Saturday, January 30, 2021

Fortress Party 2019 Retrospective, Part 7 - TSA Precheck and United Clotheslines

The entrance to Fortress Party 2019 was TSA Precheck, an elaborate maze of functioning airport security apparatuses.

Fortress Security Administration (FSA) agents wearing nitrile gloves would wave a metal detector over each guest to make sure they weren't packing heat. 

At the top left of this picture, you can see clocks showing the time in different parts of the world. The cities included Ann Arbor New York, Havana, Toronto, Panama City, Kingston, Bogota, and Quito. These cities are all in the same time zone, so the idea is that the clocks would show the exact same time. Unfortunately, the batteries fell out of a couple of them, so by time the party started, most of them were out of sync, and the joke was lost. 

Guests would then make their way down the gangplank onto their United Clotheslines plane ("United Fort 2019") where they could review the safety cards in seat in front of them, and enjoy a complimentary copy of HemisForts magazine.

Fortress Party 2019 came closer to a unifying theme than any of its recent predecessors, but I'm not sure if anyone noticed it. The theme was cryptozoology. The Loch Ness monster was in the Scotland Room, there were aliens in Area '51, the Yeti was in the Tibet Town Hall, and here we had Bigfoot ("Captain Squatch") piloting the plane. 

These seemingly diverse imaginary creatures were tied together by the in-flight entertainment, a music video for the Hard Taco song "Sightings." We also hinted at it by having the Captain announce that the flight would be making stops in each of the cryptids'... Lhasa (Yeti), Seattle (Bigfoot), Edinburgh (Nessie), and Roswell (little green men.) 

Here is a clip that just includes the entire loop that played in the room, including the safety video, words from the captain and flight attendants, the in-flight entertainment ("Sightings"), and the crash-landing into the side of a mountain. 


Above is a passengers' view of the safety video.

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