Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Loki Works for the TSA

This article about a geologist's troubles with airport security has gotten a bit of buzz lately and I finally got around to reading the whole thing today, so I was quite amused to discover that the geologist in question is none other than one Robert M. Thorson, Ph.D. I had the opportunity to listen to Professor Thorson speak a few years ago about why a liberal arts education is important. By this I mean ol' Thor wasted a half hour of the audience's time telling us what it's like to write a weekly column and how clever some of his titles have been. Titles like "Canst Thou Hear Me Now?" and "Kerry Ignored the Frog Vote."

I'm actually surprised Thor's story didn't have him saying something like "Don't you know who I am? My column appears every Thursday on page A15 of the newspaper with the 54th-highest circulation in the country! Sometimes I get letters about it! I'm clever, damn it!"

I'm not going to get into how easy it would have been to go back and check the bag. Bradley International Airport is one of the smallest I've ever been to, and the baggage check is a mineral specimen's throw away from the security checkpoint.

I once had my own encounter with a carry-on bag, a stone, and excitable airport security officers, although with a few differences of circumstance. First, I was flying out of Milan, Italy. Second, the stone in question was actually a piece of Pompeii that I should not have been allowed to take out of the country. Third, the security officer apparently thought the x-ray image of the stone looked a lot like the x-ray image of a luger pistol. Fourth, I was eight years old. Fifth, and perhaps most important, I kept my eight-year-old American mouth firmly shut and they let me keep the damn rock.

2 comments:

Matthew said...

I'd like to point out the inherent irony in mocking someone for use of clever titles in a blog entry with the title "Loki Works for the TSA" about a guy named Thor getting hassled. I'd also like to point out that I like that sort of thing immensely, and wish more titles had Norse mythology references.

Jen said...

I think that maybe you shouldn't be so disrespectful to the guy who keeps CT basketball players in action by barely passing them in "Rocks for Jocks."

I mean, Thor's a big deal. Even without a hammer.