February 2008

by James Colburn

That's great...

The Super Bowl. A bunch of numb-nuts from New Jersey have just stopped the Patriots from completing a perfect season. I can't wait to see the live broadcast of the ticker-tape parade that starts in Secaucus, goes through the swamps of the Meadowlands and winds up at Pulaski Park in Passaic. Whoop-dee-do.

Then there's the TSA. On a recent swing through Orlando airport security, one of their screeners told me that my cameras had to be put through the X-ray machine separately because they were big digital cameras. When I told her that there was nothing on the TSA's Web site stating that, she got angry and insistent.

Now I check the TSA site before every trip and there was (and still is) nothing about digital still cameras, big or small. I reminded her that it was cassette-using video cameras that needed separate X-raying, not my Canon 5Ds. She called her supervisor. He backed her up. I asked for the rule or code that said "big" digital still cameras were supposed to be scanned separately. He couldn't come up with one. I pointed out that TSA rules say that any extra bag screening has to be done in front of the passenger. He didn't care.

My cameras got thrown into a plastic tray and shoved through the X-ray machine. I filed a complaint on the spot. Nothing's going to happen except that I'll probably get put on a "Screw-With-This-Guy" list.

And can somebody explain the English language to me? If you have a revolution (rev-oh-loo-shun), shouldn't you revolu (rev-oh-loo)? Or if you revolt (ree-volt), shouldn't you have a revoltion (ree-vole-shun)? If I can be disgruntled ("displeased and discontented; sulky; peevish"), then why can't I be gruntled?

Well damn it. From now on I'm going to be gruntled.

BTW: The weather in the Rio Grande Valley today was sunny and in the mid-70s.

© James Colburn
Contributing Writer