Monday, May 09, 2011

Absurdity Compounded

Well, this week I'll be off to the annual River Rats Reunion. That's the place where a bunch of fat old guys gather wearing name tags of people I know are neither fat nor old. They tell stories about those people I know, so their preparation is excellent for their impersonation. Then these old imposters try to act like folks who are much younger, in much better physical condition and are much less mature than people of their obvious age. In large part we pull it off pretty well. This year's masquerade is at the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton, so the the stories will be embellished with full sized scenery and props setting the stage.

In preparation I am rehearsing the Kabuki dance of TSA for the airport. I've already abandoned the idea of wearing my usual cowboy boots, even though I've got a neat little portable traveling boot-jack. It would be much more fun to do one of those British lord and butler routines in which I ask the TSA agent to help me with my boots and I get to kick them in the butt to help. Nahh, they might hold a grudge and turn up the radiation on the scanner.

I'll doff my shoes, my belt, my jacket, take my laptop out of the case, put everything in a train of separate bins and then try to keep on eye on all my worldly goods as some mouth-breathing Neanderthal probes my nether regions and makes snide remarks about my equipage. Then I'll reassemble my disheveled self and try to restore my dignity. Scotch usually works.

That's why this little goodie is so scary:

Amtrak No-Ride List Slippery Slope Pt I

Yes, authorize funds immediately for the black money pit of Amtrak to expand security. Combine the incredible passenger rail track efforts of government with the security enhancements of TSA. It will create JOBS! Ptui!!!

No-Ride lists mean screening, mean ID checks, mean delays and congestion and bureaucrats. Shakedowns of suitcases and carry-ons...wait, everything is a carry-on usually isn't it?

But, has Sen. Shumer not noted that you don't have to blow up a train to destroy it? You don't even have to get on it. You don't have to be there at all. You simply disrupt the track! Think IED in roadside, Chuckie!

Of course when we saved the trains, we'll have to move quickly to the buses and trucks won't we. And then the cars. Yes, we'll have to have a TSA squad in every parking lot in the nation to check against terrorists strapping themselves into gasoline tanks with engines that propel themselves into people and other vehicles.

Joy, oh joy! We can have some really big security then and we'll makes sure that wealthiest Americans are paying their fair share to support it. Way to go, Chuck!


juvat said...

I bet the people watching at the Rat's convention is out of this world.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the same old guys that show up at The VietNam Helicopter Pilot's Ass'n reunions. Don't know where the real guys hide while these oldsters preen, fabricate, and drink. Enjoy your reunion and thanks to all for service to our country. regards, Alemaster

wilko said...

Thunder Tale readers: For a great read on the origins of the River Rats (elephants and all):

Scrappy: Memoirs of a U.S. Fighter Pilot in Korea and Vietnam.

But Raz, you already knew all this stuff.

Anonymous said...

Mr Rasimus - I talked to you a few years back...I'm a B-1 pilot and at the time I was in South Dakota. I have a favor to ask. If you can please email me at


Ed Rasimus said...


Scrappy's book is good. "Fighter Pilot" also covers the origin of the Rats. Too bad we never got Larry Pickett to write his version of the events. Scrappy is the only one still kicking.