26 February 2012


by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 26 February 2012

"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity." Frank Leahy

Since post 9/11 restrictions carrying knives aboard an airplane I've had to throw away at least a half dozen small Swiss Army knives--not remembering the knife was in my pocket until going through security. That is, without fail, just as a knife was good and broken in, I'd inevitably forget to toss it in a checked bag, so in the TSA confiscation bucket it went.

Hold that thought.

California and North Carolina: Last week going through security at a west coast airport a couple of items in my carry-on bag, for whatever reason, triggered an alert that resulted in them being wiped for explosives, and I was subjected to pat down akin to being willingly molested. Thank you, colonel, for nearly 30 years of uniformed service to country. Annoyed? Yes. And made those sentiments known--civilly, of course. And there was no insight offered by TSA as to why my items triggered an alert and the need for an overly familiar 'pat down.'

A week later, returning home, while approaching security at an east coast airport, I realized my Swiss Army knife was in my pocket. Damn. I did the right thing--told a TSA screener and showed the knife (1 1/4" inch blade; nail file; tiny pair of scissors; tweezers; and a plastic toothpick). TSA agent comment while smacking a wad of gum, "Oh, no knives, of any type are permitted, sir. I don't make the rules I just enforce 'em. We can go see a supervisor if you want." The agent did not confiscate the knife and continued about the business of reciting script as to removing belts and shoes and computers from bags and shuffling bins etc. Still annoyed by the ridiculous treatment on the west coast, my thought, 'Screw it. This is stupid. My hands, feet, knees, and elbows are more dangerous than this knife. I'm not throwing another good knife away.' So I tossed the knife in a bin alongside a belt and pair of shoes and passed it through the scanning machine and by the screener. After I passed through and cleared x-ray I retrieved my carry-on bag and bin items--to include, surprisingly, my knife. Hooray! A good guy won. If no knives, of any size or shape, are permitted then what happened? Whatever. Good grief.

Afghanistan: Incinerating Korans--so, as go reports, a few of the sacred books--being used for cover to pass messages between those hostile to our efforts, are not maliciously but carelessly burned and folks are offended sparking rampant violence (ongoing); destruction of property, injuries, and deaths (to include U. S. military personnel being executed); frenzied mobs chanting 'death to America'; and apologies from U. S. generals, diplomats, and statesmen to include the president. Pathetic. Supposed intelligent American talking heads have been on the air saying we have to put ourselves in their shoes and appreciate the importance of this symbol of their culture. Really? Ridiculous. Insanity. And dead wrong. America is not the country with a problem. What about the abusive treatment of the symbol of our culture--our flag--which thousands have died for during the past decade? And, more importantly, killing our people over a book? Those idiots do not appreciate coalition forces, especially American, trying to help them. Instead of rioting they should be on their knees thanking their god we're not of the nature to incinerate millions of them in retaliation simply because we can. Maybe we should--just to make a point. Weakness they exploit. Overwhelming power they respect. Quit cowering and appeasing. Give them a taste of overpowering force to instill calm, promise more without warning if necessary, and be done with it. Good grief.

Washington, DC: Mr. Obama, and his media cheerleaders, believing everyone to be their intellectual inferior (i.e., stupid) is on the stump telling the country how wonderful their work and that the economy is improving. Baloney! There are a handful of simple signs even the stupidest of stupid can read that prove otherwise: 1) no change in the dismal residential real estate market (in fact, it appears to be getting worse--moving foreclosures does not count); 2) commercial real estate occupancy is worse (small businesses continue to fold--big ones too, others not bothering to give it a try, and store fronts in shopping centers and malls are empty); 3) more pawn shops and gold dealers are popping up (everywhere I've traveled); 4) family and friends remain unemployed (official 8.5 % unemployment is a lie--convenient selective omission of folks out of work is deceptive...actual unemployment is over 16% and some say over 20% (and it might be higher); 5) soaring gasoline prices (let's hope they keep climbing and we'll watch the president implode). Nor have I heard anyone say their life is better than four years ago. Ronald Reagan had a clever quip about recession being when your neighbor loses his job and depression when you lose yours. Add 'celebration' when Obama loses his. Bottom line: America cannot work if Americans are not working. And hoping is not going to change that. Good grief.

