Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Trouble with Memberships

As a young adult, I wasn’t exactly the most disciplined churchgoer, but (like most “God Fearin’ Southerners”) I did make it a practice to attend on a regular and (almost) frequent basis. After about eleven years belonging to (and for the sake of anonymity) “Church A”, I decided to go back to my family roots and transfer my church membership to the church where I was baptized and confirmed as a child (which, for the same reasons, I will call “Church B”).

I didn’t think it would take little more effort than making a phone call and having my letter of membership changed from one church to the other.

Is it just me, or do churches take this “membership” thing a little too serious? I think it was easier getting accepted to College than it was trying to transfer my church membership.

First, “Church B”, the church I was trying to re-affiliate with, wanted to know all my background over those past eleven years and what I’d been up to. (It’s not like I had been one of those people who wear white robes, shave their heads and hang around airports asking for handouts for the sake of Spiritual Karma or anything like that). I told them that I had joined the “Church A” several years after moving back to Tyler in ’82. Then they wanted to know “why” I switched churches in the first place.

I had become close friends with the Pastor there. He had officiated at my father’s funeral and joining his church seemed like the thing to do at the time.  Prior to that, I had spent four years of college in Missouri then did a few years in Dallas and a few years of post-collegiate hedonism, so I had, pretty much, lost my emotional connection to the church. (Seemed like a simple enough explanation to me).

Then they told me that I would have to have a letter of membership sent from Church A to “Church B”. I always thought that they handled that, but, agasin, being a “God Fearin’ Southerner”, I followed their instructions.

Next, I went back to the “Church A”, where my friend, the Pastor who officiated at my father’s funeral, had since moved away. They wanted to know “why” I wanted to transfer my membership. I told them that there was nothing they had done to run me off, I just felt like getting back to my childhood roots. I probably should have left it with that, but I continued to explain that the sanctuary is larger, making it easier to find a seat on holidays not to mention that parking lot is larger and less congested. I don’t think they appreciated that.

When I went back to the administrative office of “Church B”, I explained that they should be receiving a letter of transfer of membership very soon. Then they explained that I would have to meet with the Session and have a personal audience with both of the pastors.

It was at this point that the conversation went a little something like this:

I said ok…   “When?”

“Three weeks from next Thursday.  Then you’ll have to meet with both pastors (individually) and make a statement of faith.”

“Just to transfer back?  But I was a member here for almost 30 years, baptized and confirmed here!”

“Well then, you just should have thought about that before transferring to that other church.”

“What if I don’t want to and just show up on Sunday anyway?”

“Then you won’t get a Church Newsletter!”

That hurt!

I continued sneaking into “Church B” on Sundays but I tithed with cash only. I was afraid someone would get my name and address off of my check and, not only know that I was there, but would track me down because I hadn’t met with anyone yet.

When you get right down to it, I guess anyone can attend any church and call it “their” church, without actually being a “member”. I mean, exercising faith through worship is what it is, regardless of the location of the particular plot of real estate he or she chooses to worship.

The only real crisis was not receiving the church newsletter in the mail for a while. Seriously, I think the Associate Pastor felt sorry for me, sneaking in and sitting on the back row, so he must have “rubber stamped” me into the general membership. 

I’ll admit that it’s nice to belong somewhere.

Copyright © 2013 Denning Key

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Thoughts of spring cleaning are not so unusual this time of year. Especially when we get tired of digging through all the sweaters, jackets and other winter weather paraphernalia in search of cooler attire. (Plus, I decided springtime was a good opportunity to put away all the Christmas decorations still sitting in the corner of the Family Room).


I usually try to move all that stuff to a closet or the attic. Of course, there’s always the problem of finding even the slightest square inch of space to put anything in a closet when faced with the wall of useless stuff (I could never part with) that’s been collected and tossed into the closet.



