Baffling airline rule

Laugh Tracks in the Dust

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Last week I used my entire column to tell the miserable tale of personal airline debacle on our air trip to Knoxville, Tenn., to the wedding of our grand-daughter. However, I put off until this week a discussion of a baffling airline travel safety situation that is not rigorously enforced by the ever-alert Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

I learned the hard way years ago that you can’t board an airline with a cheap pocketknife in your pocket. That’s becuz I had a pocketknife confiscated by the TSA at the airport in Wichita. The TSA will also confiscate metal fingernail clippers — too dangerous to carry on an airliner or in airport concourses.

Now I will admit that it would be possible, but not easy, to kill or maim a fellow airline passenger with a pocketknife. However, in my long lifetime I’ve never once heard about someone killing or maiming someone with finger nail clippers. A fingernail file? Perhaps. But not clippers.

Which brings me to the point about the baffling TSA overlook when it comes to air travel safety. In my old age, whenever I expect to walk a goodly distance, I take along a very nice walking stick that I bought at a curio shop on the Grand Canyon four years ago. Since I expected to have to walk quite aways in the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport on our trip, I took along my walking stick.

Now, my walking stick is four-feet long and about an inch and a half in diameter at the head. It weights a couple of pounds at least. While technically it’s a walking stick, it could serve equally well as a cudgel stick — a club if you choose. If I had a mind to do harm to someone, my cudgel stick would serve the purpose quite effectively. In short, it would be easy to clunk someone in the head with my walking stick. It would be far easier to cause personal injury with my walking stick than it would with my pocketknife or fingernail clippers.

But, do you know what? The ever-vigilant folks at the TSA — without hesitation or question — happily escorted my walking stick through their security check line. I picked it up with my billfold and shoes and kept it with me throughout our lengthy airport delay ordeal. I carried it on to the plane and stored it in the overhead bin. I could have clunked any number of obnoxious persons I encountered, but I didn’t.

However, I can report that my dangerous walking stick provided me a sense of personal security just in case I happened to need it. Glad the TSA didn’t confiscate it!

***

A faithful rancher reader, ol’ Manny G. Kowkamps, from Bennett, Colo. — with beef enterprises in both Colorado and Wyoming — wrote me a personal letter this week thanking me for opposing the introduction of wolves and Grizzly bears into mountainous cattle country. Both of those predatory critters love the taste of fresh-killed beef.

Manny sez that in Colorado it’s all the “woke” folks, from the governor on down, who advocate for wolves and bears. I’d wager a guess that few, if any, of them have personally laid eyes on the ravaged remains of a bovine critter painfully and frightfully brought down alive and eaten by those predators. I doubt very much that their squeamish stomachs and animal-loving hearts could handle the sight. But, they might imagine what happened through the eyes of the beef critter, rather than through the eyes of the predator.

Anyway, ol’ Manny says that “speaking up” is about the only way he has to hopefully bring about change. He also mentioned that part of his “speaking up” is to apply bumper stickers to his vehicles that read “Shoot, Shovel and Shut-up.” He says when Colorado “woke folks” ask him about the bumper stickers, he tells them it’s for “perverts, pedophiles, and politicians.” He gave me two such stickers and I attached them to my old, decrepit UTV.

***

I know it’s after Memorial Day, but I didn’t become aware of the following patriotic poem until just a few days ago. It wuz written by my old high school English, Literature and Drama teacher, ol’ deManza Rhymer. Yep, he’s considerably older than me and he’s still kickin’ and creatin’ in Kansas City. Here’s his Memorial Day poem:

 

Ode to Those Who Fought

In days of yore, when freedom’s flame
Did flicker low, and tyranny’s name
Did reign supreme, a heroic band
Did stand and fight, with hearts so grand.

Their cause was just, their will unbroken,
Their courage unshaken, their hearts unspoken.
For they knew that democracy was the key
To freedom’s door, where all may be.

These brave souls fought with strength and grace,
Their voices raised, their hearts in place.
They stood against the tide of hate,
And fought for what is right, for what is great.

Today, we must honor their memory,
And heed their call to stand in unity.
For if we do not, democracy’s light
May fade away, and darkness takes its flight.

So let us stand, and fight for what is right,
For democracy’s sake, and for our sight.
For if we do not, we shall surely fall,
And tyranny will stand tall.
***

These words of wisdom for the week come from the aforementioned Manny G. Kowkamps: “Take a deep seat, a short rein, and a far-away look and never eat or drink anything you can’t pronounce.” Have a good ‘un.

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