Orlando, FL: Yet again folks are rioting over the release of some novelty Nike sneaker priced at over $200.00 a pair. These are not people acting stupidly. These people are idiots. And most likely the same idiots that defaulted on home loans; drive cars they can't afford; have the latest smart phone; buy alcohol, cigarettes, and junk food with food stamps; couldn't pass a drug test if their life depended on it (but that requirement is coming); and voted for 'hope and change.' Unbelievable. Enough. Internet sales only for these luxury items is a first step toward solving this one. Good grief.

Washington, DC: Sports coaches, especially at the big time collegiate and professional levels, are expected to win. Even if they've been winning and hit hard times the pressure to win is incredible. And job security is not necessarily assured with winning season after winning season--there had better be success in post-season play, too. The understood ultimatum from fans, alumni, and the administration is ever present--win or we'll find someone who can. After all, it's about the money. Ever see a reputable program losing for four consecutive years and the coach keep his job? Ha. That coach, and much of his staff, will be out work. And there rests the analogy for electing a new president. Time for a new 'coach.' And staff. Good grief.

California: New line in response to the flood of annoying charity solicitations--whether junk snail mail, email, or phone calls: "Sorry, gave at the gas pump. Redirect pleas to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue." Good grief.

California: We decided to have brunch at an IHOP (as refresher, IHOP being International House of Pancakes--emphasis on 'Pancakes'). A minute or two after being seated by the hostess our waitress appeared with a welcoming greeting and menus and went to fetch drinks. We decided on meals centered around, what else, pancakes--which we really had a taste for. As we began to order the waitress stopped us and apologized, "We're having trouble with our pancake batter today. Would you like something else?" What? You're in the pancake business and can't make pancakes. No kidding. Too hungry to leave we settled for omelets. Offered on comment card: Change name to IHOF (Food). Good grief.

California: This happened more than a week ago but it's a true story I enjoy recalling and telling. My wife and I were enjoying a beautiful spring desert evening and sunset in the Coachella Valley and had stopped at a light at the intersection of Frank Sinatra Drive and some smaller through street. Smooth jazz was playing on the radio. Perfect evening. Moments later a snazzy convertible coupe (top up) pulled up on our starboard. My wife, in the passenger seat, glanced over and said, "That woman should be driving with her top down." I looked over and saw a striking blond--late 20s maybe early 30s, thought for a second, and innocently said, "Yes, absolutely agree, she certainly should be driving with her top down." Must have been the tone and enthusiasm in my voice that caused my wife to leap to all sorts of assumptions, that, of course, had not occurred to me, as to how I interpreted her comment. Good grief. :-)

South Carolina: Oh, almost forgot, learned last week a family member has been accepted to attend Furman University in the fall. Good school. About the only attire I wear with any sort of logo is shirts and sweatshirts imprinted with the Marine Corps emblem. However, I've decided to make an exception for Furman and have put in a request for a sweatshirt. On the front in great big white block letters: FU 

Anyway, can hardly wait to see what nonsense comes along during the week coming. Staying tuned in is far easier than trying to craft fiction. And reality is better--at least for laughs. Who could make this stuff up. Good grief is right.

Have a great week!

Post Script

Nine out of ten dentists surveyed believe stupidity is a fleeting condition and idiocy is incurable.


Bruce said...

Goodness, Colonel - you sound much like this crusty old copper! Some (most?) would say that is a bad thing:) This is probably why so many cops and Marines are akin. Certainly so in my case.

Great commentary, sir!

Steve Morgan said...

Good stuff Andy. Can I steal the line about: "paid at the pump?". Like it.