One year I decided to empty all the closet(s), drawers and other places for useless stuff to hide in an effort to reorganize and discard non-necessities along with other household cleaning duties. Not to mention, there was probably some stuff I’d find that I haven’t seen in years. Who knows what treasures I might find? On the other hand, in an effort to reduce “clutter” I have several guidelines, when cleaning out closets:

1) If I haven’t missed it, it’s probably of no use to me now, so it usually needs to go away. Granted, there will always be those old photos that somehow got sandwiched in between empty box of Altoids and the Family-pack of Chapstick that is found in the back of the bottomless pit, I like to refer to, as the Kitchen Drawer. Photos can always be kept, but all else, in the event it hasn’t been missed in 15 years, can more than likely be thrown out.

2) Any food found in a closet, a couch or under a bed is probably past its expiration date, particularly if it’s unrecognizable. I know it’s tempting to look at that leftover piece of pizza and wonder if the zip-lock bag kept it fresh for all these years, but trust me; I wouldn’t go there. It’s better to let the leftover piece of pizza move on to a higher plain of consciousness. My main question would be “How did this get here? And how did I miss it all this time?”. I realize that discarding the leftover pizza goes without saying but I have a few bachelor friends who might consider the alternative.

3) I was cleaning a closet and found about a half dozen Beach Bags. One beach bag with a broken handle strap containing three Estëe Lauder brushes, two combs, seven Bic Pens, nine Band Aids (one had escaped from it’s wrapper), part of what appeared to be (at one time) a granola bar, half an order of McDonalds french-fries, twelve bottles of chunky sun screen (assorted from 15 SPF to 50 SPF), a headless Barbie Doll (I think it was the Mermaid Barbie, but without the head it was hard to tell), one of Barbie’s shoes (apparently not belonging to the Mermaid Barbie and a disposable diaper. (All three of my kids are grown now, just to let you know how long it’s been since we’ve seen any diapers around our house).

I did save the Estëe Lauder brushes, combs, Bic Pens, and a few of the Band-Aids. The rest went straight into the trash.

A friend of mine, who called during this event thought the Mermaid Barbie should be saved in case the head ever showed up. I decided against this and even though I considered a proper burial at sea for the Mermaid Barbie, I reluctantly but gently laid her beside what was left of the granola bar and the McDonalds french-fries and she is now resting comfortably in the city land fill.

As for all the other beach bags, I dumped what was left in them into the trash and rolled three of them up and stuffed them all into the largest one, but I’ve digressed enough…   Back to the guidelines…

4) Christmas Ornaments can be tricky because I know I only need them for one month out of the year which requires finding a safe place for the other 11 months that is out of the way, and not in my way (like the attic). The only real problem with the attic is the summer heat can damage any plastic ornaments, and God forbid anything happen to my plastic Santa Ornament riding a miniature Coke Bottle, much like Slim Pickens riding the nuclear warhead at the end of the movie; Dr. Strangelove.

5) I still remember when I discovered that I could vacuum drapes. I always wondered what those fancy hose attachments that came with my Hoover were for.  My Mom would be proud.

On a side note, due to popular belief, cat’s (mine in particular) don’t like speeding up the Spring Shedding Process by being vacuumed…   Just sayin’…

6) When I was a child, Dad wouldn’t allow me to take food to my room. He said it attracted roaches. I guess he was right, but have you ever examined all the stuff under the cushions of a couch or recliner, particularly if it’s in a room with a TV? It’s unlikely that any crumb seeking insect or varmint would have ever bothered to venture upstairs to my room with the smorgasbord available there. With the exception of money or jewelry, I can think of few other things that may be found under a seat cushion that could be saved (I don’t care how good those nachos were during that last football game)… Again, it’s amazing what those Hover attachments can do.

7) Once I had most of my house relatively organized I figured it was actually time to “clean”. Did you know that a Styrofoam Budweiser Cooler should never be used as a mop bucket with Pine-Sol and hot water?

I do now…

8) For some people, refrigerators need once a year cleaning too. In reality, I think they should be monitored on a regular basis. Of course, you have to keep in mind that I generally only keep mustard, mayonnaise and an assortment of canned and bottled goods in my refrigerator.  I have a friend who used to clean her refrigerator about as often as she got a chance to tour Europe. It’s these refrigerators that usually have varying degrees of living things residing somewhere in the back of the refrigerator behind the leftover potato salad from that 4th of July party.  This is when I usually pick up the Tupperware container and ask yourself “Was this Pizza or Guacamole Dip?”

