. I witnessed this achievement on a recent flight. After exchanging the standard pleasantries, which the assassin used to obfuscate her true motives, the victim installed the in-ear headphones, closed his eyes, and settled in for what he thought were sweet dreams. Within moments, the assassin threw her grappling hook over the wall. Translation – she started talking and never shut up until the plane landed.
I sat amused for some time, and the shifted between amusement and discomfort, as I watched the assassin scale the wall. The poor guy never had a chance. No matter how many times he reinserted said earphones and closed his eyes, the assassin continued to hurl the venomous darts. Eventually he realized the battle was lost, settled in, and brought out his fake smile as he tried to look interested. Clearly he needed employ Battle of the 300 type tactics. Translation: don’t make eye contact.
So, before you become said assassin, take a close look at the castle. If the drawbridge is up, come back another day. Because if you aren’t careful, the King may employ more modern tactics – the gas attack. After all, the cubicle and the airplane seat are an extension of a man’s castle.