Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My First-Grade Teacher Was a Socialist!

I'm stuck in the airport for a couple of extra hours, thanks to a notice from TSA passed along by my airline, that passengers on international flights should arrive three hours early to get through screening.  I was skeptical, because it's never taken me that long to get through before, but I'd also not received such a notification before, so I decided to play it safe.  That meant getting up two hours earlier than I planned to, to catch the earlier shuttle.  And of course I breezed through security in a few minutes, so here I be.

While I was in line (I've been in longer ones for TSA), a middle-aged white guy remarked loudly that having to stand in line like this was like being in "a socialist country."  Another middle-aged white guy a few people behind him agreed, and they began chatting that it was like standing in line for bread; the first guy remarked that in Haiti, they wouldn't wait in line, they'd just take out a machete, lop off your arm, and take your bread, like they did after the earthquake.  (Presumably taking your arm too, to make a yummy arm sandwich with the bread.)  He worked that theme for a while, declaring that he knew some missionary friends in Haiti, who apparently told him these stories.

I considered speaking up myself, and asking what he'd prefer.  Should the rich be allowed to skip the lines?  It's not quite the same thing, I know, but you can spend a hundred or so dollars and go through Pre-Check, a much shorter line.  Does he think that there's no airline security in other countries, and if so, which non-socialist countries does he have in mind?  Israel, maybe?  Or he could move to Russia, which is a dictatorship now, not even nominally socialist.  I knew I'd get in trouble for that one, but I was tempted.  As for the machetes, I considered pointing out that here in America, we don't use machetes, we shoot each other for bread.  But one chooses one's battles.

Maybe they don't make children line up in elementary schools anymore?  Because it's "socialist"?  My teachers would have been surprised to hear that.