Well, there are just a few suggestions. You’ll probably notice that I didn’t get into the dusting of furniture. That’s kind of a no-brainer if you use a feather duster. If you actually get the lemon oil or the Lemmon Pledge (furniture polish) out, you’re on your own.

By the way, never use Lemmon Pledge as an insect spray. Several years ago, I was at a Ranch up north of Dallas and tried to kill a scorpion with lemon furniture polish and all that happened was that he got really pissed off. 

Trust me, it’s not wise to spray a scorpion with lemon furniture polish while bare footed.

Actually, aside from reorganizing the closets and drawers, I think next time I will leave spring cleaning to the professionals.  It’s a lot less strenuous and much easier on the allergies.

Copyright © 2013 Denning Key

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

You just gotta love summer!

With summer around the corner, thoughts of warm weather activities come to mind.  I had the opportunity, about fifteen years ago, to compete in a chili cook-off at a nudist resort.  If you've never cooked chili at a nudist resort, or even been to a nudist resort, it’s an experience you’ll not soon forget.

First of all, due to popular belief, it ain't what you might see at a Playboy Mansion Play Day.  In fact, most of the nudist resort patrons were ex-hippies in their late 50’s to early 70’s.  Although many of the naked bodies I observed didn’t appear to look any different than any other naked body of the same age, it is my humble opinion that fitness was not a priority.

On the other hand, the folks were very gracious and genuine hosts of any cook-off as ever I have attended. They understand that open nudity takes some getting used to by most people, so they didn't require the cooks to take their clothes off with one exception; you do have to get naked if you want to get in the swimming pool or hot tub. (I'm not really sure about nudity on the volleyball area, but it seemed to be the rule of the day).

I've always said, it's bad enough being a little over weight, so with modesty, along with other potential embarrassments to consider, (not to mention an ozone awareness day), I opted for the "Shorts & T-shirt" look. I noticed that most cooks joined me in my choice of "dress code". When it comes to exhibitionism, (although, in all fairness, I don't think that's what you would call it at a nudist resort), I guess I will always have my short-comings to consider. I did take my shoes off for a while, but then I discovered the fireants by the back of my truck, which contained my cooler.

As I arrived at the front gate, I was given a long list of rules. As a matter of fact, the list took up a whole typewritten page, and this is important, because proper nudist resort protocol is strictly monitored and should never be taken lightly. I don't remember all the rules, (In fact, I don't remember most of the rules because I lost my rule sheet), but here are a few I remember, and found worthy of comment.

For example,

YOU MAY ONLY TAKE PICTURES IF YOU HAVE THE PERMISSION OF THE SUBJECTS INVOLVED!

Interestingly enough, many of the people there don't mind having their picture taken, I guess because, unless you have your own photo darkroom, not just any average Photo-mart will gladly develop pictures of naked people (Keeping in mind that digital photography was not commonplace back at the time of this particular chili cook-off).

Also, never, never, ever use a video camera.

I personally witnessed a cook who innocently tried to video tape a group of local patrons who appeared to be already posing for a still picture. I was quick to observe that this breach of nudist resort etiquette is slightly more serious than attempting to pass through security at an International Airport with a suitcase full of grenades. (It wasn't a pretty sight).

NO SUGGESTIVE BEHAVIOR, COMMENTS, OR REMARKS!

That's easy enough, although, from time to time, there was a temptation to say "Damn! or "Check that out!", or "May I help you  with some sunscreen?". You can imagine that the opportunity for an occasional innuendo was enormous. (I was in my mid twenties before I realized that an innuendo wasn't an Italian enema). But there is a gray area of acceptable remarks that I think you can get away with. A friend of mine who rode over that day kept saying, "Hell, they just don't care!" and "This is unbelievable!" (Followed by an adolescent chuckle).

NO STARING!

