It's a staple of bridal showers, boys, and you've surely heard of it: you team up, you're issued a bog-roll or three, the timer starts and-- Go! Whoever's assembled the best creation at the end of the allotted time wins.
It's a way of defusing the scary-solemn occasion looming over the bride-to-be, a sea-change looming like a tidal wave, a thin defense against an onrushing future.
It's also a metaphor for the Transportation Security Administration. TSA, the boys and girls in blue and white who keep you safe when you travel -- and who have turned out to be just as much use when things go pear-shaped as a toilet-paper wedding dress in a tidal wave.
I'm not blaming the TSA agents; they bore the brunt of the madman's ire, armed with their normal empty hands and barely-adequate training and y'know what? They did all right; by what I can find, they didn't flee or cower. Nope, I blame the fools who decided the appearance of security was more important than the hard and dirty work of actually securing airports, who stuck unarmed "security" workers without arrest powers right out in the open,* who decided rope-on-sticks courtesy barriers were as good as solid walls--
It was a three-names nutjob who did the harm but it was temporizing twits in Washington D.C. who made it possible, men and women for whom the appearance is as good as the reality, if not better, and who figured some updated Gilbert & Sullivan would play just fine at airports. ...At least until reality showed just how unhappy a fake-policeman's lot could be.
You may wonder at my taking the occasion of death and injury to editorialize. I'm in good company -- an agency spokesman is using the death of TSA's Gerardo I. Hernandez to shill for bigger budgets and more personnel. Classy.
(As a matter of policy, this blog does not use the names of mass shooters. I will not help make the sickies famous.)
* Seriously, are they supposed to be sacrificial targets, or what? If you want to see how cheapskate commercial outfits deal with unarmed workers in high-risk areas, visit the liquor stores and 24-hour gas stations in the tough neighborhoods. The cashier's behind a locked door and a few inches of bullet-resistant plastic. TSA agents can be damned annoying, officious busybodies who sometimes make up rules when they're not sure and push people around because they can, but that rates a letter to their boss and the editor of your local birdcage liner, not death. Either make 'em cops or treat them at least as carefully as the low-wage cashier at the Quickee-Mart, the in-between stuff isn't working.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
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