Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2160 Life Socks

I guess it pays to be careful. But sometimes you wonder if people do stuff just because they can. You know, mid-level functionaries in unrewarding positions that insist on the letter of the law even when it makes no sense.

Take the TSA. It was nice to see recently when they loosened up some of their requirements in the list of items allowed on airplanes. Except then they changed their mind and banned them again. So it's still not appropriate to bring lacrosse sticks or wiffle ball bats. God forbid you bean a stewardess but wiffle ball bat.

Then again, if someone threatened me with a wiffle ball bat, I really would think he was crazy. And that would be scary.

But the news story I read recently is absurd. A TSA agent confiscated a tiny toy gun belonging to a sock monkey. I know, what was a sock monkey doing going through the security line? Turns out it was included in a carry-on bag of a woman who makes custom sock monkeys for a living. It was part of her props and displays.

In the security agent's defense, it wasn't that tiny. It was a two-inch toy gun. Large enough for the sock monkey to hold up and threaten a really really gullible flight attendant. And that's all a fanatical-looking sock monkey terrorist would need. The threat, if not the actual way to carry out the threat. 

Which is, of course, the reality lurking behind TSA security theater. A sufficiently dedicated terrorist could use a chokehold or any weapon, even paper cuts from the inflight magazine, to take a flight attendant hostage and from there the whole plane.

But until mid-level functionaries lose their power, pack your sock monkey out of reach, and in your checked baggage.  

America, ya gotta love it.

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