I'll be the first to admit that the human body, Biblically speaking, is a Divine thing of beauty, (regardless of the shape it's in), but when there are a bunch of them wondering around in an open field, well, you just can't help but to stare. This is when good peripheral vision, along with a dark pair of sunglasses, has it's advantages. If you do stare, try not to get caught staring, and if you do get caught staring, don't act like you were consciously staring. (Make it look purely incidental). And for Pete's Sake, don't take a picture without permission.

(I'll paraphrase the next one)

DON'T OPENLY ACKNOWLEDGE THE NUDITY OF OTHERS!

Now I'll admit that by the end of the day, I was beginning to get accustomed to all the nudity, however, there were some people wearing gold earrings through body parts that I'm pretty certain that the Good Lord never intended to have an earring through. (Now that I think of it, I'm not sure that "earring" would be what these articles of jewelry would be called, but I think you've got the idea).

Well, I’m sorry folks, but the question finally had to be asked…  "Doesn't that hurt?", followed by, "So, can I take a picture?".

In reality I think that what the "powers that be" want to avoid is such remarks as "Are those real or store-bought?" or "Have you ever injured anybody with that thing?" or "May I help you with some sunscreen?”. 

IF YOU CHOOSE TO PRACTICE NUDITY, YOU MUST ALWAYS CARRY A TOWEL TO SIT ON!

I'm sure that this is for sanitary reasons, but let me interject for a moment. I'm sure you've heard those stories about a kid who accepts a dare to touch his tongue to a metal pole in sub-freezing weather, then it gets stuck? Well, picture if you will, what could happen to an innocent butt cheek when the temperature hovers near the century mark and the picnic table benches are as hot as the pavement on Interstate-20 at high noon in August. (Talk about heat stress!). I'll bet that a towel is some mighty comforting insurance against a 3rd degree nightmare.

All kidding aside, I managed to focus on my recipe well enough (in spite of all the naked distractions) to get 3rd Place out of about 120 cooks and I won a large beach towel. 

Copyright © 2013 Denning Key

Monday, March 25, 2013

Green Energy My Ass!

I think I figured it out…   We've been going about this entire “Green Energy” thing all wrong!  

Between American Ingenuity (not to mention American Marketing) and German & Asian Engineering  we’re stuck in mind-set of creating electricity out of wind, solar or bio-fuel.  How effective can that be?  Plus, the end result will all tie back into further use of petroleum fuels and petroleum based chemicals.

Back in the late 1970’s, the EPA decided that, in order for vehicles to use less petro-fuel, ie: gasoline or diesel, they should have smaller engines and be made to weigh less.  To do this, much of the vehicle was to be manufactured using more high temperature and high impact plastic. 

Hello!...   Plastic!...   Made from Petroleum!...

Now let’s move on to the second issue of “Alternative Energy” Vehicles running off of batteries.  Ok, rechargeable batteries require electricity to be recharged, so we’re back to Power Plants that run off of what?...  Bio-Fuel!...  (Well, Mostly)… 

And if that’s not enough of an issue, just think of the toxicity of the disposal of old batteries.  Sure, you can argue that batteries can be recycled, but only to a point, there will always be elements of toxicity in the old battery that have to disposed of.

Even windmill farms require motors in each windmill to help them along…  Honestly, there’s nothing “Green” in any alternative energy’s that I can see… 

This brings me to an important point that we’ve been totally over-looking.  Is it just me, or does anyone else see the value of talking to the Swiss about our dilemma?

Let’s face it, what are the Swiss best known for?  

Well, other than Chocolate and Winter Olympic Bob Sledding?  

I’ll tell you what they have mastered better anything anyone else on Earth!...   It’s clocks, time pieces and more importantly, wrist watches.  And not just wrist watches but “self-winding” wrist watches! 

Think about it…   Make a car that runs off of a huge spring…   As the car goes down the road, the self-winding mechanism is always rewinding the giant spring in the car, so it never needs to be manually rewound, nor does it need a battery!...   Voila!...  (The self-winding mechanism would be especially effective on Off Road Vehicles).

