Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Come Fly With Me

by Pa Rock

Cowboy humorist Will Rogers is reported to have said that he never met a man he didn’t like. Well, my heart is not as pure as his, and I can dislike people based on the slightest of slights or the most insignificant provocations. But it’s not people that really get my mad game going – it’s airports!

I do not have the physical ability to remain calm in an airport, an especially dangerous situation for me because I live in Phoenix where the dumb-ass airport security caused a woman’s death last fall. You don’t mess around at Sky Harbor Airport!

Airports have always been cauldrons of discontent based on their operating procedures: overbooking flights and losing luggage being two of the more egregious examples of avoidable trip-spoilers. Weather also can have a large impact on the sanity of passengers, especially after sleeping two or three nights on an airport floor. And there's always the added thrill of never knowing how many hours you may have to sit, cramped up and sweating, on a plane before it actually takes off. Airports are not for the feint-of-heart or those with pronounced homicidal tendencies!

The biggest outrage at our nation's airports, however, is the Cretin Corps whose duty it is to rifle through luggage and remove obvious threats to public safety, such as toothpaste or hair gel. Osama bin Laden would have less trouble riding his camel onto the plane than I would trying to smuggle an extra ounce of Crest past the ever-vigilant, petty bureaucrat, cop wannabe who lives for the thrill of trying to provoke me into a stroke!

I might be able to maintain if the rules were enforced the same way in every airport, but each one does things in their own unique style. What flies out of Denver, may have to walk out of Kansas City.

And speaking of Kansas City (God, how I love a smooth transition!), those mangy varmints, I think they call themselves "First Line" or something clever like that, have one of the choicest scams in the nation. Kansas City fancies itself to be a world class barbecue town - just don't spread that tidbit to Memphis, Chicago, or the entire state of Texas! And because they are so well known for their barbecue, they sell countless barbecue recipe books and sauces in the terminal gift shops. The rub - they sell that, too - the rub is that if you buy their world class barbecue sauce, in plain sight of the luggage goons, they promptly relieve you of it as you try to board the plane. There are, of course, no signs to that effect in the places that sell the barbecue sauce.

Kansas City may have great barbecue, but I suspect that much of it is served up in the homes of the airport baggage screeners. I also bet that their families have some of the whitest teeth in the Midwest!

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