Now, I’ll admit that the giant spring could also run a little generator to keep electricity running to such necessities as the headlights, digital odometer, radio, iPod, cell phone, etc., but what a concept, a fuel-less car…  And, of course, a Swiss Movement Self Winding Mechanism for a smaller spring that runs a smaller generator to keep other collateral devises going and recharging everything at all times…

I think it’s a brilliant idea!  I just hope the Nobel Peace Prize Committee knows where to find me after all this comes to fruition…

Copyright © 2013 Denning Key

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

No wonder we're in trouble

I am always amazed at the naiveté that walks our streets.

I’m not kidding.  I honestly wonder what is being taught in our schools these days.  Actually, I know what they’re teaching because I have three daughters, and I’m unimpressed with some of the stuff they have been taught.

Fortunately, I intervene when I am aware, so that my children are not brainwashed by popular cultural thought.

For example, we explained to our kids (at an early age) that it has never been proven, nor do I believe there’s such a thing as “ man made global warming”.  As a matter of fact, the followers of the Church of the Environmentally Religious (as I like to call modern day environmentalists), gave up on calling it Global Warming, so they changed it to “Climate Change”…   Oh Really?

I prefer to call it “The Hand of God”. 

Ok, so Mother Earth has cycles of climate “up’s & down’s”.  It couldn't be Solar Flares could it?...   Oh Noooo!...

It’s pretty easy to see from the outside looking in that, if it’s a man made problem, then a government wants to punish, penalize and tax it…   Basically, another feeble attack on Industrial Capitalism, if you ask me, and that’s when “Our” money ends up in “Their” pockets…

Let’s face it…   If something is caused by “The Hand of God”, well, then governments are just “sh!t out of luck”, as far as “taxing” goes.

I understand how kids these days actually believe in man made global warming.  It’s because it gets shoved down their throats day after day at school and on TV.  It’s insane!

But I digress…   Let’s move on to a recent observation of mine.

A while back, I accompanied my wife and her family to an event in San Antonio.  We had a blast: However, while attending a poolside cocktail party, I noticed a young woman wearing a “Choose Peace” T-Shirt.

Do what?   “Choose Peace?”…  

Let me quote a great American Patriot, Ted Nugent, by saying “ARE YOU KIDDING?”.

Now let’s get something straight…  You can choose to make peace your goal, you can choose to take steps to negotiate with tyrannical countries and their leaders, you can choose to ignore tyrants (or terrorists) a hope they aren't emboldened by your naiveté, you can even choose to make peace the goal through military strength, but you can’t choose peace, (as an outcome) anymore than a kid can choose not to be bullied… 

A nation can take steps to achieve or maintain peace, but achieving and/or maintaining peace is a result, not a choice, and there’s always at least one crazy dictator (or radical religious factor) who wants to kill and take over the weak (and sometimes, the not so weak).

Back to the bullying analogy, I can see it now.  A bully decides to pick on a random smaller kid, and the kid says “Oh, you can’t bully me, I've chosen not to be bullied”… 

Oh…   That takes care of things…   I’m sure the bully will apologize and go look for another victim…  

Like that’s gonna work! 

In all honesty, what happens next is the kid ends up getting the crap beat out of him…

I really wanted to tell the poor misguided girl, with the “Choose Peace” T-Shirt that she was a delusional moron, but you can never debate common sense with some of these people.

Choices are only points of direction, while Goals, such as “World Peace” have to be earned, and I’m sorry to say that an idiotic T-Shirt won’t quite get her over that hump…

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's gonna be a long Winter

Well, here we are, right smack dab in the middle of weight gain season.  

Actually, the "weight gain season" officially starts with all that Halloween candy that gets casually grazed upon during that one night of the year that we teach our children that it’s ok to dress up and go pan-handling.  

With that in mind, I’d like to make an observation on Halloween.  Have you ever noticed that the later it gets, the older the kids get and the more the costumes look like regular street clothes? 

I’ve noticed and it ticks me off…  

I usually save my Sonic Burger Peppermints for the street clothes people.  I have a friend who saves all his old Whataburger ketchup packages to give to them.  I’ve thought about that myself, but I’m afraid I’ll end up with smushed Whataburger ketchup packages all over my front porch.   Anyway, I digress…

The leftover Halloween candy (if there is any) slowly undermines any hope of weight loss for the first few weeks of November, then there’s Thanksgiving and the endless grazing from Thursday through the weekend, with all the leftover Thanksgiving feast, not to mention all the football food.

Do I even need to mention December?...

It’s not just the Christmas Dinner that gets us (as with Thanksgiving), but for one solid month, there’s an endless parade of Christmas goodies like cookies, sweets, cheeses, sausage balls and all kinds of little Christmas snacks that are at the office or are delivered to your home or are just under your nose wherever you go. 

Let’s face it…   For such a wonderfully spiritual time of the year, it’s just one long temptation after another…   Praise the Lord and have a Chocolate Bourbon Ball!...

After Christmas, there’s still tons of food left to get through the New Year’s celebration, then we have the College Bowl Games…  Everybody knows you can’t watch College Bowl Games without at least 2 gallons of Rotel Cheese Dip (with sausage or hamburger included) and a number of varieties of Chips.

After all the Bowl Games, you would think we would have had enough football, but no… 

By early January, we’re fully into the NFL Playoffs, so more football watching parties and more Rotel Cheese Dip and chips, not to mention, Spicy Chicken Wings and Chili.  (If you’re lucky, you know someone like me who has a killer Chili recipe).  I have found that a good spicy Chili is a welcomed addition to any party where there’s Rotel Cheese Dip just to act as a stool softener after all that cheese.

NFL Playoffs go right up to the first weekend in February, culminating with Super Bowl Sunday…

What a Schmorgesbord Super Bowl Sunday is…

I once read that there are more avocados bought for Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year…   That’s a lot of Guacamole!...

Finally, we move from a cheesy, salty snack induced euphoria that is about 5 weeks of straight football food, to Valentine’s Day.  That one holiday of the year, manufactured by women, for women, that most men don’t particularly care for because we’re still trying to make a dent in the credit card (from Christmas) and all of a sudden, here’s another National Holiday that says we have to go out and buy something else. 

Fortunately for me, my wife is happy with a card, a box of chocolates (that I usually eat half of) and a fine dinner.  And there you go, one last fling with excessive caloric intake, and then we get a break before all the Easter Candy, Fried Chicken and Deviled Eggs. 

And if you’ve read this blog, you know how I feel about deviled eggs…

Copyright © 2011 Denning Key


Monday, June 20, 2011

Vegas Baby!

Well, Las Vegas proved to be quite a stumbling block in my weight loss journey.  Although our room was about 150 yards (that’s one and a half times the length of a football field) from the elevators, and I managed to make several trips a day back and forth from the Casino or the Pool back up to the room, my extensive walking up and back down the Bellagio hallways proved to be no match for the awesome food that exists in Vegas.

I’ll admit, when it came down to my vacation in Vegas and any attempt, what so ever, of exercising any semblance of self-discipline (as far as dieting was concerned), I was off the wagon. 

And when I say “off the wagon” I mean “Seriously ‘Off’ the Wagon”!

I did the Vegas Buffett Breakfast almost every day (with seconds), I snacked on high carb snacks, I drank high calorie Fruity Drinks by the pool, I had burgers and french-fries for lunch, and ate at 5 Star Executive Chef Restaurants for dinner and even ate the dinner rolls with the whipped butter.

Needless to say, I gained about 12 lbs in 7 days…  

I think it would be a gross exaggeration to say that I had a few moments of weakness.  In simple terms, I was down-right self-destructive and I loved every minute of it.

Yesterday was Day One (back home) and back on the diet.  This morning I was down 3 lbs from yesterday morning.  If this keeps up, I should be back to normal by Thursday. 

Keep your fingers crossed.

But what happened in Vegas isn’t really the purpose of my blog today.  I would like to address the thieves that work Security at the Airport in Las Vegas.  I’ll continue…

Our returning flight was scheduled to leave Vegas at 11:55 Am (PST).  We were up early, got packed and had breakfast in the room.  We arrived at the Las Vegas Airport with plenty of time to spare, spent a considerable amount of time waiting to check our bags (due, mainly in fact that no one behind the counter was in a hurry), then proceeded to the TSA/Homeland Security, ie: Airport Security Screening.

We took off our shoes, emptied our pockets and removed jewelry. Stepped through the detector machines (without incident) and proceeded to the totes to replace all our belongings.  No problem…

No problem, that is, until one of the Security ladies spotted, specifically, my wife’s Chanel No. 5, along with a few other dubious items of interest.  I never realized that Chanel No. 5 was such a threat to air travel, but apparently, it is.

My wife was carrying a big bag that she could keep more than just her purse.  Let’s face it, when traveling, it’s a good idea to carry emergency items, such as Aspirin or Imodium, just in case any airport or airline food disagrees with you.  These are items that you don’t want to be packed in your bags in the cargo bay of the plane at the time you decide they are needed. 

Common sense, right?  Apparently not, if you’re with the Las Vegas Security. 

They went through my wife’s travel bag, one item at a time. 

First, they questioned her about her very nice gold cigarette lighter.  I was carrying a cheap Bic lighter which was not a problem, but the Gold Lighter from the MGM Grand raised questions. 

Then they wanted to know what the Imodium was for.  My wife said “Do you really want to go there?”.

I was tempted to remark that we were going to spike the pilot’s coffee in an effort to force the plane down due to pilot constipation, but I quickly realized that these people weren’t playing with full deck’s (so to speak) and any attempt to interject humor into the situation could be a problem.  I kept my remarks to myself.

Then they asked why the Chanel No 5 was still in it’s box.  We explained that it was new and was safer (from breakage) while still in the box.  We were told, “No Boxes” and that it had to be in a Ziplock bag.  But (and here’s where they tipped their hand), we could leave the Chanel No. 5 with them and they would let us go.

Okay…  So we’ll put it in a Ziploc bag.  Only problem was that they didn’t have any available in the Las Vegas Security Area.

They had to send my fat ass racing back out of the secure area (with all items I had just carried through Security, computers and all) through the airport, to a shop across the terminal, and back through Security. 

For some reason, leaving all that stuff with my wife, who remained in the secure area, was unacceptable and not an option.

So I returned, Chanel No. 5, safely ensconced in a Ziploc bag. 

By this time it was about 11:35 AM.  They asked what time was our flight and we explained that it was at 11:55 AM and we were really cutting things close.

At this point, they decided to send my wife (who had already passed through Security Screening) for a “Pat Down”. 

We were finally released to head to our plane at about 11:56 AM…  

Guess what!   We missed our flight… 

The next flight was at 7:25 PM…   Seven and a half hours later and I was madder than a wet hen!

Hours later I was self-soothing in one of the many bars in the Las Vegas Airport.  I shared our experience with the bar tender and he said, and I quote, “They pull that crap all the time.  If they see something they want, they make it hard to make your flight, unless you leave it with them”.

He also explained that most other Airport Security Areas have Ziploc bags available in the event that something needs to be placed in there.  But not in Vegas.  They love to send people racing across the airport to find one.

Here’s what I thought was really stupid about the whole thing.  Once the Chanel No. 5 was placed in the Ziploc bag (along with the Imodium and some tiny sample bottles of Tabasco Sauce, which everyone knows that Tobasco Sauce is a threat to airline safety) they let us put it back in the bag that my wife was carrying. 

So what’s the point?  We could just as easily take it all back out, once on the plane.

Well, we know the point.  Give them what they want or you miss your flight.

As we were going through Security, for our later flight, there was a young man who was stopped and being questioned about something he was carrying.  I said "Good Luck making your flight if you don't have any Ziploc bags with you".

I think the next time I go to Vegas, I’m going to take a huge box of Ziploc bags and give them away right outside of the Security Area for free.

That’ll show ‘em…

Copyright © 2011 Denning Key